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Paratransit Apartment Entrance

Paratransit Application

How to Apply

Applications are available at www.matbus.com, Ground Transportation Center (GTC), 502 NP Avenue, Fargo and Metro Transit Garage, 650 23rd St. N., Fargo. If you would like an application by mail, please call 701.235.4464.

Following receipt of a completed application and professional verification, processing of the application may take up to three weeks. Once approved, you will receive a Special User Card which indicates you are eligible for MAT Paratransit.


Application Process

To reserve a ride on MAT Paratransit, you need a "Special User Card." You can request a free application for this card from Metro Area Transit or download it as a PDF. You will be asked to provide the name of a medical or qualified social service professional who can verify your disability.

It will take us about three weeks to process your application. Your card will be mailed to you when your application is approved; it is valid for three years. The card will include any restrictions placed on your use of the service and a phone number you can call to reserve a ride.


Call 701.235.4464
You can also download an application from this page.


Eligibility Appeals Process

A subcommittee of the Metro Area Mayors’ Committee for People with Disabilities (Appeals Subcommittee) will serve as the Administrative Appeals Board for the Cities of Fargo and Moorhead. The Committee consists of four members of the full committee and one Paratransit rider. If the applicant wishes to appeal the eligibility determination, the following process shall be followed:

a. A written appeal must be filed within 60 days of the date of the letter notifying an individual that they have been determined to be ineligible for ADA Paratransit service.

b. Written appeals shall be delivered to MAT Paratransit, Transit Administration Office, 650 23rd Street North, Fargo, ND 58102 for consideration.

c. The applicant, or a representative of their choice, shall have the opportunity to be heard and present information and arguments in support of his/her position to the Appeals Subcommittee of the Metro Area Mayors’ Committee for People with Disabilities. The City of Fargo's Health Officer, an M.D., will advise the Committee as necessary.

d. A written determination of the decision on the appeal, including the reasons for such decision, shall be forwarded to the applicant within 30 days of the completion of the appeals process. If a decision is not made within 30 days, the applicant will be determined temporarily eligible until such time as the decision regarding the appeal is made by the Committee.


Eligibility for MAT Paratransit

People with disabilities who are certified as “ADA Paratransit Eligible” may ride MAT Paratransit.


What is ADA?

ADA refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The ADA Law requires that transportation services such as MAT Paratransit be provided to persons with physical and mental disabilities who are unable, because of their disability, to utilize fixed route bus service without assistance.


Qualification

Qualification is based on the individual’s functional capabilities rather than a specific medical diagnosis. Eligibility can be permanent, temporary, or conditional.


Conditional Eligibility

If the applicant is considered eligible but only under certain conditions, the reservationist will review each trip requested to see if that trip meets the conditions that were established when eligibility was determined. For example, a passenger may only be eligible for Paratransit during the winter when snow and ice are present. In this example, during the summer the passenger would not be eligible for Paratransit. Conditions are identified on the special user card.


Visitors

If you are determined by the Cities of Fargo or Moorhead to be "ADA Paratransit Eligible" that eligibility entitles you to utilize paratransit services in other communities that you might visit throughout the nation for up to 21 days in a 365-day period.

Visitors to Fargo-Moorhead who have been certified as "ADA Paratransit Eligible" by another public entity will be provided service up to 21 days during any 365-day period beginning with the visitor’s first use of the service during such 365-day period. Any limitation/condition placed upon a certification by another community will be observed by MAT Paratransit to the extent possible. Visitors who have not been certified as eligible by another public entity but claim that they are "ADA Paratransit Eligible" will be assumed eligible for up to 21 days during any 365-day period. If service is needed beyond 21 days, the individual is required to apply for eligibility by the Cities of Fargo or Moorhead. Visitors may be requested to show proof of residency outside the city limits of Moorhead or Dilworth, Minnesota, or Fargo or West Fargo, North Dakota.

Individuals who live outside the metropolitan area but travel into the community and utilize MAT Paratransit on a regular basis are encouraged to apply for eligibility. Anyone who utilizes MAT Paratransit more than 21 days in any 365-day period may be required to apply for eligibility.


Eligibility Criteria

MAT Paratransit is intended to provide transportation to individuals with disabilities who are unable to independently utilize the Fixed Route Bus System (also known as MATBUS).

To be eligible to use MAT Paratransit, you must be considered "ADA Paratransit Eligible" as defined by the federal government. The three categories of ADA Paratransit Eligibility established by the federal government are listed below.

