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Policies and Procedures

Below are various policies and procedures relevant to The Rapid's GO!Bus program.

Title VI

The Rapid fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related statutes and regulations in all programs and activities. The Rapid operates without regard to race, color, national origin, creed, income, gender, age, or disability. Any person who believes him/herself, or any specific class of persons, to be subject to discrimination prohibited by Title VI may by him/herself or by representative file a written complaint with The Rapid. A complaint must be filed no later than 180 days after the date of the alleged discrimination and contain the following information:

  • Name, address, and phone number of the Complainant
  • Name, address, phone number and relationship of Representative to Complainant (if applicable)
  • Basis of complaint (i.e., race, color, national origin)
  • Date of alleged discriminatory act(s)
  • Date complaint received by the MPO
  • A statement of the complaint, including specific details, relevant facts and documentation

Please submit Title VI to The Rapid by mail, fax, or email to the following address:

Mail
Attention: Conrad Venema
Planning Department
300 Ellsworth SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Fax
Attention: Conrad Venema
616-456-1941

Email

Once a complaint has been received they are processed by the following:

  • The complainant will be contacted within 48 hours by phone, mail, or email
  • The complaint is ticketed and processed by the Title VI officer
  • Internal revue is conducted within one week of receipt of the complaint
  • The complainant will be contacted a second time following the internal review with regard to the findings and necessary actions taken by The Rapid

Your Rights Under the Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC 2000e, makes it unlawful for an employer to hire or discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his/her compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment, because of an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This covers hiring, firing, promotions and all workplace conduct.

It is the policy and the commitment of The Rapid to assure equal employment opportunity in its personnel practices. In accordance with all applicable federal, state and local laws and ordinances, The Rapid does not discriminate against any people in its personnel practices and/or terms or conditions of employment on the basis of any protected legal characteristics such as sex, race, color, national origin, creed, height, weight, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, religion, or genetic information.  As an employee or applicant, if you believe that you have been subjected to or witnessed unlawful discrimination, you should report it immediately to the Human Resources Department listed below. Each report will be given serious consideration and investigated promptly. Reports and investigations will be handled with discretion and appropriate corrective action will be taken. The Rapid strictly prohibits retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, reports an actual or suspected violation of this policy. If you are unsatisfied with the way your complaint of discrimination has been handled, you have the right to contact the Michigan Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Federal EEOC. Both agencies serve as neutral fact finders and attempt to help parties resolve disputes.

The Rapid is an Equal Opportunity Employer

The Rapid Encourages Women and Minorities to Apply

Please submit Title VII complaints to The Rapid by mail, fax, or email to the following addresses:

Mail
The Rapid
Attention: Nancy Groendal
Human Resources Manager
300 Ellsworth Ave. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 

Fax
616-459-6337

Email

Reasonable Modification

Notification of Reasonable Modification: The Rapid provides reasonable modifications to individuals with disabilities by making changes to policies, practices, and procedures if needed by an individual with a disability to enable him or her to participate in The Rapid's services subject to several exceptions. These exceptions include when the modification would cause a direct threat to the health or safety of others, would result in a fundamental alteration of the service, would not actually be necessary in order for the individual with a disability to access The Rapids' service or would result in an undue financial or administrative burden. 

Requests for reasonable modification must include the following:

Name:
Address:
Preferred phone number: 
Disability:
Policy/Process that you are requesting modification of:
What modification of the policy do you need?
Why do you need the modification in order to allow you to use the service? 
The request from the individual with a disability should be as specific as possible and include information on why the requested modification is needed in order to allow for individual to use the transportation provider's service.  

Please submit a request for reasonable modification by mail or fax:

Mail
Attention: Brian Pouget
The Rapid
333 Wealthy Street SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Fax
Attention: Brian Pouget
(616) 774-1230

Filing a Reasonable Modification Request Complaint

Policy: A Reasonable Modification complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction about some part of our service, which is a result of a real or imagined offense. This dissatisfaction may be voiced by a client, medical facility, funding source, provider or the general public. Proper procedure and investigation of a complaint will not always result in a complete resolution, but we will take steps to correct the situation that created the dissatisfaction with our service.

