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ACCESS Paratransit

The ACCESS Service

ACCESS is door-to-door, advance reservation, shared–ride transportation provided throughout Allegheny County and to destinations in adjoining counties within 1.5 miles of the Allegheny County line. As a coordinator of paratransit service throughout Allegheny County, ACCESS offers several special discount programs for individual riders, as well as providing service for groups, human service agencies and other organizations that purchase transportation for their clients. ACCESS is also open to the general public at full fare rates.
 
ACCESS provides service seven days per week, from 6:00 A.M. to midnight.*

There are no restrictions on the purpose or number of trips that may be taken by ACCESS riders, except that riders are required to share the vehicle with other riders who are traveling at the same time in the same direction. Ride sharing helps ACCESS to make the best use of vailable vehicles and keep costs down. 

SPECIAL DISCOUNT PROGRAMS :
 
ACCESS ADA Program 

The ACCESS ADA  Program  is  a  service  offered  by  Port  Authority  of  Allegheny  County  for people with disabilities, regardless of age, who are functionally unable to independently use Port Authority bus service, either all of the time, or under certain circumstances.  
 
ACCESS 65 Plus Program 

The ACCESS  65 Plus Program is a special program which provides an 85% discount on ACCESS fares for anyone aged 65 or over.  Funds for the ACCESS 65 Plus Program discount are provide by the Pennsylvania Lottery through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. 

Connections Program

The Connections Program is open to anyone with a disability who is able to ride the bus, but is going to or from an area where there is no bus service. Use Connection to get a ride to or from the bus stop, or to take ACCESS directly if the trip on the bus is less than 5 miles and would take more than 90 minutes or if there is no ixed route service option. 

Agency Sponsors

Agencies can choose to sponsor ACCESS rides for their participants and pay all or part of the fare. There are more than 150 agencies with ACCESS billing accounts. They use ACCESS instead of operating their own vehicles -cooridnation and ride sharing makes the service more efficient and eliminates duplication.

*ACCESS is available to ADA eligible people before 6 AM and after midnight if Port Authority fixed route service is in operation at that time at both the origin and destination. 
Reservations 

Reservations for ACCESS service are made in advance. To place trip reservations, riders call the special ACCESS telephone of the service provider in their neighborhood.

Vehicles 

ACCESS service is provided with a combination of 300 lift-equipped vans and sedans operated by seven companies that are ACCESS service providers. All ACCESS service providers are under contract to ACCESS Transportation Systems and must comply with specific requirements including insurance, maintenance, driver training, and  vehicle  safety  and accessibility standards. 
 
Assistance  

Door-to-door transportation means that ACCESS drivers will provide assistance from the door of the origin to the door of the destination, including boarding the vehicles. ACCESS drivers will help passengers up and down as many as four steps and will assist with up to four packages. Drivers are not permitted to go past lobby doors or enter private homes.  
 
Fares/Payments 

Fares are paid from an electronic account (ePurse) where deposits are made online using a secure web site, by mail or in person at the ACCESS Office. You may use a Master Card, Visa or a bank debit card. All fares are predetermined and are based on trip length. Agencies and other organizations may open billing accounts with ACCESS to charge any individual or group rides that they wish to sponsor. 
 
How to Apply 

ACCESS ADA program evaluations are held several times each month in downtown Pittsburgh. Appointments are required and may be made by calling ACCESS. Assistance with transportation to the evaluation is available upon request, at no charge. 
   
Applicants for the 65 Plus Program must complete a short application and present proof of age either at the ACCESS office in Downtown Pittsburgh, through the mail or at centers conveniently located in many neighborhoods throughout Allegheny County. Call ACCESS to find the 65 Plus registration center nearest to you and its schedule. Application through the mail with a copy of valid government issued photo ID is available.
 
Acceptable forms of proof of age: 
Driver’s License, Government Issued Photo ID Card, PACE Card, Birth Certificate, Passport, Immigration/Naturalization Papers, Military Discharge Papers, verification from Social Security Administration. Medicare Cards are not acceptable. 
 
Information 

The ACCESS office is located at 650 Smithfield Street, Suite 440, Pittsburgh, PA  15222.

The phone number is (412) 562-5353 or PA Relay 711. Office hours are 8:00 A.M-4:30 P.M., Monday through Friday. Questions, suggestions, compliments or complaints about ACCESS may be registered by phone or in writing to the ACCESS office.
 

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