ADA Paratransit Eligibility is based on a functional, rather than medical, model. Persons are not qualified or disqualified on the basis of a specific diagnosis or disability. An individual will be certified as ADA Paratransit Eligible if there is any part of the MATBUS Fixed Route System in the designated service area which cannot be used or navigated by that individual because of a disability (refer to Section 3.2 - Definition of Disabled Individual). In operation, eligibility will be based on whether the MATBUS Fixed Route System can provide its service to the particular individual for a particular trip. Eligibility may be permanent, temporary, seasonal, conditional or transitional.

If the applicant is considered eligible but only under certain conditions, the reservationist will review each trip requested to see if that trip meets the conditions that were established when eligibility was determined. An individual may appeal a denied trip in the same manner as they appeal a denial of eligibility (refer to Section 3.6 - Eligibility Appeals Process).

For dependent children under age 7 with disabilities, the parent and child together as a team will be evaluated for eligibility based on their functional abilities. If together they can travel on the MATBUS Fixed Route System unconditionally, the child will be found ineligible.

THERE ARE THREE CATEGORIES OF ELIGIBILITY:

CATEGORY 1: UNABLE TO BOARD, RIDE OR DISEMBARK.

"Any individual with a disability who is unable, as the result of a physical or mental impairment (including a vision impairment), and without the assistance of another individual (except the operator of a wheelchair lift or other boarding assistance device), to board, ride or disembark from any vehicle on the Fixed Route Bus System which is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities."

Included in this category are individuals with mental or visual impairments who cannot use or "navigate the system." Recognizing destinations, understanding transfers, and being able to distinguish between vehicles at busy transfer stations are all examples of navigating the Fixed Route System. With the exception of assistance provided by the driver or other employees of the service, eligibility under this category is based on a person's ability to independently use the service. A person traveling with a friend or attendant is still eligible for paratransit service even if they would be able to use the Fixed Route System with this other person's help.

An individual who has been trained to use the system to travel to and from a particular destination independently and therefore can utilize the Fixed Route System for that purpose (to/from a place of employment, for example) cannot apply eligibility to that trip. However, an exceptional trip (to a restaurant, for example) would be ADA eligible. If service disruptions such as re-routing due to construction make the training temporarily inappropriate, the individual would be eligible for those trips.

CATEGORY 2: ABLE TO BOARD, RIDE AND DISEMBARK ONLY IF THE VEHICLE IS ACCESSIBLE (EQUIPPED WITH BOARDING DEVICE SUCH AS A LIFT).

"Any individual with a disability who needs the assistance of a wheelchair lift or other boarding assistance device and is able, with such assistance, to board, ride, and disembark from any vehicle which is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities if the individual wants to travel on a route of the system during the hours of operation of the system at a time, or within a reasonable period of such time, when such a vehicle is not being used to provide designated public transportation on the route."

Eligibility under this category depends on the accessibility of vehicles and routes. A person is eligible for paratransit service if the fixed route on which they want to travel is not yet accessible.

• An individual is eligible for paratransit if a vehicle's lift or boarding device could not be deployed at the stop which they want to use.
• An individual is eligible if they use a "common wheelchair" but cannot be served by the fixed route system because the lift on the vehicle they need to use does not meet the federal equipment standards.
• A person is eligible if the bus route on which they want to travel is not 100% accessible.

CATEGORY 3: UNABLE TO TRAVEL TO BOARDING LOCATION OR FROM DISEMBARKING LOCATION.

"Any individual with a disability who has a specific impairment-related condition which prevents such individual from traveling to a boarding location or from a disembarking location on such system."

Under this category, the "specific impairment-related condition" must prevent the person from using the fixed route system. An individual would be eligible if the combination of a person's "specific impairment-related condition" and architectural barriers (such as curb-cuts) and environmental barriers (such as distance, terrain and weather) prevent a person from traveling to or from bus stops/stations.

3.2 Definition of Disabled Individual [Federal Regulation 49 CFR '37.3]

Disabled individual is defined as an individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment. The phrase major life activities means functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and work.

Physical or mental impairments include: (1) Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory including speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genito-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin and endocrine; (2) Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities; (3) contagious or noncontagious diseases and conditions, including but limited to: orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments; cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, specific learning disabilities, HIV disease, tuberculosis, drug addiction and alcoholism.