Procedure: Reasonable Modification Requests Complaints

Complaints should be sent to:

Mail
Brian Pouget
The Rapid
Chief Operating Officer
333 Wealthy St., SW
Grand Rapids MI 49503

Phone: 616-456-7514
Email:        

The COO will be responsible to make sure all complaints are properly recorded. If the complaint is regarding ADA paratransit (GO!Bus) it may be directed to the COO or to the GO!Bus office at:

Mail
Meegan Joyce
Special Service Manager
The Rapid
300 Ellsworth Ave., SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Phone: 616-456-7514
Email:        

If received by telephone, GO!Bus call center staff will enter it into the computer system where it will be forwarded to The Rapid Chief Operating Officer for review. All letters, email or Rapid website correspondence regarding ADA paratransit Reasonable Modification Request complaints will be forwarded to the Special Services Manager who will then forward the complaint to the Chief Operating Officer.

The appropriate staff will follow up on all complaints under the direction of the Chief Operating Officer. All complaints will be recorded and numbered in the computer system. Complainant will be responded to as necessary by the Chief Operating Officer.

Response to complainant will be in the form of a letter, phone call or email in a form that is usable by the complainant If the complaint is investigated and results determined during complainant’s initial contact with the GO!Bus office or COO, the complaint will still be entered into the computer system to be counted. Should further investigation be needed, the complainant will be contacted as requested. The Rapid’s Chief Operating Officer will assess all responses and take appropriate action to investigate and resolve the reasonable modification complaint.

GO!Bus staff evaluates complaints and prepares monthly and quarterly summary reports which include the following information and will include ADA paratransit reasonable modification complaints as well:

  • Number of complaints received during period.
  • Number of complaints received as % of trips provided.

GO!Bus No-Show Policy

Policy: A "No-Show" is defined as any uncompleted trip that is caused by the client not being at the appointed pick-up location, at the appointed pick-up time, ready to travel. No-Shows cause a disruption of service and needless expense. For that reason, any person with a pattern of repeated No-Shows (three (3) or more no shows that equal 10% or more of their trips within thirty (30) days) may have GO!Bus transportation suspended.

Procedure for identifying a No-Show: All GO!Bus passengers are required to be at the designated pick-up location, ready to travel, at least ten (10) minutes before their scheduled pick-up time. The passenger(s) should be ready to travel within the on-time window which is 10 minutes before the scheduled pick-up time through 15 minutes after the scheduled pick-up time.

Drivers will be required to wait a maximum of five (5) minutes after arrival prior to moving on, provided the vehicle arrives no earlier than 10 minutes before the scheduled pick-up time. Before moving on, drivers are required to contact their dispatcher to verify the address/location, and to check at the door of the residence or building. Drivers are expected to make all reasonable efforts to locate and transport the passenger(s).   Only in cases where the driver can establish with certainty that the passenger is not and will not be available to take the trip within the allotted five (5) minutes waiting time is it permissible to depart the pick-up location sooner than the scheduled pick-up time.

Return trip reservations for passengers who are “No-Shows” on their “going” trip will be canceled by the GO!Bus office, unless the passenger requests otherwise. In all cases, if and when the passenger calls for a return tide, the trip will be performed and treated as a “will-call.”

Passenger(s) not present to board the vehicle within 5 minutes after it arrives within the on-time window, will be considered a “No-Show.” Cancellations received within 30 minutes of the scheduled pick-up time are also considered a “No-Show.” If the vehicle arrives late, more than 15 minutes after the scheduled pick-up time, the passenger(s) will not be considered a No-Show if they choose not to go or if they cannot be found.

Eligibility Criteria for GO!Bus Service

Policy: The ITP Board of Directors has identified two (2) user groups which are eligible to use the GO!Bus service, Non-disabled senior citizens age sixty-five (65) and over and individuals with disabilities as determined eligible for paratransit service by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) regulations.

Procedure: Persons desiring to become eligible and utilize the GO!Bus service, based on disability or age, should contact the GO!Bus office for information and/or to obtain an application for eligibility at least three weeks prior to their need for a ride.

