For customers who have never used public transportation, it can be intimidating to start. At MTD, we work to make sure our passengers have all the information they need to travel confidently.
All vehicles in MTD’s fleet (buses and vans) are equipped with a ramp or lift and wheelchair securements in our accessible seating areas. Our Operators are happy to kneel, or, lower the bus and deploy the ramp at your request. If you need help securing your mobility device once on board, please ask!
Riders with disabilities and senior riders have seating priority on MTD’s fixed-route service. The seats at the front of the bus are prioritized for these riders.
All of our passenger information kiosks and fixed-route buses are equipped with annunciators to assist individuals who have visual impairments. Automated on-board announcements are made at major intersections and destination time points (the columns that make up our schedules), as well as major transfer points. Stop announcements can also be made by our Operators when requested by a passenger on board.
A system for externally audible announcements is currently being developed, and once active, will provide for additional, external announcements of bus route information when the doors open at stops served by more than one route.
Yes, Service Animals are allowed on board MTD vehicles. Service Animals must either fit on a rider’s lap or on the floor. Animals may not take up a seat or block the aisle.
What is a Service Animal?
Service Animals are those animals individually trained to perform tasks for persons with a wide variety of disabilities, including hearing and mobility impairments. The ADA does not require Service Animals to wear a vest, ID tag, or a specific harness. Service Animals must be kept under the control of their owner. Any Service Animal acting in a disruptive or aggressive manner will not be permitted on the vehicle. Emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals do not qualify as Service Animals under the ADA. Please see our Rules of Conduct for more information on riding with pets who are not Service Animals.
A Reasonable Modification is a change or exception to an MTD policy, practice, or procedure that allows individuals with disabilities to have equal access to programs, services, or activities. Reasonable Modifications will be made, when necessary and possible, for qualified individuals with disabilities. You can contact MTD’s Special Services Manager for more information about Reasonable Modifications or make a request online.
What is a DASH Pass?
The DASH Pass is a pass offered by MTD, allowing passengers with disabilities and adults over age 65 to ride the bus fare-free. DASH Passes are good for three years, at which passengers will need to go through the application process again.
How do I get a DASH Pass?
For adults over 65, simply bring a photo ID with proof of age to the Customer Service Center at Illinois Terminal during business hours. They will take a picture, print out the pass then and there, and you can leave with your brand-new DASH Pass. Passengers with a disability can submit an application and be certified through any of MTD’s partner agencies. Certifying agencies include the Developmental Services Center (DSC), the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), PACE Center for Independent Living, and CRIS Center for Healthy Aging. Interested passengers can set up an appointment with these agencies to undergo an assessment and determine whether they are eligible for a DASH Pass.
Half-Fare Cab Program
A supplement to fixed-route service for DASH Pass holders, the Half-Fare Cab Program offers discounted cab rides taken within the MTD boundaries when service is operating on the street. Please contact 217.384.8188 for a list of participating cab companies and complete program guidelines.
What is ADA Paratransit?
ADA Paratransit is a service provided by MTD for passengers with disabilities who are unable to reasonably access the fixed-route bus service.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requires transit agencies with fixed-route buses to provide “complementary paratransit” services. Complementary paratransit is an origin-to-destination service operated in wheelchair lift-equipped vans. Operators of ADA Paratransit are able to provide additional assistance to help passengers access the service. ADA Paratransit is available within three-quarters of a mile of a fixed-route bus stop. Both the starting and ending points of a trip must be within that three-quarters of a mile.
What kind of assistance is available on ADA Paratransit?
Operators can assist passengers on and off the vehicle, up to 75 feet from the van. Operators are able to help passengers on and off the vehicle with the use of the lift on the van, as well as utilize wheelchair securements on passengers’ assistive devices.
When passengers schedule trips with ADA Paratransit, a van will pick them up and drop them off at the requested addresses, so that passengers do not need to walk to and from a bus stop.
How do I apply for ADA Paratransit?
Apply for ADA Paratransit at the link below. We ask a few questions about where the passenger lives, their experience riding the bus, and any conditions that prevent them from accessing the fixed-route bus system. The application also includes a professional verification that must be filled out by a doctor, nurse, social worker, physical therapist, or similar professional who can speak to the passenger’s specific needs.
All applications must be responded to within 21 days, though a determination is generally made in 10 to 14 days.
An important note is that no two circumstances are exactly the same, and the application process considers both medical and geographical circumstances. There is no condition that will have a passenger automatically accepted for ADA Paratransit.
For prospective passengers who do not live in MTD's service area, but plan on visiting, service can be provided for a limited time without going through the traditional application process. Call us at 217.384.8188 for more information on registering for ADA Paratransit temporarily as a visitor.
I would like to file a complaint, how can I provide feedback?
MTD is committed to providing equal access and opportunity to individuals with disabilities to all programs, services, and activities offered. If you feel you have been discriminated against or denied service on the basis of having a disability, a complaint can be filed by calling 217.384.8188 or through our customer feedback form.