What is ADA complementary paratransit?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a Federal Law that requires public transit agencies that provide fixed-route service to provide “complementary (equivalent) paratransit” services to people with disabilities who cannot use the fixed-route bus because of a disability. ADA complementary paratransit service must be provided within 3/4 of a mile of a bus route, at the same hours and days, for no more than twice the regular fixed route fare.


What is Runabout?

Runabout is the name of the ADA Paratransit Service for San Luis Obispo County. Runabout is an “origin to destination” service, meaning that Runabout will take riders directly from their starting location to their destination and back, if required. Riders will be given a “window” of time during which they must be ready to be picked up. A Runabout vehicle may arrive anytime during that “window.” Runabout drivers will assist passengers in getting on and off the bus; however they are not permitted to cross the threshold of any personal residence.


How do I schedule my rides?

Riders may make reservations up to seven (7) days in advance (recommended), but no later than 5pm the day before their planned trip. To make a reservation, please call Runabout Dispatch at (805) 541–2544 between the hours of 8am and 5pm, seven days a week.


How much does Runabout cost?

The cost of a trip on Runabout is twice the cost of the same trip if it were taken on the fixed-route system. For specific trip pricing, please call 541–2544. For your convenience, Punch Passes, good for thirty dollars ($30) worth of rides, can be purchased and used on Runabout.


Can I have an attendant or companion?

Runabout clients are allowed to have one (1) free personal care attendant (PCA). A PCA can be anyone that assists the rider. Anyone traveling as a companion without providing needed assistance to the client must pay the full fare. Additionally, if there is a second PCA, that person is also required to pay a full fare. If you will be travelling with a PCA, be sure to tell the dispatcher that this will be the case. Children six years old and younger are allowed to ride for free with a paying adult.


Who can ride Runabout?

The ADA requires that paratransit rides be provided to all eligible riders if requested within seven (7) days prior to their requested trip (up to 5pm the previous day). Only riders who meet the criteria specified by the ADA and have been certified as eligible will have a guaranteed ride.


Who is eligible for ADA certification?

The ADA law mandates that paratransit be made available to those persons whose disability prevents them from using accessible fixed-route bus services.

  • This does not include people who find it uncomfortable, inconvenient or somewhat difficult to get to or from fixed route bus services.
  • Persons do not qualify for ADA certification automatically because they have a disability or due to age.
  • ADA certification is based on a person’s functional (physical or cognitive) limitations in riding or reaching the fixed-route system. There are three specific categories of eligibility used in determining a person’s functional limitations.
  • To qualify for Runabout a completed application and an in-person interview is required for all new applicants


What Are the Three Categories of Eligibility?

Category 1

People who can’t navigate or travel on the bus, even if it’s accessible, because of a disability. This category includes people who are unable, due to a mental or physical impairment (including a vision impairment), to board, ride, or disembark from an accessible bus without assistance.

Category 2

People who need an accessible bus.This category includes people who use wheelchairs (and other people with disabilities) who can use an accessible vehicle but who want to travel on a route that is still inaccessible. All RTA fixed-route buses are ADA compliant and accessible.

Category 3

People who can’t independently reach the bus stops due to the effects of a disability-related condition.This category includes people who have a specific disability related condition that prevents them from traveling to a boarding location or from a disembarking location.


How Do I Get Certified?

Runabout applications can be obtained by calling (805) 781–4833 to have one mailed or come to our office at 253 Elks Lane, San Luis Obispo: Monday – Thursday 8am-4pm, Friday appointment.

Completed original applications must be submitted in person or by mail to the RTA office. RTA will review and process the application, and the applicant will be notified of a decision within twenty-one (21) days of RTA’s receipt of the application. If you have any remaining questions about ADA paratransit, Runabout, or the application process, please call RTA administration at (805) 781–4833