NON-DISABLED SENIOR CITIZENS must be age sixty-five or older. They must present proof of age (i.e. copy of Driver’s License, birth certificate or other substantial proof of age) with their completed application. Applications and other information can be obtained by calling the GO!Bus office. Persons using GO!Bus as a Non-disabled senior citizen are not eligible for the PCA free ride privileges.

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES must complete and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) application. Upon submittal, review and approval of the individual’s application for eligibility, ITP will issue a “Certificate of Eligibility of ADA Paratransit Service” Identification Card which the individual should carry with them on all GO!Bus rides. Applications may be obtained by calling the GO!Bus office.

The Rapid has 21 days after the receipt of a completed application to make the eligibility determination. If the decision is not made within 21 days, the applicant is eligible for paratransit service until the eligibility review is complete and a determination is made.

Use of Personal Care Attendants (PCA) as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is included in the ADA eligibility process. When a person with disabilities becomes ADA eligible they may also qualify of the right to have a PCA travel with them. PCA’s travel at no expense to the ADA eligible client or to themselves.

VISITORS WITH DISABILITIES Under the ADA, The Rapid is required to provide complementary paratransit service to visitors. The ADA defines a visitor as an individual with disabilities who does not reside in the jurisdiction served by The Rapid.

The Rapid shall treat as eligible for its complementary paratransit service all visitors who present documentation that they are ADA paratransit eligible in the jurisdiction in which they reside.

With respect to visitors with disabilities who do not present such documentation, The Rapid will require the documentation of the individual's place of residence and, if the individual's disability is not apparent, of his or her disability. The Rapid will provide paratransit service to individuals with disabilities who qualify as visitors. The Rapid accepts certification by such individuals that they are unable to use fixed route transit.

The Rapid will make the service to a visitor required by this part of the ADA available for any combination of 21 days during any 365-day period beginning with the visitor's first use of the service during such 365-day period. In no case shall The Rapid require a visitor to apply for or receive eligibility certification from The Rapid before receiving the service required by the ADA.

Revised May 18,2015

 

ADA Paratransit Service Area

Policy: The ADA establishes paratransit service guidelines for individuals who are deemed eligible for service by the local transit authority. The individuals have the right to expect the transit authority to adhere to certain parameters when scheduling trips.

Procedure: The Rapid’s ADA paratransit service, GO!Bus, operates to and from all points within the 180-mile service area as The Rapid fixed route bus and within ¾ of a mile of each route. This service area includes the six cities in the metropolitan Grand Rapids area plus portions of Alpine, Byron, Cascade and Gaines Townships. For more specific information, call the GO!Bus office at 616-456-6141 Monday through Friday between 6:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or on Saturday or Sunday from 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.

Wheelchair Ramp Specifications

Policy: The ADA guarantees persons with disabilities have the same rights to use transit agencies’ services as all other individuals. The Rapid must provide origin-to-destination service which includes some driver assistance if necessary due to the individual’s disability. If the individual uses a mobility device and needs driver assistance into and out of the origin and/or destination, the following are ramp specifications that must be met in order to receive driver assistance.

Procedure: Under the ADA regulations, GO!Bus operating policies allow the ADA paratransit eligible riders to travel independently.

ADA paratransit drivers will assist a passenger from a ground level door of their origin to the vehicle and from the vehicle to the ground level door of their destination. If a door is not at ground level, the driver will assist a passenger in a wheelchair up or down one step no greater than 8” in height.

For more than one step a ramp is required in order for the driver to assist the passenger.

The ramp slope may not be greater than 1:12. That is, for every one inch in height, the ramp must be at least 12’ long. For example, a standard step is 8 inches high. For a location which has three steps a ramp is required. In order for a driver to be able to assist the passenger up or down the ramp, the ramp must be at least 24 feet long.

If there is a landing at the beginning, end or in the middle of the ramp, the landing must be at least 5” square for a 5’ turning radius.

For ambulatory passengers, the driver will offer an arm for assistance up and down steps leading to a ground floor entrance.