Disability does not include (1) homosexuality or bisexuality; (2) Transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyearism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders; (3) compulsive gambling, kleptomania or pyromania; (4) psychoactive substance abuse disorders resulting from the current illegal use of drugs.

3.3 Eligibility for Discount Fare on Fixed Route

A person with disabilities may be able to use the MATBUS Fixed Route System with assistance or under certain conditions. The Special User Card issued by MATBUS entitles an individual to ride the Fixed Route Bus System (MATBUS) for discount fare, which is $0.75 cash (half the cash fare paid by an adult of $1.50). Discount passes and tickets for the MATBUS Fixed Route System are available for purchase for persons with disabilities at the Ground Transportation Center (GTC). The passenger must show the Special User Card to the driver when boarding the bus or to the GTC Dispatcher when purchasing passes or tickets to receive the discount fare. Refer to Section 3.5 - Eligibility Process to apply for a Special User Card.

3.4 Eligibility of Visitors [Federal Regulation 49 CFR '37.127]

If you are determined by the Cities of Fargo or Moorhead to be "ADA Paratransit Eligible" that eligibility entitles you to utilize paratransit services in other communities that you might visit throughout the nation for up to 21 days in a 365-day period.

Visitors to Fargo-Moorhead who have been certified as "ADA Paratransit Eligible" by another public entity will be provided service up to 21 days during any 365-day period beginning with the visitor’s first use of the service during such 365-day period. Any limitation/condition placed upon a certification by another community will be observed by MAT Paratransit to the extent possible. Visitors who have not been certified as eligible by another public entity but claim that they are "ADA Paratransit Eligible" will be assumed eligible for up to 21 days during any 365-day period. If service is needed beyond 21 days, the individual is required to apply for eligibility by the Cities of Fargo or Moorhead. Visitors may be requested to show proof of residency outside the city limits of Moorhead or Dilworth, Minnesota, or Fargo or West Fargo, North Dakota.

Individuals who live outside the metropolitan area but travel into the community and utilize MAT Paratransit on a regular basis are encouraged to apply for eligibility. Anyone who utilizes MAT Paratransit more than 21 days in any 365-day period may be required to apply for eligibility.

3.5 Eligibility Process (Federal Regulation 49 CFR '37.125)

a. Individuals must submit a completed, written application to MATBUS.

MATBUS
650 23rd Street North
Fargo, ND 58102
(701) 241-8140
TDD: Relay Service 7-1-1

b. The MATBUS Mobility Manager is responsible for reviewing applications and determining eligibility. A complete Paratransit application includes the application form, authorization form completed by the applicant, and a professional verification form completed by the professional authorized to verify the applicant's information. MATBUS sends the verification form to the professional identified by the applicant on the authorization form. A final determination of eligibility will be within 21 days of receiving the application form, authorization form and professional verification form. Determination of ineligibility will include reasons for the finding and inform the applicant of the appeals process.

c. If a determination is not made within 21 days, the applicant will be determined temporarily eligible until such time as the final determination of eligibility is made by the Mobility Manager.

d. Eligible individuals will be issued a Special User Card and/or letter stating they are eligible for MAT Paratransit and whether or not they are also "ADA Paratransit Eligible." This documentation shall include the following:

• Name of eligible individual
• Name of transit provider, MAT Paratransit
• Telephone number to call to reserve a ride
• Initial date for eligibility
• Expiration date for eligibility
• Any conditions or limitations that apply to the Individual's eligibility
• Whether the eligible individual utilizes a personal care attendant
• I.D. number assigned the eligible individual

e. Eligible individuals must renew or recertify eligibility every three years, except in cases of temporary eligibility.

3.6 Eligibility Appeals Process [Federal Regulation 49 CFR 37.125(g)]

A subcommittee of the Metro Area Mayors’ Committee for People with Disabilities (Appeals Subcommittee) will serve as the Administrative Appeals Board for the Cities of Fargo and Moorhead. The Committee consists of four members of the full committee and one Paratransit rider. If the applicant wishes to appeal the eligibility determination, the following process shall be followed:

a. A written appeal must be filed within 60 days of the date of the letter notifying an individual that they have been determined to be ineligible for ADA Paratransit service.

b. Written appeals shall be delivered to MAT Paratransit, Transit Administration Office, 650 23rd Street North, Fargo, ND 58102 for consideration.

c. The applicant, or a representative of their choice, shall have the opportunity to be heard and present information and arguments in support of his/her position to the Appeals Subcommittee of the Metro Area Mayors’ Committee for People with Disabilities. The City of Fargo's Health Officer will advise the Committee as necessary.

d. A written determination of the decision on the appeal, including the reasons for such decision, shall be forwarded to the applicant within 30 days of the completion of the appeals process. If a decision is not made within 30 days, the applicant will be determined temporarily eligible until such time as the decision regarding the appeal is made by the Committee.


