Chicago Tribune: For those with disabilities, a closer look at RTA’s paratransit service

As we continue our celebration of ADA Month at the RTA, we would like to highlight a recent article about our ADA Paratransit program in the Chicago Tribune. ADA Paratransit is a shared ride, advanced reservation and origin-to-destination service for individuals who because of their disability are unable to use CTA or Pace fixed route transit service for some or all of their trips.

Mary Wisniewski of the Chicago Tribune made a visit to our South Side Regional Transportation Authority Assessment Center to learn about the ADA Paratransit service and how people can apply for the program. She sat down with Michael VanDekreke, RTA’s Director of Mobility Services, to understand more about the program’s benefits, the need for assessment centers and eligibility requirements.

Michael explained that the assessment is, “based on whether an applicant can take regular transit, not on a diagnosis or a doctor’s note. One person with cerebral palsy may be able to take regular buses and trains, while another would find it impossible. We’re not looking necessarily at what the disability is, but what the ability is.”

Mary also interviewed people who use the service and what it means for their daily lives. The article features a video of people going through assessments at the testing center in addition to their testimonials about the program.

If you’re interested in learning more about our ADA Paratransit service, click here for more information.