Rider Info FAQs

Riding with Paratransit through the shared-van riding service, clients are able to enjoy increased independence and an active lifestyle. WRTA provides safe, reliable next-day transportation to appointments, restaurants, entertainment, events, and more!

At times, riders may experience a late pick-up or drop-off due to inclement weather, traffic, construction, or other unforeseen circumstances. A late trip is defined as a completed trip where the vehicle arrives beyond the 20 minute pick up window and or where the vehicle arrives at the destination later than the requested drop off time. If this occurs, please contact PBSTM at 508.752.9283 to report it as soon as you are able. This will provide PBSTM the opportunity to be sure that riders are receiving a quality, reliable service.

We ask that all riders requesting to cancel a trip, call at least 1 hour prior to the scheduled trip time. Any rides cancelled past this 1-hour window will be considered a late cancellation and will be deemed a “No-Show.”

  • For trips before 9:00 A.M., it is critically important to call and cancel unwanted trips as soon as possible to enable substitute scheduling.
  • For trips after 9:00 A.M., individuals must call at least one hour before their scheduled trip time to cancel.
  • If you’re calling before 8:00 A.M., please call the RTA Transit Services Dispatch Office at 508.453.3423 to cancel your trip.
  • If you’re calling after 8:00 A.M., please call PBSI Office at 508.791.WRTA option 3 to cancel your trip.

Currently, all rides are Fare-Free until June 30, 2024.

The suspended fare policy is as follows:

$2.75 In town
$3.00 One town away
$3.25 Two towns away
$3.50 Three or more towns away

All paratransit riders must maintain a positive balance of funds in their fare account in order to book a trip. Fares for riders and companions are deducted from the fare account. Fare cannot be paid to the driver.

Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) ride for free.

You may always take one traveling companion, and additional companions are permitted on a space available basis. Companions pay the same fare as the person they are accompanying. PCAs and companions must have the same pick-up address and drop-off address as the rider.

Access your Automated Fare Account

The WRTA limits carry-on articles/packages to “as many as the rider and/or PCA/companion can carry in one trip without driver assistance and without taking up more than one seat.”

Failure to follow this policy may result in your loss of service.

Personal Care Assistants are individuals whose assistance is needed by a rider to travel. Anyone who is involved in the “helping process” required by the rider to travel, either while riding on the service or after reaching a destination, is considered a PCA.

Some riders may require a PCA on all trips or may only require one on some trips. Please inform us during the reservation process if you will be traveling with a PCA. 

A rider is entitled to use different PCAs rather than the same one at all times. Individuals who require a PCA are not allowed to act in that same capacity for others, since it would require taking two PCAs for one rider’s trip.

PCAs ride for free.

The WRTA prohibits any employee involved in the provision of WRTA transportation services from accepting tips.

In accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, all drivers and all ADA passengers MUST wear their seatbelts unless you have a documented medical condition that prohibits their use.

Riders cannot request a particular vehicle type when requesting ADA service. The WRTA will provide service in whichever type of vehicle that it has available at the time and location of a rider’s trip request.

Riders are reminded that ADA service doesn’t operate on all holidays. Holiday ADA service is the same as holiday WRTA fixed route bus service. If WRTA buses aren’t operating where and when you want to travel on a holiday, ADA service will not be operating either.

For example, as shown in the table below, on President’s Day, ADA eligible riders can only travel using ADA service when Saturday bus service normally operates. Your WRTA local paratransit service provider can give you information detailing weekday, Saturday, and Sunday ADA service hours. 

The level of ADA service available on each holiday corresponds to the same level of WRTA fixed route bus service available on each holiday.

  • Martin Luther King Day* – Saturday Service
  • President’s Day*– Saturday Service
  • Patriots’ Day– Saturday Service
  • Columbus Day* – Saturday Service
  • Veterans Day – Weekday Service
  • Day after Thanksgiving – Weekday Service

* WRTA Routes 29, 33, and 42 operate on a weekday schedule on these holidays.
Routes 19 and 30 operate on a modified Saturday schedule on these holidays.

Please note: No WRTA fixed route bus service or paratransit service is available on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas Day.

Occasionally, it’s necessary to take ADA Paratransit service off the road due to snowstorms or other extreme weather conditions. Every attempt will be made to keep service on the road as long as it is safe to drive the vehicles. The WRTA will make every effort to avoid leaving an individual stranded during inclement weather. During inclement weather, please think about the importance of your trip and the worsening weather conditions before leaving your home.

If ADA Paratransit service has been taken off the road, riders are responsible for arranging their own alternative transportation for critical trips (such as medical treatments or work).

ADA service may be refused to a rider who engages in “violent, seriously disruptive, or illegal conduct.” Seriously disruptive conduct does not include behavior or appearance that only offends, annoys, or inconveniences other riders or employees.

In cases where a rider must be refused ADA service, service must be terminated immediately. A written explanation of the service refusal should follow, including the process for appealing the decision. Documentation of the situation leading to refusal of ADA service is vitally important.

In certain cases, the WRTA Administrator or his/her designee may feel that service can still be provided safely if certain conditions are met by the rider. However, if the conditions are not met, service to the rider can be terminated immediately.

All WRTA vehicles are accessible, which means that they have mobility lifts for individuals in mobility devices and also for individuals who cannot use the stairs to enter the vehicle. United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) regulations requires transit providers to transport all individuals unless doing so is inconsistent with legitimate safety requirements.

