KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
For thousands of disabled travelers in Maryland, public transportation and paratransit services are essential to their everyday life. Unfortunately, these services do not always fulfill the requirements set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Listed below are the rights that are afforded you as a Mobility paratransit rider. If you find that any of these rights are violated, follow the instructions at the bottom of this page to file a complaint. Your complaints help us bring attention to your concerns!
- Escort you from the first exterior door at your pick-up location to the first exterior door of your destination.
- Knock on your door to announce their arrival Unless:
- The first exterior door is more than 100 feet from the vehicle.
- The operator cannot see the vehicle at all times.
- The pathway to/from the vehicle is not safe.
- There is no safe place to park.
- The parked vehicle will impede traffic.
- If any of these factors exist, then the driver will only provide curb-to-curb service.
Driver DOs and DON'Ts
- Accept paratransit tickets to pay the fare of a companion.
- Allow customers with vision impairments to board the vehicle before presenting ID and fare.
- Assist you by pushing your manual wheelchair to and from the vehicle, if requested.
- Assist you with carrying up to 2 bags weighing no more than a total of 20 lbs.
- Be on their cell phones while driving.
- Refuse to transport your service animal.
- Require you to transfer from your wheelchair or scooter to a seat.
You have the right to challenge a no-show on your record. The following are some valid reasons for missing a ride:
- Mobility errors such as driver failing to wait 5 minutes, or failing to perform door-to-door service.
- You had an illness, emergency or problem related to your disability.
- There was an “Act of God,” such as a hurricane, flood or sudden extreme weather condition.
When making a reservation over the phone:
- Your call should be answered in 3 minutes or less most of the time
- Your call should rarely be on hold longer than 5 minutes.
- You should never get a busy signal or have your call dropped from the line.
- Once an agent has answered your call, you should never be put back on hold by a reservation agent.
If you experience longer than normal hold times, please contact CARS.
MTA may offer you a pick-up time that is one hour before or after your requested time, but must consider your earliest pick-up time or latest arrival time. If you cannot leave before a certain time, MTA can only offer pick-up times up to one hour after your requested time.
Example: You tell MTA you can leave work at 5:00pm, MTA may offer you a pick-up between 5:00pm and 6:00pm. � MTA must offer you a ride that will get you to your location on time and no more than 30 minutes before the start of your appointment.
MTA should call you when the vehicle has arrived. If you do not receive these calls, contact Mobility customer service to make sure the number where you want to receive these calls is on file as your primary phone number. As a good rule, give MTA only one number, preferably your cell number, for them to contact you. This eliminates any possible miscommunication.
Your Mobility ride should not be longer than travel time on the bus, light rail or metro. Include the amount of time it would take to walk to the stop, wait for the bus, light rail or metro, transfer if necessary, and walk from the stop to your destination. This will help you determine what your travel time on Mobility should be. Where they strive to only have riders be on a vehicle for only one hour, this is a courtesy gesture and some rides may take longer since it is a shared ride service.
Filing a Complaint
If you think MTA Mobility has violated your rights as a transit rider:
- Note the date and time of the incident
- Report the problem to MTA at: 410-764-8181, option 8. Make sure you get a Feedback Number.
- Report the problem to CARS Baltimore at: 443-585-CARS (2277) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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We would like to thank Disability Rights Maryland (DRM) for partnering with CARS and for all the great support they provide. If you need legal assistance in any disability matters, they can be contacted at: Disability Rights Maryland | 1500 Union Avenue | Baltimore, MD 21211 | Phone 410-727-6352 | Fax 410-727-6389 | www.disabilityrightsmd.org