NJ TRANSIT's ADA paratransit program known as Access Link was established to provide public transportation to people with disabilities who are unable to use the local bus service according to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). You may ride with Access Link or any other NJ TRANSIT mode for some or all of your transportation needs.
There are several things you need to know before you begin riding with Access Link and that is why we have created the Access Link Customer Guidelines. This guide provides you with detailed information on how to best use Access Link. Topics such as reservations, subscriptions, fares, policies and more are mentioned in the guidelines. It contains everything you need to know and was created to answer your questions about the service.
Please read through these guidelines carefully. We hope that after you have read this guide you will be confident in understanding how the paratransit service operates for your best possible riding experience.
Access Link is a public transportation service established to comply with the paratransit regulations of the ADA. Access Link service is comparable to the NJ TRANSIT local fixed route bus and light rail systems. Access Link is for people with disabilities who are unable to use the local fixed route bus for some or all of their rides.Hours
Access Link service is comparable to the bus in that it is available during the same days and hours as the regularly scheduled local fixed route bus service, including weekends and holidays. If there is bus service available, Access Link service will be available. If there is no bus service, Access Link will not be available.Shared Ride
By comparable to the local fixed route bus system we mean that Access Link service is a "shared-ride" system. Similar to the bus, other customers may be picked up and dropped off while transporting you to your final destination. This helps Access Link maximize the use of the vehicle fleet and provide as many rides as possible to as many customers as possible.Origin to Destination
Access Link provides origin to destination service. In other words, Access Link will pick you up from your origin location and transport you to your destination as long as both locations are in the service area. Access Link is comparable to the bus in that it is a curb to curb service. All customers are required to meet the vehicle within 5 minutes of the vehicle arriving. Access Link operators are able to provide you with assistance (i.e. boarding and exiting the vehicle and assisting with your securements). Operators are not permitted to assist customers with handling carry-on items.
If you require additional assistance, accommodation or reasonable modification of Access Link services, please contact us.Where Does Access Link Go? (Access Link's Service Area)
As a result, some pick-up and/or drop off points may no longer be within the 3/4 mile Access Link service area. Changes in the local bus service may affect some ride requests, which had previously qualified for Access Link paratransit service. We will give you advanced notice of any service area changes. NOTE: Please call if you have any questions about the bus routes shadowed by Access Link.Ride Purpose
Access Link is comparable to the bus system in that you may ride with Access Link for any purpose; there are no restrictions or ride priorities. You may travel to places of employment, education, recreation, shopping, to attend social functions, visit family, friends, physicians, dentists, run an errand or just to get out of the house and relax. Please remember you need to make a reservation for each of your rides with a specific time, origin and destination address, cross streets and phone number.Fare
Applying for Access Link Eligibility:
The paratransit eligibility process involves multiple steps, including a transportation assessment in-person interview that is completed at one of our Assessment Agencies. NJ TRANSIT has trained a network of community provider agencies, throughout NJ to assist you in this interview process. All eligibility determinations are made by NJ TRANSIT.Access Link Eligibility:
When determining eligibility, in addition to your disability, NJ TRANSIT abides by the ADA regulations that consider the following:
Click here for information about our full paratransit eligibility process for Access Link.
Access Link's reservation lines are available 365 days a year between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., seven days a week including holidays. You may call 1-7 days in advance, but not less than one day in advance to our toll free number 1-800-955-ADA1(2321) (TT 1-800-955-6765).
When you call for a ride, you MUST have ALL of the following reservation information ready for the reservationist or we cannot process your request:
Please ensure you provide correct information for your reservation. Scheduled rides cannot be changed on the day of service.
Ride TimeYour "ride time" will be comparable in length to the ride time on the bus. Your Access Link ride time will generally not exceed 1½ times that of the local bus.
Pick Up WindowCustomers must be ready during their scheduled pick up window which is given during the reservation process, and be ready to board in 5 minutes.
Transfer TripsYou may be required to transfer between two or more vehicles, just as you would if you were riding the bus, this is called a transfer trip. All information about transfer trips will be provided to you at reservation time.
Vehicle PreferenceAccess Link has a mixed fleet of buses and sedans. Customer trips are scheduled on vehicles that we determine are able to meet the demand for service each day and allows us to successfully transport a customer to their destination. Customers can not request to travel in a specific type of vehicle such as sedan only.
Service AnimalsCustomers using service animals to provide assistance may ride in all types of vehicles. Service animals may not occupy a customer seat. They must sit at the feet of their owner.
Please make an effort to cancel all scheduled rides that are not needed in advance. Your cooperation in this matter allows us to maintain our efficient schedules and provide all of our customers with a high level of customer service.
For any questions or additional information please feel free to contact Access Link Customer Service at 1-800-955-ADA1(2321) and choose option 5.
|As an added safety feature, most Access Link vehicles are equipped with a camera that records sound and pictures. Anything that happens on or near the vehicle may be recorded.|
To Obtain Information about Access Link Service Status and Interruptions that are Due to Weather or Emergency
Your Access Link paratransit eligibility must be honored, when you are visiting another state. Each paratransit system has a process for evaluating visitor requests. The last page of your paratransit eligibility letter can be used to verify your paratransit eligibility status in the state of New Jersey. You must:
If you are a person with a disability that will be visiting New Jersey from another state, please contact our Certification Department to speak with a representative about utilizing the Access Link service.
Access Link Customers' Rights and Rules of Conduct
Customers have a right to:
Customers Rules of Conduct:
Customers are responsible for their own conduct as well as the conduct of their Personal Care Attendants and companions. While utilizing the Access Link service all customers, including those traveling with them are expected to follow these rules of conduct to ensure the safety and comfort of all customers, vehicle and the operator.
