Saline County Area Transit Passenger Handbook

WORK DRAFT 12/2018

Saline County Area Transit (SCT) is dedicated to providing affordable public transportation services to residents in an efficient, responsible and professional manner.

It is the responsibility of Saline County Area Transit (SCT) and its employees to ensure the services offered to our passengers meet the standards as provided by local, state and federal guidelines.

 

GOALS OF PASSENGER HANDBOOK

Saline County Area Transit is a transportation provider for Saline County.  This service has a set of policies and procedures that passengers are required to follow.  This handbook provides the policies pertaining to passenger safety and responsibilities for using our service. It is to the benefit of all passengers that the policies and procedures outlined in this handbook are followed as they are critical to the efficiency and effectiveness of our system.

All policies will be enforced in a consistent and fair manner.  If you perceive you have been treated unfairly, you have the option of filing an appeals complaint with Saline County Area Transit as outlined on Pages 7-8.

NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATION AND COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

The Saline County Area Transit complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal equal opportunity laws.  Saline County Area Transit serves a diverse population of individuals with varying ages, physical challenges, economic status, and ethnic backgrounds.  Saline County Area Transit shall ensure that no person shall be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity undertaken by Saline County Area Transit solely based on his/her race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Title VI complaints of alleged discrimination and inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies of Saline County Area Transit may be directed to Scott Bartels, Executive Director.  Complaint forms are available at 107 S West Avenue, Western, Nebraska. For further information regarding Saline County Area Transit’s Title VI policy, refer to the Title VI Plan also available on our website at salinecat.com.

SERVICE TYPES

Saline County Area Transit provides demand-response transportation service.

SCHEDULING RIDES

For services within the city of Crete area, contact the local driver at 402-418-2743 to schedule your ride.  For all other routes, contact the main office at 402-433-4511 to schedule your ride. The scheduler may require the following information:

  1. Passenger Name
  2. Date of Birth
  3. Address
  4. Phone Number
  5. Destination Name & Address
  6. Expected Arrival Time
  7. Any Special Needs
  8. Emergency contact information (name, phone number, relationship)

DOOR TO DOOR SERVICE

Saline County Area Transit provides “door-to-door” service only.  The following policies further define this service:

      1.   Private Homes:

            Ø   Passengers must enter and depart the transit vehicle at the designated pick-up and drop-off points.

            Ø   Drivers will not enter private homes for any reason.

            Ø   Drivers may assist passengers to and from the vehicle only.

            Ø   Drivers are not permitted to lift passengers.

            Ø   Drivers are not permitted to maneuver a mobility device up or down stairs.

      2.   Business/Medical Facilities/Public Buildings:

            Ø   Drivers may assist passengers into and from the inside door.  Due to extreme temperatures in entryways, drivers may assist passengers through the second entry door when necessary.  Drivers will not assist passengers further into the building.

            Ø   When picking up passengers from a business or medical facility, drivers may go through the first door.  Drivers will not go past this point.

            Ø   It is the individual’s personal care attendants’ responsibility to ensure that passengers are waiting inside the door for their ride.

            Ø   Drivers will not enter nursing homes, medical facilities, shopping centers or businesses to locate passengers.  Passengers must be waiting at the designated pickup point at least 15 minutes before their scheduled pick-up time or the no-show policy will apply.

CANCELLATION POLICY AND NO SHOWS

Passengers are encouraged to cancel scheduled pick-ups in a timely manner, prior to driver’s departure for that route.  Cancellations can be made by contacting the reservation phone number for the route being canceled, (Crete service at 402-418-2743, all other routes at 402-433-4511).

Cancellations should be made 24 hours in advance or as early as possible.  Cancellations will be accepted up to two hours prior to scheduled pick-up times without penalty.  Any cancellation received later than two hours prior to the scheduled pick-up will be considered a late cancellation and will be noted as such by the dispatcher in the passenger’s record.  Three or more late cancellations in a 90‑day period will be considered excessive and the passenger will receive written notification of such via the U.S. Postal Service.  Passengers having additional late cancellations during the next 90‑day period will be assessed a $5.00 late cancellation fee, payable at the next boarding call.

