Access Link ADA Paratransit
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.
- What Is Access Link?
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.
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.
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)
- Your ride qualifies for Access Link service if your pick-up and drop-off points are within a 3/4 mile radius of an eligible bus route or light rail station. This is known as the Access Link service area. Access Link shadows local fixed route buses and light rail stations. The bus routes defined as commuter routes are not included in the Access Link service area.
- If your ride begins within the service area but ends outside of the service area, we cannot take you to your final destination.
- When you provide the Reservationist with your pick up and drop off address details, we can assist you regarding the service area and finding a safe, convenient alternate pick up point.
- Access Link does not provide service to areas outside the state of New Jersey unless NJ TRANSIT provides local bus service to those locations.
- NJ TRANSIT reserves the right to change the bus routes and schedules as the fixed route schedules change.
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.
Access Link is comparable to NJ TRANSIT's Local Fixed Route bus system and you can use it to travel to any destination, for any reason as long as the origin and destination are within the Access Link service area. NJ TRANSIT cannot ask you the purpose of your ride or prioritize ride requests.
- You will be charged a comparable fare based on the local fixed-route bus fare and number of zones you will be traveling through and any applicable transfers you make.
- EZ-Wallet, electronic fare is available. You are encouraged to set-up a payment profile and use EZ-Wallet instead of handling cash.
- If you decide to pay for your rides with cash, it has to be exact fare. Access Link Drivers cannot make change.
- Access Link is not a free transportation service. You should not expect to ride if you cannot or have not paid the fare.
- Reduced fare is not available on Access Link. If you have been approved for reduced fare, you can use this on the Local Fixed-Route Bus, Light Rail and the Train.
- If you have been approved to travel on Access Link with a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) this person travels for free.
- Children under the age of five, ride for free when accompanied by an Access Link eligible customer.
- Applying for Access Link
In order to be considered for full paratransit eligibility, you are required to attend an in-person Transportation Assessment interview, at a location within close proximity to your home. During the interview you will have the opportunity to discuss your disability and the impact on your ability to use NJ TRANSIT's local fixed-route system to travel to and from their intended destinations.
Complimentary rides, to and from the interview location, are provided at no cost.
If you are interested in applying for full Access Link eligibility, or want to discuss your transportation needs, call 800-955-ADA1 (2321) and select option #1 for the Certification Group.
- Make a Reservation
Access Link reservations can be made by calling 800-955-ADA1 (2321) and selecting option #2 or using our online options at https://accesslink.njtransit.com or using www.njtransit.com and selecting ACCESSIBILITY from the main menu and then selecting Access Link online from the drop-down menu.
When requesting a reservation, you will need:Your customer ID Number. The complete pick-up and drop-off address. The nearest intersecting cross streets for both the pick-up and drop-off locations.
Please ensure that you provide correct information when making a reservation. Scheduled rides cannot be changed on the day of service.
- Your requested pick-up time.
- A phone number where you can be contacted while riding.
- To inform us if anyone else will be riding with you (a companion or PCA) and let us know if this person will be using a mobility device.
- To offer pick-up and drop-off comments to help the driver find the correct location.
- Bring an appropriate child safety restraint system (car or booster seat), if you are traveling with a child who requires one under New Jersey's Child Safety Restraint Law. If an Access Link driver determines that car or booster seat is not appropriate, or you do not bring one, the child will not be able to ride.
- Notify us if you use a mobility device and plan to transfer into a seat.
- Speaking Engagement/Site Visit Information
NJ TRANSIT Speakers Bureau, High School/College Career Fairs and Company Site Visit Requests - Download PDF
- Traveling on Access Link
- Once an Access Link vehicle arrives we will wait up to five minutes for you to come out and board. If you do not come out within five minutes, the vehicle will depart without you and you will be declared a "No-Show."
- If someone will be helping you get to the vehicle, that person must be waiting with you. If someone will be assisting you from the vehicle to your door at your destination, this individual must be ready to meet you when the vehicle arrives.
- If you require additional assistance, an accommodation or reasonable modification of Access Link services, please contact the Access Link Customer Service Group by calling 800-955-ADA1 (2321) and selecting option #5.
- Any customer, including those who do not use mobility devices, may request to use the lift to board the vehicle while standing.
- If any of your contact information changes, especially your home address, telephone or contact number, please notify Access Link as soon as this information changes.
- If your vehicle has not arrived by the end of your window please call Access Link at 1-800-955-ADA1 (2321). A Service Monitor will give you information about the status of your ride. Please be patient and do not call until the end of your window to help us reduce your hold time.
- It is not a requirement for children under the age of 12 to sit in the back seat of sedans, however, NJ state law recommends it. Please keep this in mind if one of our sedans should arrive to transport you.