November 10, 2014

Document Retention Policy

Policy: Unless otherwise required by contract or Federal or State regulations, all documents pertaining to the provision of ADA paratransit service or any demand response service provided by The Rapid or its contractors, shall be retained for a period of not less than six (6) years.

Procedure: All documents will be retained either electronically or physically with all hard copies stored in a secure area that can be accessed only by necessary staff.

Electronic document storage will be backed up nightly and stored in an off-site location.

If any litigation, claim or audit is started before the expiration of the six (6) year period, the records shall be retained by the Authority until all litigation, claims or audit findings involving the records have been resolved.

 

Refusing Service Policy

Policy: The ADA guarantees persons with disabilities have the same rights to use transit agencies’ services as all other individuals. The Rapid cannot deny to any individual with a disability the opportunity to use the transit agency’s transportation service for the general public if the individual is capable of using the service.

Procedure: Under the ADA regulations, GO!Bus operating policies allow the ADA paratransit eligible riders to travel independently.

The Rapid can “refuse to provide service to an individual with disabilities because that individual engages in violent, seriously disruptive or illegal conduct. The October 2011 Amendments to the regulations also clarified that transit agencies can refuse to transport individuals who pose a significant risk to the health or safety of others.

In determining whether an individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others the transit authority must make an individualized assessment based on reasonable judgment that relies on current medical knowledge or on the best available objective evidence.

Revised March 19, 2013

Will Call Policy

Policy: ADA paratransit eligible riders are permitted to schedule a return trip from a medical appointment on a “will call” basis. The will call means there is no set return time scheduled and the passenger will call the GO!Bus office when their medical appointment is over.

Accomodating Other Mobility Aids & Life Support Equipment

Policy: ADA paratransit eligible riders are permitted to travel with service animals trained to assist them and also with respirators, portable oxygen and other life support equipment.

Procedure: Under the ADA regulations, GO!Bus operating policies allow the ADA paratransit eligible riders to travel with service animals trained to assist them.

ADA definition: any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision or alerting individuals with impaired hearing, are accepted on our vehicles. Service animals include guide dogs used by persons with vision or hearing impairments, and dogs and other service animals that provide aid to persons with disabilities.

These types of animals are trained in the correct manner of riding public transportation vehicle. Although GO!Bus transports service animals, other passenger(s) needs must be considered. Therefore, service animals will not be allowed to ride on the seats of the vehicle. Drivers experiencing questionable riding habits of these animals should relate their experience to their dispatcher who in turn, should notify the GO!Bus office.

As required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), persons using our transportation service may bring respirator, portable oxygen, and/or other life support equipment on board our vehicles, as long as they do not violate the law or rules relating to the transportation of hazardous materials. All equipment must be small enough to fit into our vans safely and without obstructing the aisle and/or block emergency exits. (49 CFR Parts 100-199).

In general, the transport of common types of portable life support equipment is not prohibited. Cylinders of oxygen used by passengers for health reason, for example, are not subject to Hazardous Materials Regulations.

As required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Rapid is required to accommodate passengers in their mobility devices that fall within the size and weight range for which the vehicle is manufactured as long as the design load accommodates at least 600 lbs., can accommodate a wheelchair at least 30’ wide and can accommodate a wheelchair that is at least 48‘long. Current Rapid GO!Bus vehicles can accommodate a combined weight (passenger and wheelchair together) of up to 800 lbs., is under 32’ wide when measured 2’ above the ground and one that is no more than 48’ long. The Rapid will accommodate all wheelchairs which can be safely loaded and transported on Rapid vehicle lifts. The Rapid is unable to accommodate wheelchairs with dimensions so large they pose a legitimate safety risk (such as a large wheelchair blocking the vehicle vestibule and/or interfering with the safe evacuation from the vehicle in an emergency or that cannot fit on the lift.)

Revised March 19, 2013

ADA Paratransit Days & Hours of Operations

Policy: The ADA establishes paratransit service guidelines for individuals who are deemed eligible for service by the local transit authority. The individuals have the right to expect the transit authority to adhere to certain parameters when scheduling trips.