Definition Of Disabled Individual

Disabled individual is defined as an individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment. The phrase major life activities means functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and work.

Physical or mental impairments include: (1) Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory including speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genito-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin and endocrine; (2) Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities; (3) contagious or noncontagious diseases and conditions, including but limited to: orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments; cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, specific learning disabilities, HIV disease, tuberculosis, drug addiction and alcoholism.

Disability does not include (1) homosexuality or bisexuality; (2) Transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyearism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders; (3) compulsive gambling, kleptomania or pyromania; (4) psychoactive substance abuse disorders resulting from the current illegal use of drugs.


Eligibility For Discount Fare On Fixed Route

A person with disabilities may be able to use the MATBUS Fixed Route System with assistance or under certain conditions. The Special User Card issued by MATBUS entitles an individual to ride the Fixed Route Bus System (MATBUS) for discount fare, which is $0.75 cash (half the cash fare paid by an adult of $1.50). Discount passes and tickets for the MATBUS Fixed Route System are available for purchase for persons with disabilities at the Ground Transportation Center (GTC). The passenger must show the Special User Card to the driver when boarding the bus or to the GTC Dispatcher when purchasing passes or tickets to receive the discount fare. Refer to Section 3.5 - Eligibility Process to apply for a Special User Card.


Eligibility Process

Individuals must submit a completed, written application to MATBUS.

MATBUS
650 23rd Street North
Fargo, ND 58102
(701) 241-8140
TDD: Relay Service 7-1-1

The MATBUS Mobility Manager is responsible for reviewing applications and determining eligibility. A complete Paratransit application includes the application form, authorization form completed by the applicant, and a professional verification form completed by the professional authorized to verify the applicant's information. MATBUS sends the verification form to the professional identified by the applicant on the authorization form. A final determination of eligibility will be within 21 days of receiving the application form, authorization form and professional verification form. Determination of ineligibility will include reasons for the finding and inform the applicant of the appeals process.

If a determination is not made within 21 days, the applicant will be determined temporarily eligible until such time as the final determination of eligibility is made by the Mobility Manager.

Eligible individuals will be issued a Special User Card and/or letter stating they are eligible for MAT Paratransit and whether or not they are also "ADA Paratransit Eligible." This documentation shall include the following:

• Name of eligible individual
• Name of transit provider, MAT Paratransit
• Telephone number to call to reserve a ride
• Initial date for eligibility
• Expiration date for eligibility
• Any conditions or limitations that apply to the Individual's eligibility
• Whether the eligible individual utilizes a personal care attendant
• I.D. number assigned the eligible individual

Eligible individuals must renew or recertify eligibility every three years, except in cases of temporary eligibility.


Eligibility Appeals Process

A subcommittee of the Metro Area Mayors’ Committee for People with Disabilities (Appeals Subcommittee) will serve as the Administrative Appeals Board for the Cities of Fargo and Moorhead. The Committee consists of four members of the full committee and one Paratransit rider. If the applicant wishes to appeal the eligibility determination, the following process shall be followed:

A written appeal must be filed within 60 days of the date of the letter notifying an individual that they have been determined to be ineligible for ADA Paratransit service.

Written appeals shall be delivered to MAT Paratransit, Transit Administration Office, 650 23rd Street North, Fargo, ND 58102 for consideration.

The applicant, or a representative of their choice, shall have the opportunity to be heard and present information and arguments in support of his/her position to the Appeals Subcommittee of the Metro Area Mayors’ Committee for People with Disabilities. The City of Fargo's Health Officer will advise the Committee as necessary.

A written determination of the decision on the appeal, including the reasons for such decision, shall be forwarded to the applicant within 30 days of the completion of the appeals process. If a decision is not made within 30 days, the applicant will be determined temporarily eligible until such time as the decision regarding the appeal is made by the Committee.


Privacy Regarding Medical Information

The medical information that may be gathered as part of the eligibility determination process will not be shared with any other party. The Cities of Fargo and Moorhead may, however, share information regarding the functional ability of an individual to utilize transit services with another transit system if this is required to determine eligibility in that system.