A no show is defined as any instance in which a passenger does not keep their scheduled ride and fails to notify the Saline County Area Transit at least 2 hours prior to scheduled pick-up time.  Upon arrival at the scheduled pick-up point, the transit driver will wait for the passenger for five minutes.  After five minutes, the driver will continue on his/her route and the ride will be marked as a no show.

PASSENGER READINESS

SCT makes every effort to arrive as closely to the scheduled pick-up time as possible. Due to the unpredictable nature of our service, arrival times may vary. SCT will ensure that every rider is contacted the day prior to confirm their trip and provide pickup information.

Passengers should be prepared for transit vehicles to arrive up to 15 minutes before or after your scheduled pick-up time. Drivers will wait at least five minutes past the scheduled pick-up time (or longer at driver’s discretion) before leaving without the passenger. In the event the transit vehicle leaves due to “no show” the rider will be charged for the missed trip on their next scheduled appointment.

TRANSPORTING SERVICE ANIMALS & ACCOMODATION OF OTHER ANIMALS

Saline County Area Transit allows service animals to accompany owners as per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.  ADA’s revised regulations define a “service animal” as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.  Where reasonable, miniature horses are also allowed as service animals.

The task(s) performed by the service animal must be directly related to the person’s disability.  Under the ADA, “comfort,” “therapy” or “emotional support animals” do not meet the definition of a service animal.

Animals other than service animals as described above are not allowed to ride the transit vehicle.

PERSONAL ASSISTANTS/GUESTS

Personal care attendants are persons who are directly involved in the mobility assistance of the attendee and will be allowed to ride free of charge while accompanying their attendee.  Generally, the following conditions would warrant a fare free attendant: immobility, disorientation, non-comprehension, and communication impairment.  Any other person riding with a passenger will be considered a guest and will be required to pay full fare.

Personal care attendants are required to specifically assist the passenger.  This assistance includes, but is not limited to, the following duties:

      ·    Assisting the passenger from his/her door to the bus and back

      ·    Opening doors

      ·    Pushing wheelchairs to and from the vehicle

      ·    Transfer assistance from mobility device to a seat

      ·    Carrying packages

      ·    Communicating with the driver (if passenger is unable)

PASSENGER SAFETY AND SECURITY

It is required that all passengers wear an approved safety device while riding on the bus.  Passengers utilizing mobility devices will be required to have their mobility device properly secured.

A passenger who cannot enter the vehicle using the stairs or ramp, but who does not use a wheelchair, will be allowed to enter the vehicle using the lift.

Drivers have the discretion to assign seats and determine wheelchair placement when necessary for the efficiency and/or safety of the passengers.

The driver may recommend that a passenger transfer from his or her mobility device into a vehicle seat.  In this instance, the passenger has the final decision as to whether a transfer is appropriate.

State laws apply toward child passengers.  Car seats are NOT provided.

GENERAL PASSENGER RULES

The general rules listed below are not intended to be all-inclusive but are considered a guideline for proper passenger behavior.

     1.    Riders shall wait until the transit vehicle has come to a complete stop before attempting to board or disembark.  All riders shall stay seated until the vehicle stops.

     2.    No roller skates, roller blades, ice skates, etc., are to be worn in the bus. 

     3.    All passengers are to be clothed and wearing some form of protective footwear.

     4.    While waiting for the transit vehicle at the designated pick-up point, riders shall stay off the traveled roadway at all times.  Riders shall not walk along the side, directly in front of or behind the bus for any reason.

     5.    All passengers will remain seated while the vehicle is in motion and for the duration of their ride.

     6.    Riders shall be considerate of others at all times.  Threats, hitting, tripping, shoving, kicking, spitting, foul language, horseplay, teasing or any other improper or disruptive behavior towards anyone or themselves will not be tolerated.

     7.    Devices such as radios or I-Pods can only be used with headphones.

     8.    Passengers using alcoholic beverages and/or illegal substances will not be permitted in the transit vehicle

     9.    Riders shall keep hand(s), head or any other body part inside the bus and within their seated area at all times.

   10.    Riders shall obey the driver willingly and report any problems to the bus driver or dispatcher promptly.

   11.    Riders shall assist in keeping the transit vehicle clean by using sanitary practices.  Any offensive odors to others or any type of unsanitary practices are to be avoided.

