ADA Policy

Fixed Route Stop Announcements

CATA shall announce stops at transfer points, major intersections and destinations points, and intervals along a route sufficient to permit individuals with visual impairments or other disabilities to be oriented to their location.  CATA shall announce any stop on request of an individual with a disability.

Life Support Equipment

Individuals will be permitted to travel with respirators, portable oxygen and other life support equipment.  In general, the transport of common types of portable life support equipment is not prohibited.  Cylinders of oxygen used by passengers for health reasons, are not subject to the Hazardous Materials Regulations.

Lift Deployment

It is CATA policy that persons with disabilities be permitted to board or alight at any bus stop along the route unless the lift cannot be deployed, the lift would be damaged if deployed, or temporary conditions preclude use.  Temporary conditions cannot be the result of CATA action and must preclude safe use of the stop by all passengers. 

Maintaining Accessibility Features

CATA shall maintain in operative condition those features of facilities and vehicles that are required to make the vehicles and facilities readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.  These features include, but are not limited to, lifts and other means of access to vehicles, securement devices, elevators, signage and systems to facilitate communications with persons with impaired vision or hearing.

Mobility Device Policy 

There are many styles and types of mobility devices.  They vary in shape, weight, and how they benefit the user.  Mobility devices can be taken on a CATA bus if it can be safely loaded and secured.  Mobility devices fitting the following U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Regulation description are permitted on a CATA bus and must be secured in the securement area:

“Wheelchair means a mobility aid belonging to any class of three or more wheeled devices, usable indoors, designed or modified for and used by individuals with mobility impairments, whether operated manually or powered.”

Wheelchair Size Specifications

Size:
CATA can accommodate all wheelchairs that fit within the size regulation of 30” wide by 48” long.  Wheelchairs and attached items exceeding these dimensions will be judged on a case-by-case basis, and may be excluded if accommodating the wheelchair is inconsistent with legitimate safety requirements.

Weight:
USDOT regulations require that vehicle lifts and ramps are capable of accommodating a capacity of at least 600 lbs.  All CATA buses can accommodate a combined wheelchair and passenger weight of up to 600 lbs.
CATA operates some buses with ramps and lifts that can carry a combined weight that exceeds the required 600 lbs.  Each of CATA’s buses displays lift specifications near the door where the lift or ramp is housed.  In addition, passengers may obtain a detailed list of weight limits by bus number by calling CATA’s Customer Service Center at 814-238-2282 or clicking here.


Securing Mobility Devices
CATA requires all mobility devices to be secured using a four-point securement system.  The driver will either secure the mobility device or ensure that the passenger has secured it properly with the minimum four securement points.  The mobility device must not move more than one inch in any direction upon being secured.

The bus is equipped with lap belts and shoulder harnesses, and while not required, passengers are strongly encouraged to use them. These restraints help prevent injuries. The driver will ask the passenger if they would like to use the lap belt and shoulder harness and assist the passenger in using these restraints if requested.

Non-traditional mobility aids must be secured or stowed under or between the passenger seats.
Walkers and other mobility devices on which the passenger does not sit should be folded up and stored so as not to block the aisle.  The device can be secured in the mobility device securement area if it cannot be stowed safely; however, these devices cannot be used to sit on during the bus ride. 

Non-Discrimination

CATA shall insure the non-discriminatory provision of transportation service to individuals with disabilities.  CATA shall not, on the basis of disability, deny to any individual with a disability the opportunity to use the authority’s transportation service for the general public, if the individual is capable of using that service. 

CATA will not refuse to provide service to an individual with disabilities solely because the individual’s disability results in appearance or involuntary behavior that may offend, annoy, or inconvenience employees of the authority or other persons.

CATA may refuse to provide service to any individual that does not comply with CATA’s Rider Conduct Policy.  

Origin-to-Destination Service

CATARIDE basic service is curb-to-curb, in which the driver will assist riders to enter and exit the vehicle.  CATARIDE drivers will provide assistance from the user’s point of origin to his/her destination point upon request or if the nature of a particular individual’s disability, adverse weather conditions, physical barrier may prevent him/her from negotiating the distance from the door of his/her home to the curb.

Personal Care Attendants (PCA’s)/Companions

It is the policy of CATA to provide paratransit service to a PCA traveling with an eligible individual and to one companion in addition to the PCA.  Additional companions will be accommodated if space allows.  PCAs and companions must have advance reservations and be picked up and dropped off at the same locations as the eligible individual.  Companions must pay the same fare as the eligible rider, while PCAs pay no fare.

