What is the ADA?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that guarantees people with disabilities full and equal access to the same services and accommodations available to people without disabilities. Under the ADA, public buses that run on regular schedules along specific routes (called fixed-route service) must be accessible to people with disabilities. When fixed-route service is not accessible or when a passenger with a disability is not able to use the fixed-route system, ADA mandates that transit systems operate ADA Transportation. ADA Transportation prohibits priorities by trip purpose (i.e., medical, employment, recreation, etc.).
The goal of Escambia County Area Transit and the Americans with Disabilities Act is to provide transportation services that promote integration and independence of persons with disabilities.
ECAT ADA Transportation
This is an ECAT service specifically for individuals with disabilities, who because of their disability are unable to use the ECAT fixed-route service. For ADA eligible riders traveling within the ECAT service area, ADA Transportation will provide service using an ADA accessible vehicle. ADA Transportation is provided curb-to-curb or upon request, door-to-door. ECAT is responsible for the administration of this service, however service is provided by the Community Transportation Coordinator (CTC), Pensacola Bay Transportation, in contract accordance with Escambia County.
Eligibility for ADA Transportation
Eligibility depends on functional limitations of the individual and routes traveled. Depending on the disability and whether or not using the bus system can be learned (participation in travel training), eligibility may be permanent or temporary. The ADA specifies three criteria to be eligible:
- Criteria 1: Any person with a temporary or permanent, physician-verified disability who can use an accessible vehicle, but cannot make desired trip because the bus service is not accessible. (Note: All buses are wheelchair lift equipped.)
- Criteria 2: Because of a disability, any person not able to independently board, ride, and/or disembark from an accessible vehicle. This includes having a disability that prevents a person from doing things such as identifying a bus, following or understanding directions, waiting at a bus stop, moving from one bus to another, or recognizing a destination.
- Criteria 3: Travel must begin and end within the Escambia County bus service area. Travel origins and destinations outside this area are not eligible.
Becoming Certified for ADA Transportation
ADA Transportation eligibility is determined by a certification process. Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT) coordinates with Pensacola Bay Transportation to process ADA Transportation certification and re-certifications. To apply for ADA certification, call Pensacola Bay Transportation at 476-8130, ext. 200 and request an Application form and Medical Verification form. Both forms must be completed and the Medical Verification signed by a licensed physician. After these forms are complete, call Pensacola Bay Transportation to schedule an interview. The interview will take 1 to 1 1/2 hours. You need to bring all forms to your interview. The application will be reviewed and the interviewer will discuss your travel ability and limitations. You will have a photo taken for an ID. ECAT will provide one round trip of ADA Transportation at no charge for the interview. You will be notified of your eligibility within 21 days after your interview. You will be mailed written notification of your eligibility, along with your identification card. After notification and if eligible, trips cannot be scheduled for 48 hours. ECAT, not Pensacola Bay Transportation, makes the final determination of eligibility in all cases.
If You are Deemed Not Eligible for ADA Transportation
You may appeal any decision that declares you ineligible. Instructions for filing an appeal will be included in your notification letter. All appeals are made directly to ECAT, 850-595-3228, ext. 218. You will also receive information about personal travel instruction.
You may also call Pensacola Bay Transportation at 850-476-8130 to see if you are eligible for Transportation Disadvantaged (TD) services.
Accessibility of the ECAT Fixed-Route Service
ADA Transportation service is available in Escambia County within 3/4 mile of fixed-route service. The ECAT fixed-route service fleet is accessible to all persons with disabilities. All bus operators are trained to assist in using a lift and securing a wheelchair.
In addition, all bus operators are trained to announce major stops and transfer points to ensure you do not miss your destination. Bus operators can also assist in determining the bus stop most convenient for reaching a destination.
Fares on the Fixed-Route System
ADA Transportation certified individuals having an ADA identification card can ride free on fixed-route buses.
Personal Travel Instruction
ECAT provides mobility and travel training for interested individuals and groups. This training includes a bus feature demonstration and the opportunity for new riders to have hands on experience. Training will also include instruction on how to read ECAT bus routes and schedules. If you would like more information or wish to schedule mobility and travel training, call the ECAT Administrative Office at 850-595-3228, ext. 218.
ADA Transportation Fares and Guidelines
- The fare is $3.50 per trip. An ADA ID card must be presented on each trip.
- A personal care attendant (PCA) may travel free with a certified rider.
- A working service animal may accompany you at all times
- Other companions pay the full $3.50 fare. Space is provided for one companion to travel with you. If space permits, more than one companion may travel with you. Please mention that a companion is traveling with you when reserving a trip.
- Packages carried on board by the rider and safely stored on their lap or between their feet are allowed.
The "No-Show" Policy
Space on ADA Transportation is limited and the service is costly to provide. "No Shows" occur when the rider is not ready or refuses their ride when the driver arrives. If three no shows accumulate in a 60 day period, a 30-day suspension will result. Once reinstated, if additional three no shows occur within another 60 days, the suspension will be extended to 45 days. After the third infraction of three no shows, the suspension is for 60 days. If an individual continues to misuse the program, a reinstatement fee may be charged. Riders will be notified by certified mail before suspension of service. Please be courteous to others. If you are going to miss your ride, call 850-476-8130 at least two hours in advance so the ride can be given to someone else. (A complete No-Show Policy will be mailed to you with more information.)