- Due to scheduling and space needs the driver may ask you to change your seat. We ask for your cooperation.
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.
You cannot request to travel in a specific type of vehicle. The Access Link fleet is a mixture of sedans and accessible buses. During our scheduling process, the next available vehicle will be selected by our computer system to handle your ride request.
Customers 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.
- Access Link can accommodate wheelchairs, scooters or other mobility devices that are 30-inches wide and 48-inches long and weigh 600 pounds, when occupied. If you are traveling with a mobility device that exceeds these dimensions and/or weight, we will endeavor to accommodate your device but we may not guarantee you a ride.
- Access Link may not transport you if your mobility device is broken or malfunctioning. Broken brakes, safety belts, wheels, weak batteries, or other problems with mobility devices cause a safety concern for all.
- When bringing packages on board think of the fixed route public bus system. You may bring packages on board but only what you, your personal care attendant or companion can carry in one entry to the vehicle. Repetitive trips on and off the vehicle with packages is not permitted.
- Operators may not carry packages for you.
- Your packages must be self-contained and must not pose a safety hazard (e.g. rolling, spilling, etc.) and therefore must be secured and not obstruct the aisle or customer seating. Any items that may pose a safety risk are not permitted on Access Link vehicles (i.e. hoyer lifts, bicycles, any flammable material/liquid, etc)
- You are allowed up to one collapsible/ folding shopping cart per scheduled ride as long as you can board the vehicle with it on the lift.
- Cancelling a Ride
Access Link will record each customer no-show or late cancellation
For any questions or additional information please contact Access Link's™ Customer Service Group at 800-955-ADA1 (2321) and select option #5.
Cancellation and No Show issuance
- For a cancellation to be considered "advanced" you must call Access Link 90 minutes or more before your scheduled pick-up window.
- Your ride will be considered a late cancellation if you call Access Link more than 50 minutes but less than 90 minutes before your scheduled pick-up window.
- Your ride will be considered a no-show if you do not call to cancel your ride at least 50 minutes before your scheduled pick-up window, or you do not board the vehicle within the five minute wait time.
- If you no-show a scheduled ride, you must call Access Link within 60 minutes in order to confirm any ride reservations for later that day.
- We also asked that you are ready during your window and remember that the operator can only wait 5 minutes for you to board the vehicle.
- Companions and PCAs
You may travel with up to two other riders. To ensure seating capacity, NJ TRANSIT reserves the right to limit additional companions on a space available basis.
In addition, only one rider can be listed as a PCA. A PCA is someone who handles the following types of services:
- Assists a customer with traveling to and from the Access Link vehicle.
- Calming a customer who tends to become upset in unexpected situations.
- Preventing a customer from leaving her/his seat or opening a door with the vehicle is in motion.
We will make every effort to provide additional assistance, an accommodation or reasonable modification but Access Link drivers are not required or trained to act in the capacity of a PCA. If you require additional, from the Access Link driver, contact the Access Link's Customer Service Group at 800-955-ADA1 (2321) and select option #5 to discuss your needs. We cannot guarantee that assistance will be provided. Each request will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
- If you require assistance of a PCA, we recommend that you always travel with one.
- If you are authorized to travel with a PCA and the person will not be traveling with you, please update your reservation.
- If we recognize that you require assistance above what an Access Link driver can provide, and you do not have a PCA, we may make a safety related recommendation requiring you to travel with one.
- On Board Recording
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.
- Service Status During Emergency
To Obtain Information about Access Link Service Status and Interruptions that are Due to Weather or Emergency Situations
- Visitor Status in Another State
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:
- Identify and contact the paratransit provider in the state where you plan to travel prior to your actual travel date.
- Request that all forms be sent to you directly. NJ TRANSIT cannot be responsible for the completion of any forms.
- Request information that will help you plan your use of their paratransit service effectively.
- Requesting Visitor Status in NJ
If you are a person with a disability who will be traveling to New Jersey from another state, please contact our Certification Group at 800-955-ADA1 (2321) and select option #1 for information about our VISITOR SERVICES.
- Access Link Customers' Rights and Rules of Conduct
Customers have a right to:
- Safe, reliable paratransit service in clean vehicles
- Ride times within the ADA scheduling window
- Have all of your information maintained with the highest level of confidentiality
- Be assured that NJ TRANSIT is monitoring the service providers who are delivering the Access Link service
- Vehicle announcements upon arrival at your pick-up location
- Professional, customer friendly, and courteous assistance
- Assistance from the curb for boarding and exiting the vehicle
- Assistance to and from your seat
- Assistance securing any mobility devices, seat and lap belts
- Request additional assistance, accommodation or reasonable modification of Access Link services, if needed.
