WACO TRANSIT SYSTEM

Demand Response Van Service

Waco Transit's Demand Response Service offers door-to-door transportation anywhere within the coverage area (see map) for customers who are unable to embark or disembark from the Fixed Route System due to a disability. Transportation service is provided by ADA accessible high-floor vans. All operators are trained to provide minimal assistance. Operators are not trained to provide medical assistance.

Minimal assistance includes:

  • The operator will come to the door of a residence or pick up location.
  • The operator will attempt to notify passengers of arrival by sounding horn or ringing doorbell.
  • The operator will assist passengers in boarding and exiting the van.
  • The operator will deliver the passenger to the curb of his/her destination.
  • Clients who may need assistance from vehicle to the first doorway may request additional assistance from the operator.
  • Clients who may need assistance from first doorway to vehicle may request additional assistance during the scheduling process of the trip.   

Minimal assistance DOES NOT include:

  • Assistance getting in or out of wheelchair.
  • Assistance in getting ready for the trip.
  • Administering medication or oxygen.
  • Assisting passengers in wheelchairs up or down stairs.
  • Assistance in carrying personal belongings or purchases.

PLEASE NOTE THAT WACO TRANSIT'S POLICY DOES NOT ALLOW AN OPERATOR TO LOSE VISUAL CONTACT WITH THE WACO TRANSIT DEMAND RESPONSE VEHICLE AT ANY TIME, FOR ANY REASON.

Service Hours:

Waco Transit's Demand Response Service hours:
Weekdays- 5:15 a.m.-7:15 p.m.
Saturdays- 6:15 a.m. - 8:15 p.m.

Service is provided Monday through Saturday throughout the year, except for the following observed holidays.

    New Year's Day
    Memorial Day
    Independence Day
    Labor Day
    Thanksgiving
    Christmas

    You may schedule your trip by calling the scheduling center 24 hours in advance for next day service at (254) 750-1620 or 1-800-877-RIDE (7433).

Service is only provided inside the service area as defined by the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The area is defined as an area within 3/4 of a mile on either side of a fixed route service, or up to an additional 3/4 mile to the nearest landmark (see map).

Certification Process

Waco Transit utilizes the certification criteria as established in the ADA, as listed below:

  • Any individual with a disability who is unable to independently board, ride, or disembark from any vehicle on the fixed route system that is accessible to such persons.
  • Any individual with a disability who is able to independently board, ride, or disembark from any vehicle on the fixed route system which is accessible to such persons, except when such a vehicle is not available on the needed route(s).
  • Any individual with a disability whose impairment-related condition prevents him/her from traveling to a boarding location or from a disembarking location on the fixed route.

The application must be legible and properly completed. Also, the applicant must sign that the information given is correct and sign the release of information form which is included in the application. A health care provider familiar with applicant's condition must complete the attached physician form.

After the completed application is received, a Waco Transit staff member will notify the applicant of the findings.  Waco Transit has up to 21 days to review and approve the application from the date the completed application is received. For those applications not processed within 21 days of receipt of a completed application, Waco Transit will provide presumptive eligibility for the applicant to schedule and use paratransit service beginning on the 22nd day until such time that the written determination is issued.

Determination of Eligibility

Waco Transit will determine eligibility status of a passenger based on the information provided during the eligibility process. A person may be determined to be ADA-eligible, temporarily ADA-eligible, or conditionally ADA-eligible on certain trips. Following the determination by Waco Transit, the applicant will be notified of the findings. If the applicant disagrees with the findings, he/she may make a written request for an appeal of the decision. The appeal procedures will be sent to the applicant along with the determination of eligibility.

Renewal of Certification

Waco Transit will renew certification of all ADA-eligible passengers every two (2) years.