If you are considering purchasing a new mobility device, please contact our office at 508.752.9283. We are committed to helping you make sure that the device you are considering will be able to be transported on our vehicles.

WRTA Policy on Wheelchair Securement in Vehicles

  1. Wheelchairs must be secured in a forward-facing position only.
  2. All four belts must be used to secure wheelchairs to the floor tracks.
  3. All passengers must wear their seatbelts, unless they have a documented medical condition that prohibits their use.
  4. Riders in wheelchairs who have difficulty holding their upper body in an upright position may use a torso belt when supplied by the rider.

The WRTA feels that passengers who use three (3)- or four (4)- wheeled scooter-type mobility devices are most safely served by transferring to a vehicle seat, while the device is secured to the vehicle floor. Passengers riding such devices will be asked to transfer to a seat.

More Options for WRTA ADA Paratransit Customers

As a registered rider of the WRTA ADA paratransit service, you are also eligible to use any other transportation agency’s paratransit service nationwide. The Federal ADA regulations allow you to travel as a visitor in other paratransit service areas for up to 21 days within a 365-day period. If you expect your travel to exceed 21 days to a particular area, you may need to apply for certification through that agency.

For service information on other regional transit authorities within Massachusetts, please call 508.791.9782 or visit www.mass.gov and navigate to “transportation.”

If you have already been approved for ADA paratransit service from another transit authority, you are also eligible to use the WRTA’s paratransit service as a visitor for up to 21 days within a 365-day period. To receive service call our office at 508.791.9782 or fax to 508.797.5540 or email to paratransit@therta.com and share the information from your local transit authority. Once WRTA receives this information, you will be registered within our system by the next day.

If you are visiting the WRTA ADA paratransit service area but do not have documentation of eligibility from your home jurisdiction, WRTA requires documentation of your place of residence and of your disability. As a visitor, you can receive service for up to 21 days within a 365-day period. To receive service call our office at 508.791.9782 or fax to 508.797.5540 or email to paratransit@therta.com and share the information regarding your place of residence and disability. Once WRTA receives this information, you will be registered within our system by the next day.

The WRTA has established the following process for paratransit riders:

Riders must be ready during the entire 20-minute pick-up window. The driver will arrive anytime during the pick-up window and will only wait five (5) minutes once the vehicle arrives, before leaving for the next pick-up. A “No-Show” is an instance where vehicle arrives at the pickup location within the pickup window and the customer is not present or cancels at door. An individual is considered a “No-Show” if he/she is not available for pick-up as described above.

Late cancellations are also covered by this ‘No-Show’ policy. A late cancellation is a cancellation placed within one hour of the scheduled pickup window. Riders must call 508.791.9782 to cancel at least one hour prior to the scheduled pickup time or they will be considered a ‘No-Show. Trips cancelled at the pick-up location are also considered late cancellations.

Missed trips that occur for reasons beyond an individual’s control and/or are service-related problems are not considered a “No-Show.” A missed trip is defined as an instance were the vehicle never arrives or arrives beyond the 20 minute pick up window and the customer chooses not to take the trip. Please contact PBSTM by phone at 508.791.9782, or fax to 508.797.5540, or email to paratransit@therta.com to report a no-show or late cancellation that is beyond your control.

‘No-Shows’ and late cancellations are considered excessive when a customer reserves ten (10) or more trips within any month and no-shows and/or late cancels 20 percent (20%) or more of those scheduled trips.This will be considered a pattern or practice of missed trips and the customer will be sent written notification that he/she has violated the No-Show/Late Cancellation Policy and is subject to suspension.


The following suspension periods will be applied to violations of this policy that occur within the same rolling 12-month period.

  • 1st Violation will result in a written warning
  • 2nd violation will result in 3-day suspension from service
  • 3rd Violation will result in 5-day suspension from service
  • 4th or subsequent violations will result in 7-day suspension from service

Riders have the right to appeal that decision and are given 15 days to submit the appeal in writing to the WRTA. A copy of the ‘No-Show’ Appeal Process is attached to each letter. While a decision is in the Appeal Process, riders will continue to receive service.

The WRTA administrative ‘No-Show’ appeal process is intended to give paratransit riders who have been denied service the opportunity to have their cases heard by an official other than the one who made the initial decision.  Free transportation will be provided to appeal hearings if requested.

The ‘No-Show’ appeal process is as follows:

  1. Riders who wish to appeal a decision are given 15 days to submit the appeal in writing to the WRTA.
  2. Appeals will be heard and decided within 30 days of the receipt of request. While the appeal is in process, riders will continue to receive the paratransit service they were eligible for prior to the suspension of service. If the appeal extends beyond 30 days, riders will be able to receive transportation service until a final decision is rendered.
  3. Appeals will be heard by a panel independent from the WRTA.
  4. Individuals who appeal have the right to speak in person on their own behalf and/or have others represent them (at the rider’s expense) at appeal proceedings.
  5. Individuals who appeal have the right to necessary accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter.
  6. The determination resulting from the appeal will be in writing and will state the reason(s) for the decision.
  7. If you have any questions regarding the Appeal Process, contact cmellis@cmrpc.org or call 508.459.3328.



WRTA Administrator
Worcester Regional Transit Authority
60 Foster Street
Worcester, MA 01608