How to Schedule an ADA Transportation Trip
Our goal is to provide our riders with prompt, safe, efficient, and friendly service. The following are ways you can help us serve you better.
- To schedule a trip, call Pensacola Bay Transportation, 850-476-8130 between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Identify yourself as ADA certified to receive the $3.50 fare.
- The reservationist will give you a time to be ready for pick up. Your ride should arrive within 30 minutes of this time.
- Reservations may be made up to two weeks in advance and/or at least one day prior to service being requested.
- Be sure to include any Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) or companions accompanying you on your trip.
- Because this is a shared ride service, when scheduling your pick up times, please allow time spent dropping off and picking up other riders.
- Drivers are limited to a five minute waiting period for passengers.
- Be prepared for delays due to traffic, road construction, or bad weather.
- To avoid arriving late for your appointments, during peak hours, please schedule your pick up and return trips between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
- To ensure the vehicle is on time, drivers are prohibited from making unscheduled stops.
- Be sure the reservationist repeats your trip information. Listen for accuracy. Ask for a confirmation number.
- If you will be accompanied by an escort, please notify the reservationist.
When you call, please have the following information ready for the reservationist:
- Your name
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- Complete pick up address (include apartment, lot, or building number).
- Complete destination address (include suite and building number) along with name of business or doctor's name.
- Notify us of any special needs you have (vision, hearing, mobility, cognitive, etc.).
- Rides cannot be scheduled after 4:30 p.m. for service on the next day.
How to cancel an ADA Transportation Trip
Cancellations must be made in time to inform the driver before he/she is enroute to your location. Call two hours before your pick up time. Call the Pensacola Bay Transportation’s office at 850-476-8130. After hours, a recording will explain cancellation procedures.
How can we accommodate you?
- Ambulatory: Drivers will assist you door to door.
- Vehicles are lift equipped to accommodate wheelchairs.
- Riders unable to climb steps may board on the wheelchair lift if handrails are present. It is important that we are notified if a wheelchair is oversized, electric, or has any special features that should be addressed.
- Scooters are allowed. We encourage riders to transfer to the vehicle seat for their safety.
- Guide dogs and service animals may accompany disabled passengers.
- Portable oxygen and other life support systems are permitted, but must be self-administered and capable of being safely secured on board the vehicle.
Pick Up Times: You will be given a time to be ready for pick up. Your ride should arrive within 30 minutes of this time.
What if my vehicle is late? If your vehicle is late call 850-476-8130. We will check on the arrival time status.
What about carry-on packages? Packages can be carried on board by the rider. Packages must be safely stored on their lap or between their feet.
What about child restraints? Be sure to notify us when you schedule a ride that a child safety seat is needed. Parents of infants must provide infant carriers/seats.
What about escorts? Anyone requiring special assistance is allowed to have an escort accompany them. Children under 16 and adults who are at risk to travel alone must be accompanied by an escort. Mandatory escorts must be at least 15 years old.
- All riders are to follow rules of safety and courtesy.
- Remain seated until the vehicle comes to a stop.
- Keep seat belts securely fastened until your driver says it is safe to unbuckle them.
- Report all safety hazards to the driver.
- No grooming or dressing in the vehicle.
- Do not litter the vehicle.
- Violent, disruptive, or illegal conduct will not be tolerated.
Drivers are trained in passenger assistance, sensitivity training, and defensive driving. They are tested for drug and alcohol use and must pass criminal background and motor vehicle records check.
- Be polite, courteous, neatly dressed, and wear photo identification.
- Render assistance as requested or needed.
- Go to the door and announce their arrival for pick up.
Drivers are not allowed to:
- Enter homes or facilities.
- Accept gratuities (tips or gifts).
- Lift wheelchairs up or down more than one step.
- Socialize with the riders.
- Take cancellations or trip requests.
- If a dog is present and not chained or secured, enter a yard.
- Handle oxygen. The client or caregiver will be responsible for securing the oxygen tank before a vehicle may depart.
Pensacola Bay Transportation
Pensacola Bay Transportation has been contracted by ECAT to provide ADA Transportation and certification.
Address: 3100 McCormick Street, Pensacola, FL 32514
Phone: (850) 476-8130
FAX: (850) 484-2701
Hearing and Voice Impaired: (850) 469-8959
Florida Relay System Voice: 1-800-955-8770 - TTY 1-800-955-8771
Transportation Disadvantaged (TD) Hotline: 1-800-983-2435
IMPORTANT Telephone Numbers:
- For Fixed-Route Service or Travel Training, call ECAT at 595-3228, ext. 218.
- For ADA Transportation Certification, call Pensacola Bay Transportation at 476-8130, ext. 200.
- To Schedule or Cancel an ADA Transportation Trip Reservation, call Pensacola Bay Transportation at 476-8130, ext. 1.