Van Buren Public Transit Guidelines
3. Pick-Up Time
10. Holiday Closing
- Transit Regional Reduced Fare Cards
- Personal Care Attendants (PCAs)
- Service Animals
- Priority Seating Area
To reserve your ride, please call the reservation line or dispatch between one and fourteen days in advance. Please note: Reservation lines are closed on Sundays.
Please have the following information available when you call to reserve your ride:
- Your name and the date you want to travel.
- Your pick-up and drop off address, including an apartment, unit or suite number.
- Your doctor’s name, or a contact name and phone number if you are visiting a private residence.
- The time and length of your appointment.
- If a service animal or pet will accompany you.
- If an attendant or companion will accompany you.
- Whether you will be using a mobility aid such as a wheelchair, walker, crutches or oxygen.
- All the above information for your return trip.
Multiple trip requests for the same day must be scheduled at least 30 minutes apart from your scheduled arrival time.
Please note the following information when booking rides with your transit provider:
- Transit reserves the right to limit service in cases where the ride request is less than ¼ mile from point of origin. Such requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
- A driver’s responsibility for a rider begins at the curb where the trip begins and ends at the curb of the rider’s destination. This means drivers will assist you on and off the bus, and will secure your carry-on items in the bus.
- If you need assistance from your apartment to the lobby or from a building entry to an office on another floor, you must have someone other than the driver to assist you.
- Drivers will not come into the ‘common area’ of an apartment or office building to meet you because there may be other riders on the bus, drivers need to stay within sight of the bus.
- Drivers may not enter your home, even to assist you with a mobility device or help you with your coat. Please do not invite the bus driver into your home.
Prescheduling return rides from a medical or legal appointment
Transit providers ask that you schedule your round trip transportation when setting up any ride. Medical or legal staff can help you determine how long you may need for your appointment.
If your appointment takes longer than expected, please call to notify the transit provider to avoid being a “no show.” Call back when you are available for your return ride and the transit provider will send another vehicle for you as soon as one is available.
Same-day trip service is available within Dial a Ride service areas. Reservation service depends on availability and may be available for same day service. It is recommended to call one to fourteen days in advance.
- Once we have agreed upon a scheduled pick-up time, your bus is scheduled to arrive within a "window" of 15 minutes. It is important that you keep the 15 minute window in mind when reserving trips and when waiting for your vehicle. Example: Your scheduled pick-up time is 1:00 p.m. A vehicle will be scheduled to arrive for your trip between 1:00 p.m. and 1:15 p.m.
- Buses are required to wait up to three minutes for a customer to come out and board. If you do not come out within three minutes of your scheduled pick-up time, the vehicle will depart without you and you will be declared a "No-Show." We suggest you wait indoors during inclement weather in a location where you can see the vehicle and will be able to reach it within the three minute wait time.
- If your vehicle has not arrived by the end of your 15 minute window, please call the transit agency. The dispatcher will give you information about the status of your trip.
- Cancellation: For a cancellation to be considered "advanced" customers must notify/call the transit agency 90 minutes or more before the scheduled pick-up time. Please cancel any unnecessary trips to avoid taking up seats for other customers.
Your trip will be considered a no-show if you do not call at least 50 minutes before your scheduled pick-up time, or you do not board the vehicle before or during the 3 minute wait time. A total of three no-shows in a 30 day rolling period or less will be grounds for suspension and you will be notified by mail that you may be temporarily suspended from the service. Customers incurring no more than two no-shows during a 30 day period or less may receive a courtesy warning letter advising them that they will be out of compliance with the no-show policy upon incurring three or more no-shows in a 30 day period or less.
Customers may receive warning letters and suspension letters simultaneously and/or may receive a suspension letter alone depending on the order of the no-show occurrences. If you feel the violations are incorrect you may request an appeal to dispute the no-shows that caused this suspension. The initial suspension period is for 7 days. If you continue to incur no-shows, multiple suspensions will lead to an increase in the length of the suspensions. This information is explained in more detail in the suspension letter that you will receive.
Please Note: If you no-show a scheduled trip, your return trip is cancelled automatically. You must notify the transit agency immediately if you still need to ride later that day.
The following is a list of offenses that may lead to temporary suspension and are not tolerated:
- Willfully make threats, sexually harass, disturb, upset, physically or verbally harass or use offensive language or gestures towards other customers, drivers or towards the any transit staff on the phone.
- Fail to pay exact fare upon boarding.
- Drink alcohol on board any transit vehicle.
- Smoke on board any transit vehicle.
- Show a general disrespect for transit agencies’ rules.
- Violate the no-show or cancellation policy.
- Fail to follow the transit agencies’ policies.
Please Note: Repeat instances of these types of behavior may result in permanent suspension of service.
- Subscription trips are trips that customers reserve once. The trip must be to and from the same place at the same time on the same day(s) of the week. The ADA regulations for paratransit, allow transit providers to maintain up to 50% trip capacity for subscription trips.
- To request a subscription trip contact and ask to speak to a dispatcher. If the times you request are not available, you may request to be put on a waiting list. The level of service in each of the regions is at different growth levels. Therefore, the time you must wait depends on the service area where you travel and the current number of subscription trips reserved and waiting. Remember the ADA guideline for subscription trips is 50% of trip capacity.
- A subscription trip must be taken at least once per week, but no more than seven times per week.
- We generally allow one subscription trip per customer, however requests for additional subscription trips may be considered.