Procedure: The Rapid’s ADA paratransit service, GO!Bus, service is available during the same hours and days that fixed-route has published service available/ Please refer to bus schedules for exact times. The first weekday pick-up may be scheduled as early as 4:45 A.M. Weekday trips must be completed no later than 1:00 a.m.

The first Saturday pick-up may be scheduled as early as 5:13 a.m. Saturday trips must be completed no later than 10:10 p.m.

The first Sunday pick-up may be scheduled as early as 7:00 a.m. Sunday trips must be completed by 7:20 p.m.

When scheduling GO!Bus trips please tell the call taker they time, if any, that you have to be at your destination and a pick-up time will be generated. The first available vehicle closest to that generated time can be scheduled for you. For trips scheduled at the end of the service day, the time service must be completed by will be entered into the computer for your trip and a pick-up time will be generated. You will not be able to schedule later than that generated time, however, you will be able to schedule earlier if you wish.

If fixed-route changes its published scheduled time points, then the GO!Bus times will change to match.

Times for service along Grand Valley State University routes are available on-line and are only available while GVSU is in session.

Service is not available on the following holidays:

New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

 

Privacy Policy

Policy: Any personally identifiable information gathered in the course of doing business will be protected in a secure area or will be entered into the computer system and hard copies shredded. Any electronic information will be accessed by password protected entry and only by those employees directly involved with the provision of transportation service.

Procedure: All documents including personally identifiable information will be retained either electronically or physically with all hard copies stored in a secure area that can be accessed only by necessary staff.

Electronic document storage will be backed up nightly and stored in an off-site location.  Computer access to client information will be restricted to password protected entry for those employees directly involved with providing transportation services, i.e. entering information into the system, scheduling trips, canceling or changing trips or providing necessary information to drivers or dispatchers in order to complete trips.

Information requested (by phone, email or other means) by someone other than the client (passenger) regarding trip days, times and or locations will not be provided unless the requester identifies him/herself as the client’s (passenger’s) legal guardian or power of attorney, or, in the case of a minor client, parent.

Others, identified as group home managers, care givers, medical providers, case workers, or other interested parties, can be provided with information based on the circumstances and the request. Each request will be considered for its relevance and detail of information requested. Anytime such information is provided, the name and contact information of the requester (phone number, email address) must be recorded along with the day and time of the request and the information provided. This will be recorded in the trip scheduling software “Comments” or “Notes” section of the client master file page.

Lost & Found Policy

Policy: It is the responsibility of the passenger to make sure all belongings are gathered before exiting the vehicle. The Rapid and MV Transportation are not responsible for lost or misplaced items, however, will make every attempt to keep found items in a safe place until items are identified by the owner and picked up.

Procedure: In the case of times left on board a Rapid Special Services vehicles, the following procedure will be followed.

When the passenger or passenger’s representative calls The Rapid and says they left an item on the bus, Rapid call center staff will ask questions to determine which vehicle the passenger was on and when.

Rapid staff will then contact MV dispatch and describe the item and the vehicle on which it was thought to be left.

MV will either contact the driver or, if the vehicle is back at base, search the bus to locate the item.

If MV does not find the item, Rapid staff will notify the individual who called checking on the item.

If MV has the item, then the passenger will be required to pick up the item at MV within 30 days. The passenger or passenger’s representative will be responsible for making arrangements with MV as to the date and time the item will be picked-up.

MV drivers will NOT be responsible for getting the item back to the passenger. 

MV will mark the item as to the day it came in and when notified, the passenger to whom it belongs. 

MV will be responsible for keeping the item in a safe location until the 30 days have expired at which time MV may dispose of the item as necessary.

If the item is perishable, MV may dispose of it as soon as it is found. 

Filing a Complaint

Policy:  A complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction about some part of our service, which is a result of a real or imagined offense.  This dissatisfaction may be voiced by a client, medical facility, funding source, provider or the general public.  Proper procedure and investigation of a complaint will not always result in a complete resolution, but we will take steps to correct the situation that created the dissatisfaction with our service.

