Niles Dial a Ride 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 dispatcher between one and seven 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 address, including an apartment or suite number.
- A phone number where you can be reached regarding your ride.
- 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 60 minutes apart from your scheduled arrival time.
Please note the following information when booking rides with your transit provider:
- A driver’s responsibility for a rider begins at the door or curb where the trip begins and ends at the door or curb of the rider’s destination. This means drivers will assist you to and from the bus, 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 when you are available for your return ride. The transit provider will send another vehicle for you as soon as one is available.
Same day trip requests (including changing your pick-up or drop-off location) are scheduled on a space/time available basis. To better accommodate you, Niles Dial-A-Ride requires that you call 1 hr in advance when scheduling trips. Therefore, if you have an appointment at 9am, you must call and schedule your trip at 8am.
Do not ask the bus driver to change the scheduled return trip place or time, or to schedule another ride for you. Drivers cannot make these changes. Please call the dispatcher with these requests.
- Niles Dial A Ride service may arrive within a 1 hour window. This means that once there is an agreement on a scheduled pick-up time, the bus may arrive within 1 hour after the schedule trip time.
Example: Your scheduled pick-up time is 12:00 pm. A vehicle will be scheduled to arrive for your trip between 12pm and 1pm.
- 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, 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 five minute wait time (see Terms and Definitions below).
- If your vehicle has not arrived by the end of your 60 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 before the scheduled pick-up time. If the call is not received before dispatch sends a bus out, the rider will be assessed a no-show.
If you no longer need a scheduled ride, please cancel your reservation by calling DART Dispatch at 269.684.5150. Drivers will wait up to 3 minutes for a passenger. If a passenger fails to show for scheduled ride, a no-show infraction is issued and a $1 fee is assessed at the time of the next ride. Riders are verbally notified of each no-show infraction.
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 temporary suspension of service.
Information about the Appeals and Suspension policy.
- 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.
- To request a subscription trip contact and ask to speak to a dispatcher. 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.
- 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" and you must call again to have your trips be reinstated.
- 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.
- 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 a rider does not need the subscription trip on a given day, he or she must call to cancel or will be assessed a no-show.
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.
Riders can transfer between Niles Dial A Ride and the Deviated Fixed Route service. You will be required to pay the fares on the bus system that you will transfer to. Niles DAR headquarters located on 623 N. Second Street, usually serves as a transfer point for transferring between the regular dial a ride service and the deviated fixed Route 2. Contact the office or ask a driver for additional information about transferring.
Transit does not run service on the following holidays:
- Memorial Day
- 4th of July
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
- New Year's Day
Please Note: Transit agencies reserve the right to revise this holiday list and will notify all subscription riders of any change.
Regional Reduced Fare Card
The Regional Reduced Fare Card program is designed to provide people in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties with a quick and easy way to receive a reduced fare on public transit products and services. To apply for a Regional Reduced Fare Card, please call the Niles DART office (269-684-5150 ext. 4) to schedule an appointment time to come in and process your application. If you are over the age of 60, please just bring a copy of your Photo ID (Birth Certificate, Passport, Driver's License, or State ID), verifying your age along with your completed application. If you are applying due to a disability, You must bring a completed application, a photo ID (Birth Certificate, Passport, Driver's License, or State ID), and a copy of the SSD paperwork or Medicare card. All applications must be completed and a photo ID (Birth Certificate, Passport, Driver's License, or State ID). All applicants must have a copy of a their photo ID (Birth Certificate, Passport, Driver's License, or State ID) before an application is approved. Approved applicants should receive their permanent card at the time of the appointment.
Below is all the information regarding the Regional Reduced Fare Card. If you go to the City of Niles website, you can click to complete or to print the application. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call 269-684-5150. Niles DART is committed to making this transition as quick and simple as possible for you.
Personal Care Attendants (PCAs)
One (1) Personal Care Attendant (PCA) may accompany 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 269-684-5150. 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, are elderly (60 and older) or hold a Medicare Card 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 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 60 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 before the scheduled pick-up time.
Reduced Fares: Applies only to those with disabilities, seniors 60 years and older, people with Medicare Card and children under the age of 11.