- Once your subscription trip is scheduled, you may not change the pick-up times. If you go on vacation, become ill or do not need your subscription trip for a period of time, you must contact the transit agency and have your subscription trip temporarily put "on-hold."
- Your subscription trip can be temporarily "put on hold" for up to 30 days by calling the transit agency. Exceptions may be considered on a case by case basis when a request is provided in writing. After 30 days your subscription trip will be forfeited.
- For any one-day changes in pick-up location or time, you will need to cancel the subscription trip for that day and reserve a new individual "demand" trip for the new time or location.
- If you establish a pattern of canceling your subscription trips on a regular basis your subscription trip will be forfeited.
- If your destination address changes, your subscription trip will be forfeited and you must request a new subscription trip. Until you establish a new subscription trip you must reserve new individual demand trips.
- Customers can lose their subscription trip if they violate Customer Policies including the customer no-show policy.
- Subscription trips are automatically put on hold by the transit agencies on holidays. If you need your subscription trip on any of the following holidays, you must contact the transit agency in advance to request a trip for that particular holiday. If the transit agency is closed on a particular holiday, there will be no service. This includes subscription trips to dialysis centers.
Trip Chaining (making additional stops) or drop-offs at locations other than the initial requested destination are not allowed. Once you leave the bus, you cannot get back on unless you pay an additional fee.
If you want to transfer to another bus system such as the Twin Cities Dial-A-Ride, pre-arrangements will need to be made through both transit agencies prior to your trip. You will be required to pay the fares on the bus system that you will transfer to.
Transit does not run service on the following holidays:
- Memorial Day, May
- 4th of July
- Labor Day, September
- Thanksgiving Day, November
- Day After Thanksgiving
- Christmas Eve, December 24
- Christmas Day, December 25
- New Year's Eve, December 31
- New Years Day, January 1
On most other holidays, transit providers will run a modified schedule. Please contact customer service for specific holiday schedules.
Please Note: Transit agencies reserve the right to revise this holiday list and will notify all subscription riders of any change.
Reduced Fare Identification Cards
To receive discounted fare, clients may be asked to show a valid reduced fare card or to show a valid identification card issued by a government entity (Medicare card)upon boarding. Please do not be offended if drivers ask for your reduced fare card as they are simply verifying your certification.
Personal Care Attendants (PCAs)
One (1) Personal Care Attendant (PCA) may accompany ADA passengers at no additional charge. Additional travelers that accompany the passenger are considered companions and must pay the regular fare. A PCA is anyone whose purpose is to help passengers meet their disability-related personal needs. A ride for the PCA must be reserved at the time the passenger’s ride is scheduled, and the PCA must have the same origin and destination as the eligible passenger. Transit personnel are able to assist all passengers with boarding, disembarking and stowing personal belongings. However, the transit personnel cannot assume the duties of a PCA. Under certain circumstances management may strongly recommend a PCA for passengers with lost sensory or motor functions to such an extent that they need assistance with personal needs, behavior, and/or general safety.
A service animal is an animal that has been individually trained to assist a person with a disability. Persons with disabilities who use service animals are allowed to board with their service animals.
In the event of an emergency involving fixed route or demand response services, please call the local transit agency that operates the service first. The phone number is on the schedule. CALL 911 FOR EMERGENCIES if you have a medical emergency, or your condition is very fragile and you require specialized care, please call 911. Transit operators are not trained as paramedics.
Operators have been trained in the proper use of the securement systems. Optional lap belts and shoulder harnesses will be offered for your use. If you have concerns regarding the securement of your mobile assistive device, please contact your local transit provider.
A priority seating area is designated at the front of the bus for seniors and riders with disabilities. A designated seating area is also available on the bus for users of mobile assistive devices. If other passengers are using these seats, please let the operator know and the operator will politely ask them to move.
- Reduced Fares Passengers who have disabilities and are elderly (60 and older) are automatically eligible to use fixed route services at half the regular fare. For passengers who travel with an attendant, the attendant will also be eligible to ride for free. The Reduced Fare card identification should be shown to the operator.
- Exact Fares are Required Please have your exact fare ready and in a convenient location if assistance is needed when boarding the bus. Operators cannot make change.
- Handling Fares or Fare Cards Operators may assist with fares or fare cards for passengers with disabilities upon request.
Service will be limited or canceled when adverse weather creates hazardous conditions.
Every effort will be made to deliver essential transportation for those in dialysis and those who have other medically necessary appointments, however, nonessential rides may be cancelled.
Sidewalks, driveways and ramps must be accessible for operators to safely transport passengers to and from his or her destination.
No- Show: When a rider fails to board the bus within the 3 minute wait time or have not called to cancel the trip 50 minutes before their scheduled time.
Wait time: Wait time is the time that it takes for the transportation provider to get the destination. Riders should know that there is a 15 minute window that the provider has to be there after their scheduled time due to unforeseen traffic, weather conditions, etc…
Subscription Trips: Subscription trips are trips that customers reserve once. The trip must be to and from the same place at the same time on the same day(s) of the week.
Trip Chaining: Trip chaining is when additional stops are made before the requested destination (multiple stops). Trip chaining is not allowed by any of the transit providers at this time.
Cancelling in Advance: For a cancellation to be considered "advanced" customers must notify by calling the transit agency 90 minutes or more before the scheduled pick-up time.
Reduced Fares: Applies only to those with disabilities, seniors 60 years and older and students.