Procedure:  Complaints may be received at the GO!Bus office either by telephone or in writing.  Contracted carriers should refer all complaints to the GO!Bus office.GO!Bus staff are prepared to record the complaint properly.  If the complaint is received by telephone, GO!Bus  call center staff will enter it into the computer system where it will be forwarded to the appropriate department..  All letters,  email or Rapid website correspondence will be forwarded to the Special Services Manager.

GO!Bus staff are prepared to record the complaint properly.  If the complaint is received by telephone, GO!Bus  call center staff will enter it into the computer system where it will be forwarded to the appropriate department..  All letters,  email or Rapid website correspondence will be forwarded to the Special Services Manager.

Special Services Manager
Meegan B. Joyce
Phone: 616-456-7514
Email: 

The appropriate staff (contracted carrier Operations Manager or The Rapid Special Services Manager or Administrative Assistant) will follow up on all complaints.  All complaints will be recorded and numbered in the computer system.  Contracted provider(s) will respond to the complaint within three (3) days through the computer system.  Complainant will be responded to as necessary by Special Services Manager or Administrative Assistant.

Response to complainant will be in the form of a phone call, letter or email.  If the complaint is investigated and results determined during complainant’s initial contact with the GO!Bus office, the complaint will still be entered into the computer system to be counted. Should further investigation be needed, the complainant will be contacted as requested.   GO!Bus Administrative Assistant, along with Special Services Manager will assess all responses and take appropriate action to satisfy complaint. 

GO!Bus staff will evaluate complaints and prepare monthly and quarterly summary reports which will include the following information:

  • Number of complaints received during period.
  • Number of complaints received as % of trips provided.
  • % of number received by type of complaint
  • % of number received by type of action taken

Paratransit Trip Reservations & Scheduling

Policy:  The ADA establishes paratransit service guidelines for individuals who are deemed eligible for service by the local transit authority.  The individuals have the right to expect the transit authority to adhere to certain parameters when scheduling trips.

Procedure:  Individuals wishing to schedule trips for ADA paratransit service, GO!Bus, can call up to two weeks ahead of the actual trip date and no later than the day before the day of service.  Scheduling hours are Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. A voice mail system is set up to receive calls between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on holidays when the office closed, to accept next day reservations only.  The office is closed on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  

Trips may be scheduled within one hour prior to the requested time through one hour after the requested time.  All efforts are made to schedule the requested trip as close as possible to the best time for the passenger.  

The vehicle may arrive for the actual trip pick up between 10 minutes before the actual scheduled time through 15 minutes after that time.  The driver will wait 5 minutes for the passenger before moving on.  Under no circumstances will the driver leave before the actual pick-up time unless it is verified that the passenger will not be ready and able to travel at the trip time scheduled.

If the vehicle is 15 minutes late for the scheduled pick-up, the individual may call the GO!Bus office and check on the ride.  At that time an estimated time of arrival will be established. 

If the passenger is not at the pick-up location or is not ready to board the vehicle by the scheduled pick-up time, the driver will move on and the passenger will be recorded as a No-Show for that trip.

GO!Bus service is available on the same days and during the same times as the published schedule for fixed-route service.  Service is not available on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, the 4th or July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas.   

Appealing a Determination of ADA Eligibility

Policy:  The ADA establishes a civil right to paratransit for individuals who are prevented, because of a disability, from using the regular fixed route city bus service.   Because complementary paratransit is deemed to be a civil right, inappropriate denial of eligibility and service is prohibited.  Persons who have been denied eligibility and/or service have the right to have their cases reviewed by use of the Appeals Process. 

Procedure:  The Rapid has attempted to define a fair and effective review, and appeal process as required by the ADA regulations, which is in the interests of all parties.  Because ADA paratransit eligibility is established as a civil right, The Rapid has a special obligation to ensure that “due process” is observed. 

Decisions to deny ADA paratransit eligibility and/or transportation are to be reviewed in the first instance by the Special Services Manager or a designated person familiar with the requirements of the ADA and its operation in the system.  The initial determination to deny should be well documented and include, if warranted, a personal interview with the individual being denied service. 