A PCA is anyone who provides the eligible rider with his or her personal needs and not necessarily related to travel on paratransit service.  An ADA eligible passenger may require a PCA for every trip, or only occasionally as needed.  A companion is only considered a PCA if the eligible individual regularly makes use of and requires the use of a PCA to assist with daily life activities and the companion actually acts in that capacity. 

The need for a PCA, in accordance with the above requirements, must be detailed on the CATARIDE registration application, and individuals with disabilities must first receive approval from CATA to travel with a PCA.  If the individual does not indicate the use of a PCA, any individual accompanying him or her will be regarded as a companion.

Reasonable Modification/Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities Policy

CATA will make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices, or procedures when requested to do so by individuals with disabilities when such accommodations are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability.

Requests for accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be denied if:

— Granting the request would fundamentally alter the nature of the authority’s service, programs, or activities;

— Granting the request could create a direct threat to the health or safety of others;

— Without such modification, the individual with a disability is otherwise able to fully use the authority’s services, programs, or activities for their intended purpose.

Process for Requesting Modifications/Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities

Requests for modifications of the authority’s policies, practices, or procedures to accommodate an individual with a disability may be made either in advance or at the time of the transportation service. The authority is best able to address and accommodate a request when it is made in advance. The process for making a request is as follows:

Advance Requests:

When making a request, please thoroughly describe what is needed in order to use the service, and why this accommodation is necessary.  

Authority staff will review the request, and make every effort to communicate in advance whether or not the requested modification can be made. 

If the modification is not made, the authority will provide the reason for the denial of the request. Requests may be denied on one or more of the following grounds:

Granting the request would fundamentally alter the nature of the authority’s service, programs, or activities;

Granting the request could create a direct threat to the health or safety of others;

Without such modification, the individual with a disability is otherwise able to fully use the authority’s services, programs, or activities for their intended purpose.

Requests may be made through the following means:

CATABUS Customers should contact the Operations Manager at:

Phone: 814-238-2282 ext. 5153
Email: cjordan@catabus.com
Mail:  2081 West Whitehall Road State College, PA  16801. Attn: Operations Manager

CATARIDE Customers should contact the ADA/Paratransit Manager at:

Phone:  814-238-2282 ext 5130
Email:  czerbe@catabus.com
Mail:  2081 West Whitehall Road State College, PA  16801.  Attn.: ADA/Paratransit Manager

Same Day Requests:

            When a request for modification cannot be made in advance, a request may be made on the same day, or during service. 

            The request should be made to the operator of the CATABUS or CATARIDE vehicle.

            Please describe in detail the accommodation needed, and why it is necessary in order to use the service.

            Operators may grant a request if it is reasonable and meets the requirements of the authority’s policy. 

            If an operator is unsure if the request should be granted or declined, she/he is required to consult with the dispatch office to receive direction.  Requests may be denied on the following grounds:

            Granting the request would fundamentally alter the nature of the authority’s service, programs, or activities;

            Granting the request could create a direct threat to the health or safety of others;

            Without such modification, the individual with a disability is otherwise able to fully use the authority’s services, programs, or activities for their intended purpose.

            A vehicle operator’s availability to provide an accommodation may be quite limited when he/she is providing service, and if the request would require extended consideration and attention, the request may not be accommodated immediately, in which case the passenger will be encouraged to submit a written request for consideration on future trips.

            The authority’s ability to accommodate the requested modifications may vary by route, day of travel, time of day, or other circumstances.

Appeal Process: If a passenger wishes to appeal the authority’s denial of a request for accommodations, contact information is as follows:

Director of Transportation:
Phone:  814-238-2282 ext. 5165
Email:  rharshbarger@catabus.com
Mail:  2081 West Whitehall Road, State College, PA  16801. Attn: Director of Transportation

Complaint Process:  Complaints regarding accommodations for persons with disabilities may be made by phone, mail or in person:

Phone: 814-238-2282
Email:  cata@catabus.com
Mail:  2081 West Whitehall Road, State College, PA 16801
In Person:  108 East Beaver Avenue State College, PA 16801

Service Animals

Animals are permitted to ride CATABUS and CATARIDE with their owner if the animal is in an approved pet carrier or is muzzled. The only exceptions to this policy apply to service animals.

Adopted 12-19-16


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