   12.    Eating or drinking beverages in the vehicle while in motion is not permitted. Bottled water in a re-sealable container is permitted.

   13.    Use of tobacco products is strictly prohibited.

   14.    Lighting matches, lighters, or any other type of flammable material is not permitted on the vehicle.

   15.    Any items that the driver assumes may be explosive or any type of weapon is not permitted on the vehicle.

CHILD RIDER POLICY

Saline County Area Transit has established rules, roles and responsibilities in the transportation of children under the age of 16.  Therefore, the following policies will be followed:

     1.    All children must follow the transit rules, regulations, and policies.  Violations of these rules by either the child or parent may lead to service suspension.

     2.    All children under the age of eight (8) must wear an approved safety restraint.  Parent or guardians are responsible for providing an approved safety restraint.

     3.    Children under the age of sixteen (16) must be accompanied by an adult.  Exceptions to this policy for children over the age of four (4) include:

            a.   Agency to agency transportation, such as from the Y.M.C.A. to a Public School.

            b.   Transportation where the parent or guardian provides supervision for the child at both the pick-up and destination of the child’s trip.

     4.    Children under sixteen (16) will be transported only to the destination scheduled by the parent or guardian.  Children are not allowed to change scheduled rides.

     5.    Parent or guardians must notify Saline County Area Transit at the time of trip scheduling the child’s age.

     6.    If no adult is at the destination location to accept the child (under 16 years of age), the child will NOT be left at the drop off location.  Drivers will be instructed to deliver the child to the local police station, and parents will be notified.

 

PACKAGES AND PERSONAL ITEMS

Passengers shall limit their carry-on packages to not more than the equivalent of five brown paper grocery sacks or ten plastic bags per person.  Oversized packages will be refused for transport.  No one package shall weigh more than 25 pounds.

An oxygen tank must be portable and secured in some fashion so it cannot fall or roll.  Securement can be with a seat belt or tank holder on the wheelchair.

Drivers are not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.

SEVERE WEATHER POLICY

Passengers are responsible for snow removal so their driveways and sidewalks are accessible to transit vehicles. 

If extreme weather conditions make travel unsafe, services will be discontinued until conditions are more favorable.  Passengers with scheduled trips will be notified as soon as possible.  In the event that transit service is closed due to a weather event, it will be announced on 10/11 News.

Winter Riding Tips:

      ·    Be aware of weather conditions which may affect transit services.

      ·    Allow extra time to reach your destination.

      ·    Be prepared for sudden stops while riding the bus.

      ·    Wear appropriate winter clothing.

VIOLATIONS OF POLICY

Any violation of the policies, rules, and procedures outlined in this handbook will result in the following:

      First Offense:              A warning letter will be issued.

      Second Offense:        A second letter will be issued which will result in rides being discontinued for one week.

      Third Offense:             A third and final letter will be sent and rides will be discontinued indefinitely.

Saline County Area Transit reserves the right to terminate services immediately.

COMPLAINT/GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

As a recipient of State and Federal funds administered by the Nebraska Department of Transportation, Saline County Area Transit hereby attests that it will abide by the eligibility guidelines and service priorities as stipulated by all applicable laws, rules and regulations.  The process for submitting a Title VI complaint is outlined in the Nondiscrimination section of this handbook.  For all other complaints, contact the following for additional information and a copy of the complaint form: Saline County Area Transit Director, P.O. Box 412, Western, NE 68464.

f  A copy of the complaint and action taken will be forwarded to the Nebraska Department of Transportation, and a copy will be kept on file at 107 S. West Avenue, Western, NE.

APPEAL PROCESS

If a passenger is in disagreement with any penalty resulting from the enforcement of any of these policies, a written request for appeal may be submitted to:

Saline County Area Transit

P.O. Box 412

Western, NE 68464

 

Appeals may be presented in writing or in person and must be submitted within thirty (30) days from the date of notification of discontinued service. All requests for appeals will be referred to the Saline County Area Transit Committee.