Accessible Ride Options
There are many types of accessible transportation services. Below is a listing of terminology used to describe the services available to meet the travel needs of people with disabilities and others who don’t have easy access to private automobile travel.
Fixed-Route Transit Services
The fixed-route transit services in New Jersey include the bus, rail or light rail services which follow an established route and time schedule without deviation.
On-Call, Accessible, Fixed-Route Bus Service
On-call, accessible fixed-route bus service (also known as call-a-lift bus service) allows individuals who need to use accessible fixed-route vehicles to call in advance and request that an accessible bus be placed on a particular route at the time that they wish to travel.
Route Deviation Service
In a route deviation service, a vehicle operates along a fixed route, making scheduled stops along the way. Upon request, vehicles will deviate from the fixed route for short distances, to pick-up and drop-off passengers. The vehicle then returns to the fixed route at the point at which it departed to accommodate the request. Several variations are possible, including client-specific route deviation and site-specific route deviation.
Flex-Route or Point Deviation Service
In a point deviation service system, a vehicle operates on a fixed schedule with specific stops but without a fixed route. Vehicles will accommodate requests for pick-up and drop-off at locations other than specified stops or ‘points’ as long as they can be accommodated within the fixed schedule.
A Feeder Service transports people with disabilities on paratransit vehicles to and from a fixed-route bus stop or train station. The service may also occur in the reverse order, with individuals traveling on a bus or train to a point where they may transfer to a paratransit vehicle.
Service Routes and Community Shuttle Buses
These services are designed to complement and extend the reach of local fixed-route transit services and to help circulate people around a neighborhood, downtown business district or to/from residential areas and transit stations/stops and other community destinations like a shopping mall or hospital. Typically, these services use smaller vehicles that travel locally on a fixed route and schedule, but some may include an option that allows the vehicle to deviate short distances from its regular route to accommodate the needs of passengers with disabilities.
Dial-a-Ride (DAR) or Demand-Response Service
Dial-a-ride or demand-response services are services provided on demand and usually include door-to-door or curb-to-curb service provided to the general public, senior citizens and/or people with disabilities. In New Jersey, most dial-a-ride and demand-response services require at least 24 hours advance reservation and have a 30-60 minute pick-up window. Every county in New Jersey, many municipal governments and NJ TRANSIT provide demand-response services for people with disabilities.
Subscription Bus Service
Subscription bus service is a pre-arranged service designed to meet specific group or individual needs. Typically, this service is provided as part of a paratransit program; however, it can also be provided as part of a system’s fixed-route service using accessible buses that are available off-peak or by using accessible spare fixed-route buses.
Flag-Stop and Request-A-Stop Service
Flag-stop service allows patrons to request a bus by waving it down anywhere along a route. Request-a-stop service allows a person on a bus to request to get off at any location along a route.