If the decision to deny eligibility or service is confirmed, a notice of denial will be sent to the applicant and will include the reasons for the denial, and the procedures that may be utilized to appeal the decision.  (The procedure is outlined below.)  These notices will be sent to the applicant in a format that can be utilized by the applicant (e.g., a Braille letter to the applicant who utilizes Braille).

The individual has the right to appeal the Determination in writing.  The appeal must be in writing and filed within sixty (60) days following receipt of the initial determination.  Send written requests for an appeal to Meegan Joyce, The Rapid Special Services Manager, 300 Ellsworth Ave., SW, Grand Rapids, MI  49503-4005. 

During the appeal time, subsequent new requests for a determination of ADA paratransit eligibility will be considered at any time, since the functional impairments associated with an individual’s disability may be expected to change over time. 

Individuals who have been denied eligibility, had restrictions placed on their eligibility or had service suspended have the right to appeal these decisions.  They have the right to appeal before a person or office other than those who made the initial determination.  They have the right to be heard in person and to have necessary support, such as a sign language interpreter, and to present information, witnesses, and arguments in support of the appeal.  The individual has the right to be represented by an individual of their choice.  The representative need not be a lawyer and might appropriately include an independent living or rehabilitation counselor, or other such professional.

Individuals who have been denied eligibility or who have had restrictions placed on their eligibility and who file a written appeal request will be heard by an independent appeals board consisting of three members.  Members will be drawn from a pool of volunteer representatives consisting of local social services agency employees and members, consumers and members of the medical profession and/or functional mobility professionals.  

The final decision on appeal shall be issued in writing or accessible format by the Special Services Manager or the Special Services Office Administrator within thirty (30) days following completion of hearings. 

During the initial application process, no service will be provided while the appeal is being heard.  However, if an appeal for eligibility has not been decided within thirty (30) days, presumptive eligibility will apply until a final decision is reached.  If you are a current GO!Bus rider, service will be provided during the appeals process. 

There are certain circumstances under which an individual, otherwise eligible for ADA paratransit, may be denied service.  A person, whose behavior threatens or has threatened the safety of paratransit personnel or other customers, may be denied service.  Persons who demonstrate a consistent pattern of missing scheduled paratransit trips, “no-shows”, may lose their eligibility for a reasonable, specific period of time.  Such temporary suspensions of eligibility, as well as loss of eligibility because of violent, illegal or seriously disruptive behavior, may be appealed through the administrative procedure outlined above. 

In case of a temporary suspension because of excessive “no-shows”, the appeal must be filed prior to the specified date of suspension and suspension will not begin until the appeals process is complete.

Full documentation of the process is essential.  The determination made upon appeal will, like the initial determination, need to be in writing (and in an appropriate medium, if requested) and will state the basis for the determination.  The denial of ADA paratransit eligibility can become the subject of a civil rights complaint and ultimately be reviewed by the courts.

Should the individual have questions or comments regarding how to file an appeal, they may contact the GO!Bus office at (voice) 456-6141 or (TDD) 774-1196 for help.

Visitors with Disabilities

Policy: Under the ADA, The Rapid is required to provide complementary paratransit service to visitors. The ADA defines a visitor as an individual with disabilities who does not reside in the jurisdiction served by The Rapid.

Procedure: The Rapid shall treat as eligible for its complementary paratransit service all visitors who present documentation that they are ADA paratransit eligible in the jurisdiction in which they reside.

With respect to visitors with disabilities who do not present such documentation, The Rapid will require the documentation of the individual's place of residence and, if the individual's disability is not apparent, of his or her disability. The Rapid will provide paratransit service to individuals with disabilities who qualify as visitors. The Rapid accepts certification of such individuals that they are unable to use fixed route transit.

The Rapid will make the service to a visitor required by this part of the ADA available for any combination of 21 days during any 365-day period beginning with the visitor's first use of the service during such 365-day period. In no case shall The Rapid require a visitor to apply for or receive eligibility certification from The Rapid before receiving the service required by the ADA.