How to Schedule Trip Requests

  • The Demand Response Service is a shared ride, public transportation service. Requests for service can be made during normal business hours on the preceding day that service is needed, but additional notice is appreciated. Trips can be scheduled up to 14 days in advance. Reservations may be made between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. seven days a week. Calls on Sundays will be received by an answering system and you will be called to confirm your trip request as soon as possible. Waco Transit does not offer services outside the coverage area.
  • Same day call-ins, including unscheduled requests or will calls for return trips, will be accepted according to service availability. Same day requests, when scheduled, will be subject to a premium fare of $4.00. Pick up times must be scheduled in advance.
  • Passengers may request any pick-up time within our service hours; however, if the requested time is not available, the scheduler may offer an alternative pick-up time within one (1) hour before or after an individual’s desired departure time.

When scheduling your trip, please have the following information ready:

  • Your name
  • An exact address where you are starting your trip.
  • Exact address and location to where you are going.
  • Time you are due at your destination.
  • The time you'll need a return trip, if applicable.
  • Type of assistance device, such as wheelchair, cane etc.
  • If a personal care attendant will accompany you.
  • If a service animal will accompany you.

Following our guidelines will make your trip trouble free.

Subscription Service

A Subscription trip is an ongoing, regular scheduled reservation (for example, to work, dialysis, physical therapy, church, etc.). It is useful to schedule a subscription trip if you go to the same place one or more days each week. Subscription trips allow you to schedule all of your trips with one phone call. Subscription trips may be requested once your eligibility has been approved. Please call our scheduling center during normal business hours to request a subscription trip. Subscription service is on a space available basis.

Same Day Request

A request for a trip on the day that you wish to travel will be accommodated on a space/time available basis. For best results, call the scheduling center at least 2 hours before you need a ride. There are very limited openings for rides scheduled on the same day of service.

  • Waco Transit cannot guarantee the availability of same-day service.
  • When same-day trips are scheduled, they will be subject to a premium fare of $4.00. Any request for Waco Transit to return to pick-up a passenger following a no-show for a regularly scheduled trip shall be classified as a same-day trip with a charge of $4.00.
  • The Waco Transit scheduler or dispatcher may not be able to provide a specific pick-up time to the caller at the time a same-day trip request is made.  Passengers requesting same day service may be asked to call back to confirm trip availability.  If space is available, the scheduler/dispatcher will confirm the availability of space on the vehicle and provide an approximate pick up time.
  • If Waco Transit is unable to provide the trip, the same-day request will be denied. If Waco Transit is unable to do the trip, the client may call back at a later time to make a second request for a same-day pick up.
  • For same-day trips, the Waco Transit DRS vehicle may arrive for pick-up thirty minutes (30) before or after the scheduled pick up time and will be considered on time.  The van will wait five (5) minutes before departing and the passenger will be charged with a no show.

Pick-Up & Drop-Off

You will receive an approximate time for your pick up. This time is only an approximation. The driver may arrive up to fifteen (15) minutes before or after this time, and be considered on time for your trip. Please be ready to go and be waiting in a place where you can hear or see the vehicle arrive. Drivers are not allowed to go into residence or other facilities to look for passengers. To avoid delaying other passengers, drivers can only wait five (5) minutes before proceeding on their route. Please have your DRS picture ID and fare available to show the driver when you are picked up.

The DRS van requires an obstruction-free approach and sufficient turn-around area for its vehicles. Under some conditions, our policy of door-to-door service will not be available to passengers. Alternate pick-up and drop-off locations may be established because of obstructed driveways, turnarounds, or other safety concerns.

Waco Transit's DRS Fares

Transit Advisory Board (TAB) establishes the fare for the Demand Response Service. You must pay your fare by cash or a ticket. Clients may purchase ADA Booklets, which are available for sale at our local office, located at 301 South 8th St. or from our DRS operators.

The current fares are as follows:

  • $3.00 per one way trip or one DRS ticket
  • $4.00 per same day trips
  • $30.00 per booklet of DRS Tickets (each booklet contains 10 tickets)

All fares must be paid at the beginning of each trip. Passengers must pay the fare in exact change. The operator will not accept checks unless the check is for payment of a $20.00 booklet. Operators will not make change.