- Operators calling 911 in the event of a medical event or emergency
- Announcement of "Access Link" upon arrival at your pick up point
- Operators performing safely and obeying all traffic laws
- The vehicle arriving within the Window
- The operator waiting up to 5 minutes for you to meet the vehicle
- Refuse unsafe service and file complaints without fear of reprisal
- Prompt investigation and effective resolution of complaints
- Notify us if they are not able to communicate in English and inform us of which language requires translation. We will then arrange a staff member to speak with you and/ or use the language line assistant to facilitate our conversation.
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.
- Do not willfully make threats, sexually harass, disturb, physically or verbally harass or use offensive language or gestures towards other customers, operators or Access Link staff on the phone.
- No consumption and/or riding under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while on board the Access Link vehicle.
- No smoking while on board the Access Link vehicle.
- Refrain from disruptive behavior and situations that pose a direct threat to the safety and well-being of other customers, the operators and our vehicles such as but not limited to the presence of bed bugs on your person, contagious conditions, the discharge of bodily fluids and open wounds
- No operating or tampering with any Access Link equipment while onboard Access Link vehicles.
- Pay your fare and promptly board the Access Link vehicle within the five-minute timeframe without purposeful delay.
- No sound generating devices are to be played aboard the Access Link vehicle without the use of headphones.
- Remain seated with the seat belt on at all times during the ride. The only exception is when customers obtain written documentation from a medical professional.
- Refrain from receiving repetitive passenger no-shows.
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:
- Acting in the capacity of a PCA
- Knowing your scheduled return time
- Providing first aid or other medical assistance
- Assisting you with transporting packages or other items
- Relaying information to Access Link Operations
- Right to Appeal Suspension
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
- Ride consistency to and from the same location
- Rides are taken during the same times
- Rides are taken during the same day(s) on a weekly basis
- A history of consistent weekly ridership within 30 day period
- Out of consideration to all, you are allotted one subscription (to and from one location) however, requests for additional subscriptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- When a subscription slot is not available after meeting the criteria outlined, the request will be placed onto a wait list until the ride becomes available. Once a subscription is created, this ride will occur automatically, week-to-week, until the subscription is no longer needed.
Please note: Subscription rides are automatically cancelled by Access Link on the holidays listed below. If your subscription ride falls on a holiday and is still needed, then you must reserve that individual ride with an agent or via the Access Link website, 1 to 7 days in advance.
The Access Link holidays are:
- New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Presidents' Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Day after Thanksgiving
- Christmas Day
- Lost and Found
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.
- Travel Instruction
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.
- ALICE & Access Link Online
Access Link Online
Access Link Online is our updated website.
Here are eight things that you can do once you log into Access Link Online:
- My Profile: Review your Customer ID, Name, EZ-Wallet Balance, Preferred Space Type, Email Address, Home Address and Frequent Trips.
- My Rides: View rides that you have scheduled.
- Request a Ride: Select your pick-up and drop-off address, date and time and let us know who will be traveling with you.
- Subscription Rides: View SUBSCRIPTIONS. If you want to be considered for a SUBSCRIPTION, select Feedback to communicate with the Scheduling Group.
- EZ-Wallet: View your balance and transaction history. Add money to your account and set-up the auto top-up.
- General Info: View our Contact Info, Holidays, Customer Conduct, How to request a Reasonable Accommodation, Access Link Service area, Weather / Emergencies Alerts and a new technology summary.
- Feedback: Communicate with us about address changes, pick-up and drop off driver comments, complaints and commendations.
- Help: View all of our new technology brochures.
ALICE is our Interactive Voice Response system that offers you a way to CANCEL and MONITOR your rides using your phone. Dial 800-955-2321 select 3 and enter your customer Id number and 4 digit pin to cancel a ride. To check your ride status select 4 and enter your customer Id number and 4 digit pin. You can also receive IMMINENT ARRIVAL and WHERE'S MY RIDE? alerts.
- IMMINENT ARRIVAL: Automatic messages designed to notify you that an Access Link vehicle will be arriving soon.
- WHERE'S MY RIDE?: Receive the estimated arrival time for your Access Link ride via text
- Customer Service
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:
- Date and time of day you traveled.
- Your pick-up and drop off locations.
- Your vehicle number.
- Your driver's name.
- What happened?
- Who else was on the vehicle?
Access Link Information:
1-800 -955-ADA1 (2321) between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or email@example.com (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.
- Terms and Definitions
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.
"Register Ready - New Jersey's Special Needs Registry for Disasters" allows NJ residents with disabilities and their caregivers to provide information to emergency response agencies so responders can better plan to serve them in a disaster or other emergency. Click Here for More Information.