Repeat instances of prohibited behaviors may result in the issuance of a warning letter up to a possible temporary suspension of service. In some cases, due to the severity of the situation and its impact on our ability to provide service, suspension may be immediate or we may refuse service while we work to resolve the concern.
Drivers are not responsible for:
|How can I appeal a suspension of service? A customer who disputes the basis for a suspension of service can appeal the suspension by contacting the Access Link Customer Service department by calling (1) 800-955- ADA1 (2321) and selecting option "5" for further details or submit the request in writing along with supporting documentation by sending it via: Fax: (973) 232-1677 E-Mail: email@example.com Mail: NJ TRANSIT Access Link Attn: Customer Service/Suspension Appeals One Penn Plaza East, 7th floor Newark, New Jersey 07105|
Subscriptions are automatic weekly reservations designed and granted so that you do not have to call for your ride via the reservations line.
In order to be eligible for a subscription ride, you must show the following criteria:
|Lost and Found Contact us via phone or email to report personal items left onboard Access Link vehicles. Items found will be held at the Service Provider facility for up to 120 days. We will try to return items on another ride or you may make your own arrangements to pick the items.|
|Free travel instruction services are available, in select areas of the state. If you want to learn how to use the local bus, train or light rail system to travel, in addition to your Access Link service please contact us.|
Two new and innovative ways of keeping you connected are ALICE (Access Link Information Center) and our newest addition Access Link Online (our website).
Once ALICE is fully operational it will allow you to receive reminders about upcoming rides, cancel reservations, receive alerts prior to the vehicle arrival, and make reservations. These new features will significantly reduce the amount of time you will have to wait on hold and will allow you the option to not speak with an agent.
In order to benefit from ALICE you must make sure that we have a valid telephone number where you can be reached. If your primary contact number has an extension, you will not be able to receive calls from ALICE.
Access Link Online is an interactive website that was created to be an additional channel of communication and enable you to better manage your Access Link interactions.
Access Link Online will be launched in phases. The first phase will allow you to view past rides as well as check the status of and cancel upcoming rides. You will also be able to view and change your account information which includes your addresses (home, work, mail, and frequent addresses), phone numbers, and email address.
Your pin number/password, is needed to use both of these features, it is the last four (4) digits of your home phone number.
NJ TRANSIT is very interested in how you view Access Link service. If you wish to compliment us on the service or notify us of problems, you may email or call us and speak with an Access Link Customer Service Representative (contact information below). When calling please have as much information as possible, including:
Access Link Information:
1-800 -955-ADA1 (2321) between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or firstname.lastname@example.org (TT) 1- 800-955-6765 for the Deaf & Hearing Impaired
If you are unable to select an option, stay on the line for assistance.
Click here to send a message to Access Link Customer Service Group.
If you have any additional questions about NJ TRANSIT's Accessible Bus, Rail or Light Rail please contact,
NJ TRANSIT Information Center:
1-973-275-5555 or (TT) 1-800-772-2287 or www.njtransit.com
NJ TRANSIT TITLE VI NOTICE TO BENEFICIARIES
NJ TRANSIT operates its programs and services without regard to race, color, or national origin, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. Any person who believes she or he has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin, or wishing to obtain additional information regarding NJ TRANSIT’s Title VI obligations, may contact NJ TRANSIT Customer Service at 973.275.5555. A complaint or inquiry may also be filed by writing to NJ TRANSIT Customer Service - Title VI, One Penn Plaza East, Newark, NJ 07105. A complaint must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination.
If you wish to file a complaint of discrimination with NJ TRANSIT under Title VI (race, color or national origin), the ADA (disability), and/or other categories protected under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, please contact NJ TRANSIT Customer Service at 973.275.5555, or use our online form.
ADA Scheduling Window - Access Link is permitted by the ADA regulations to provide ADA rides within plus or minus one hour of your requested pick-up window.
Commuter Bus Service - bus service predominately in one direction during peak periods, limited stops, use of multi-ride tickets, and routes of extended length, usually between the central business district and outlying suburbs. The ADA does not require public transportation entities to provide ADA paratransit with respect to the commuter service.
Companion or Guest - a person other than a PCA (personal care attendant), who will be riding with an ADA eligible customer (e.g. a friend, relative, etc.). A companion pays the same fare as the ADA eligible customer.
Cross Street - the nearest intersection (corner) to the street address you are traveling to and from
Demand Ride - a single reservation to individual destinations
ID Number - a unique number assigned to you, which is used to identify you
Late Cancellation - a ride cancelled less than 90 minutes but more than 50 minutes before your scheduled pick-up window.
No-Show - when you fail to cancel a ride, or cancel a ride less than 50 minutes before your scheduled pick- up window, or when you do not meet the vehicle within the five minute wait time
Advanced Cancellation - a ride cancelled at least 90 minutes before the scheduled pick-up window.
Personal Care Attendant (PCA) - someone who is preregistered with Access Link designated or employed specifically to help you meet your personal needs for transportation
Region - a geographically defined service area in which an assigned Contractor or Service Provider delivers Access Link service (see Access Link regional map at the end of this section)
Request Window - this is the desired window during which you want Access Link to pick you up
Scheduled Pick-Up window - this is the agreed upon scheduled window
Service Provider - a company that is contracted by NJ TRANSIT to provide Access Link service; also known as the Contractor
Tour / Run - a list of rides or a "route" operated by an Access Link vehicle
Wait Time - a 5 minute wait time is provided once the vehicle arrives at your pick-up point for boarding purposes.