Personal Care Attendant & Guests

A personal care attendant (PCA) is someone who travels with you to provide any assistance you may need.  Your PCA rides for free and must board and de-board at the same location as you.  Your PCA may also meet you at both ends of your trip.  A client can invite one guest to travel with him or her, and other guest will be permitted on a space available basis.

Please inform the customer service representative, each time you make a reservation, that a guest will accompany you.  Be sure to mention if your guest will be using a mobility aid (i.e., wheelchair, walker, or oxygen).  This will ensure sufficient room on the van.

Please note that if a passenger cannot be left alone at a destination, or if the passenger must be under constant care or supervision, Waco Transit may require the passenger to travel with a PCA.  Waco Transit is unable to alter or modify procedures or policies in order to provide specialized services to passengers who need services beyond the minimum assistance guidelines.  Waco Transit will not be responsible for clients that cannot be left alone at their destination without care or supervision.

No-Show/Cancellation Procedures

No-Shows

Operators will utilize the following guidelines concerning a person’s failure to meet the Waco Transit van:

  • For trips scheduled with a requested pick-up time, the Waco Transit operator will not wait longer than five (5) minutes from the arrival time for clients to board the vehicle.   If the van arrives within the thirty (30) minute window (fifteen (15) minutes before and fifteen (15) minutes after the scheduled pick-up time), the client must board the van within five (5) minutes of arrival.
  • For trips scheduled with a requested drop-off time, the van may arrive anytime within one (1) hour prior to the drop-off time.  If the van arrives anytime within one (1) hour prior to the requested drop-off time, the client must board the van within five (5) minutes of arrival.
  • Failure to meet the van within five (5) minutes from the time of arrival will constitute a no-show. 
  • Passengers or their associates may not ask operators to delay the five (5) minute interval under any circumstances; this is to assure the timely pick-up and transportation of all Waco Transit clients.
  • Waco Transit dispatch/scheduling will not hold or otherwise detain the Waco Transit van because a passenger is late for a scheduled pick-up.  The dispatcher/scheduler may provide information to the operator and facilitate communication via phone and radio between the client and the operator.  However, it shall be at the operator’s discretion as to when to depart and declare a trip as a no-show.
  • No-shows caused by reasons beyond rider’s control (e.g., scheduling problems, late pickups, and operational problems on the part of Waco Transit or a family emergency or sudden turn for the worse in a variable medical condition) or operator error will not be counted against the rider.

Cancellations

A trip cancelled within two (2) hours in advance of the scheduled time will be recorded as a late cancellation.  Late cancellations have the same effect as a no-show with regards to being within the rider’s control.  An individual is allowed one (1) no-show per calendar month without penalty.

A trip cancelled any time up to two (2) hours before the scheduled time will be recorded as an advance cancellation, and will not be penalized.

No-Show Penalties

A pattern of excessive no-shows may result in service suspension.  A pattern of missed trips are considered excessive when an individual reserves seven (7) or more trips within any month and no-shows/and or late cancels 40 percent or more of those scheduled trips.  This will be considered a “pattern or practice” of missed trips and violation of the No-show policy

Suspensions

Customers incurring excessive missed trips as defined above are subject to suspension for a reasonable period of time.  Repeated violations of this policy will cause the length of suspension to be increased.  The following suspension periods shall apply to violations of this Policy that occur within the same rolling 12 month period.

1st Suspension                        1 Week (6 days)

2nd Suspension                        2 Weeks (12 days)

3rd Suspension                        3 Weeks (18 days)

4th Suspension                        4 Weeks (24 days)

Waco Transit reserves the right to suspend clients for 30 day increments due to patterns of excessive no-shows beyond established guidelines..

