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Below are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. While we try to provide you with all the information you need, sometimes other questions come up. Just click the Contact Info tab to the left if you need to contact us directly. We'll be happy to assist you.
How is eligibility for ACCESS determined?
Eligibility is based on your abilities and any limitations resulting from your disability. It is not based on a specific diagnosis. For example, a person who has just recently become blind may be unable to ride a fixed-route bus independently and would therefore qualify for ACCESS. However, a blind person who reads, has a guide dog, or who has received specialized travel training, may not qualify for ACCESS if able to negotiate the fixed-route bus system independently.
There are four (4) different categories of eligibility:
- Unrestricted: individual is not able to use accessible fixed-route bus service under any circumstances and is eligible for all trips on ACCESS.
- Conditional: individual is not able to use fixed-route service in specific circumstances and is eligible to use ACCESS under limited circumstances identified by the certification analyst.
- Trip-by-Trip: individual is not able to use accessible fixed-route bus service for certain trips due to architectural and/or environmental barriers. Individual is eligible to use ACCESS for those trips identified by the certification analyst.
- Temporary: individual is not able to use accessible fixed-route service at this time, but the condition or circumstance(s) leading to eligibility is reasonably expected to change within a specifically determined time frame of less than three years.
What if I disagree with my eligibility determination?
If you disagree with your eligibility determination, you have the right to appeal the decision within 60 days from the date of your eligibility determination letter. To appeal, you must write a letter stating the reason(s) to:
OCTA ACCESS Appeals
P.O. Box 14184
Orange, CA 92863-1584
If you have questions about eligibility, please call the ACCESS Eligibility department at (714)560-5956.
Some OCTA buses are very crowded. What is being done to keep up with the increasing numbers of people using the bus system?
OCTA's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) plan, approved by the Board of Directors and consistent with ADA law, limits ACCESS eligibility to a maximum of five years. Mobility Planning Services (MPS) intent is to enrich people's lives by promoting creative solutions that enhance independence and mobility in the community. Not only does MPS enhance independence and mobility for individuals, it is also a strategy that OCTA has elected to use to better manage ACCESS service demand and to improve the transportation alternatives available to seniors and persons with disabilities. There are two phases to this project, (1) "The Bus Stops Here" mobility training program, and (2) Train-the-Trainer/Technical Support. The purpose of the Mobility Training Workshop is to provide mobility training to:
- ACCESS riders who have restricted eligibility (trip-by-trip or conditional)
- Persons who do not qualify for ACCESS service (denied)
- Seniors who do not qualify for ACCESS and could use the fixed-route system, but are unfamiliar with the services available to them
The intent of this workshop is to teach individuals with or without disabilities how to utilize their community's public transportation system, thereby becoming as independent as possible. Overall, the Train-the-Trainer program will support OCTA's Senior Outreach program, which would reduce the number of ACCESS trips taken by these individuals.
Train-the-Trainer Workshops and Technical Support provides two (2) days of education to train non-profit organizations, social service agencies, and other community resources in providing Mobility Training Workshops for people with disabilities and seniors.
How do I know if my wheelchair will fit on OCTA vehicles?
To assist you in selecting a wheelchair or other mobility aid, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides information on how to measure your device to be sure it does not exceed the specifications for transportation on buses and paratransit vehicles.
ADA guidelines define a "common wheelchair" as a device no larger than 30 inches wide and 48 inches long when measured two inches above the ground. The guidelines also state a "common wheelchair" does not weigh more than 600 pounds when occupied. However, per new ADA requirements OCTA must carry a wheelchair and occupants if the lift and the vehicle can physically accommadate them, unless doing so is inconsistent with legitimate safety requirements.
If you would like further information regarding this issue, please call the ACCESS Eligibility department at (714)560-5956, or OCTA's Customer Relations department at (714)560-5700.
How far in advance can I call to book a ride on ACCESS service?
Customers can call up to three (3) days in advance for a trip request.
What is the ACCESS fare?
The standard ACCESS fare is $3.60 per passenger for each ONE-WAY trip within Orange County. If you book a round trip, remember to calculate the amount for both ways.
Why did I receive a "No-Show?"
A "No-Show" is counted when a customer is not at the designated location at the scheduled pick-up time or calls to cancel a trip less than one hour before a scheduled pick-up time. If a customer cannot be left alone and must be met by a care provider or a representative, a "No-Show" will be counted if no one is there to receive the rider at the trip destination. When a customer is a "No-Show" for the first part of a round trip, the return ride will not automatically be canceled. The ACCESS customer will be responsible for canceling the return trip if the trip is not needed to avoid receiving another "No-Show."
Letters are sent to customers after their second and third "No-Shows" in a calendar month. After the third "No-Show" in a calendar month, service may be suspended for one month. "No-Shows" and service suspensions can be appealed in writing by following the directions included in the "No-Show" letters. Service will continue while an appeal is pending.