Appeal Procedures

Before sanctions may be imposed, the individual has the option to appeal the sanction(s).  The Waco Transit General Manager will first hear appeals.  If the General Manager upholds the sanction, the individual may request a hearing before the Waco Transit Advisory Board (TAB).  The Waco Transit General Manager may be contacted as shown below:

Serena Stevenson
(254) 750-1900

Once an individual requests an appeal, the TAB will hear all current violations.   For example, if an individual appeals sanctions for May 2 and the Board does not meet until May 17, and this individual has three (3) additional no-shows during the interim, all violations will be heard during the same meeting.

Before service may be suspended, the individual will have the opportunity to be heard and to present information justifying the no-shows. Waco Transit service will not be suspended while the TAB is considering an appeal.

Waco Transit will notify the individual, in writing, of the Assistant General Manager’s or Board’s ruling on all appeals. This notification will outline the ruling and reasons for it.

Once the individual has been informed of the Board’s ruling, sanctions will either be dismissed or imposed on the next day of service.

Waco Transit requires that all appeals must be made within 60 days of notification of sanctions.

All decisions made by the TAB are considered final.

Miscellaneous

Out-of-town visitors: Waco Transit will provide service to out-of-town visitors who have:

  • Previously been certified by another transportation agency for 30 days within a 365 day period as long as they have a valid paratransit ID.
  • Documentation of eligibility from the visitor’s home jurisdiction.
  • Documentation of disability.
  • A disability that is apparent without requesting additional information beyond proof of residency.

If the client stays for longer than 30 days, Waco Transit requires them to go through the proper certification process. Service will be provided during the 21 day certification process.     

Pets and service animals are welcome to ride the DRS van. Please tell us that a service animal will accompany you when you request your ride. Passengers using a service animal or bringing a pet onboard are responsible for the animal and may be held liable for the behavior and actions of the animal. Pets and service animals regardless of training or certification may be denied transportation if the animal is out of control and you do not take effective action to control it or whose behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. Pets must be contained /restrained (leash, kennel, box, etc..)

Carry-on items: operators can only assist you with the amount of packages that can be easily loaded onto a vehicle in one trip and be comfortably stowed/held in the client's lap. For those in wheelchairs or motorized scooters the same basic rules apply; load in one trip and maintain all items within the wheelchair or motorized device. Large unsecured packages, such as grocery bags may create a hazard both for passengers and operator. Please understand that carry-on packages are still allowed onboard the DRS vehicles but it is important that reasonable limits be placed on their size and quantity. Portable oxygen equipment and portable respirators are permitted on DRS vehicles. Operators will assist you in securing this equipment on the vehicle. Operators are not permitted, however, to assist you in using this equipment. If you need assistance with portable life support equipment, please arrange to bring a qualified attendant along with you.

Lost and found articles left on vehicles can be claimed by calling Waco Transit at (254-750-1620) or by visiting our office at 301 South 8th Street Monday thru Saturday 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Inquiries about lost items should be made the day after the item was lost. Please call before picking up items.

Inclement weather service will be limited and possibly canceled when adverse weather creates conditions hazardous for passengers, operators and vehicles. You will be contacted by the Waco Transit Scheduling Center when service is cancelled due to severe snow, ice, or other inclement weather.

Seat belts and wheelchair straps: Waco Transit utilizes straps to secure wheelchairs, scooters, or other mobility aids. The vehicles are designed to utilize four (4) straps: two in the front and two in the back. All four straps must be secured to the mobility device prior to moving the vans. Waco Transit provides seatbelts for all passengers. Waco Transit's policy requires that all passengers utilize them for their own safety as well as the safety of other passengers.

Your comments are welcome: Waco Transit values your comments, complaints and suggestions. Any ADA or disability related complaint can be communicated through the steps below to guarantee a prompt resolution. You can mail your suggestions to Waco Transit at 301 South 8th St. Waco TX. 76708, call our comment line at (254) 750-TIPS (8477) or Email us at wtscomments@wacotx.gov.

City of Waco Home >>