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Bridges Blog Orientation and Mobility Recreation Resources Series: Choose Your Own Adventure April

Paratransit/Call-a-Ride

Choose Your Own Adventure April

Life is an adventure, but where to begin? Join us at the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Helpdesk as we explore tools to support you as you Choose Your Own Adventure this April!

In this fourth installment of our “Choose Your Own Adventure April” series, we explore transportation options reserved for disabled travelers.

At times, public transportation may not serve our needs due to availability or scheduling needs, but taxis and ride-share services like Uber and Lyft can be very expensive to use. Paratransit, including Call-a-Ride, offers transportation that is more individualized to your needs than public transportation while being less expensive than ride-share and taxi options.

MobilityLink Paratransit Services

Through MobilityLink, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) provides public transportation alternatives to Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Anne Arundel County residents who cannot independently access, board, disembark from, or ride other MTA services (such as MTA’s BaltimoreLink bus system, Light RailLink, and Metro SubwayLink.

MobilityLink provides:

  • Shared ride service within a three-quarter (3/4) mile radius of MTA’s services (excluding Commuter bus routes and MARC train routes)
  • Door-to-door service

Accessing MobilityLink

  • Proof that you applicants have an impairment that prevents them from independently accessing, boarding, disembarking, or riding other MTA services
  • Apply online, or call to request an application
  • Schedule MobilityLink transportation by phone, computer, or Smartphone app
  • Out-of-town visitors: up to 21 days of service per year; application required
  • One-way fare is $2.10
    • Exact fare for each trip is required
    • May purchase a 20-ride ticket book

Complete MobilityLink/Paratransit Services Ride Guide available as a PDF download

Call-a-Ride

MobilityLink is not the only paratransit option in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Anne Arundel County.  Another option, Call-a-Ride consists of two parts: Call-a-Ride Center and Call-a-Ride Service. Call-a-Ride uses selected Taxi Cab and Sedan Companies to provide door-to-door transportation for MobilityLink customers. Please note that some of these companies have a limited service area, and these limitations are set forth on the Taxi Cab and Sedan Companies web page.

Call-a-Ride cost

Call-a-Ride fares cover up to $40.00 of the cab/sedan meter. If the meter reads more than $40, the rider must pay the amount over $40. For example, if the meter reads $35, the rider owes nothing more than the original fare. If the meter reads $48, the rider must pay $8 ($48-$40) in addition to the original fare.

Call-a-Ride Center Highlights

  • Available ONLY for trips to and from the customer’s dialysis center
  • Fare is $2 each way (pays for meter up to $40)

Call-a-Ride Service Highlights

  • Available for any purpose
  • Fare is $3 each way (pays for meter up to $40)
  • Limited to sixty-two (62) one-way trips per month
  • After 62 trips in a month, the customer must pay the full meter reading per trip

Call-a-Ride Service Highlights

Using Call-a-Ride (Service or Center)

  • Contact approved Taxi Cab/Sedan companies directly to schedule the ride
    • Tell the dispatcher your MTA Call-a-Ride card number
    • Must call at least 40 minutes in advance
    • May take up to three people on your ride, but all must get on and off at the same place
  • When entering the vehicle, present your MTA Call-a-Ride card and pay your fare
  • Get your paper receipt after your ride and keep it for six months (Call-a-Ride requirement)

MetroAccess Paratransit

Disabled individuals In Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties who meet MetroAccess eligibility requirements may access its paratransit services. The MetroAccess eligibility process is quite involved and can be time-consuming; please feel free to reach out to us at the Bridges Helpdesk for more information.

Like many other paratransit services, MetroAccess provides door-to-door transportation in shared-ride vehicles. MetroAccess serves addresses within a three-quarter (¾) mile radius of the Metrorail and Metrobus services in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. MetroAccess operates during the same hours of operation as Metrorail and Metrobus.

Cost of MetroAccess

MetroAccess fares vary based on the route and are double the regular fare on a comparable fixed-route trip. However, the maximum MetroAccess fare is $6.50 per trip.

Customers must pay the exact fare for MetroAccess service. Customers may also prepay fares using MetroAccess EZ Pay.

Using MetroAccess

Customers must schedule rides at least one day in advance and up to seven days before the trip. MetroAccess also offers a subscription service that allows customers to set up regular trips in advance. To qualify, these trips must have the same start and end points and must occur on the same day of the week and at the same time each day.

MetroAccess Abilities-Ride Program

MetroAccess offers its customers the opportunity to participate in its Abilities-Rode program. In this program, the customer calls to schedule trips as usual. For customers who have signed up for the Abilities-Ride program, MetroAccess decides whether to send the regular MetroAccess shared-ride vehicle or to have a taxi cab or sedan provide the trip (which will be curb-to-curb rather than door-to-door service). MetroAccess makes this decision; the customer does not. If your ride is moved to an Abilities-Ride vehicle, you’ll get a private ride, and your fare will be free.

Other MetroAccess benefits

Individuals with MetroAccess cards can ride for free on these public transportation services: Metrobus, Metrorail, DASH, DC Circulator, Arlington Regional Transit (ART), Fairfax CUE, Fairfax Connector (most routes), Prince George’s The Bus, and Montgomery County Ride On.

Other Metro Area County Transportation Options

Montgomery County paratransit options

Montgomery County Ride On Buses

  • Free rides on all Montgomery County Ride On buses
  • Discounted fares on some Metro buses (in Montgomery County)

Connect-A-Ride (CAR)

Call-n-Ride (CNR) Program, including the Same Day Access (SDA) Program

Medical Assistance Transportation Program

FREE Taxi Rides to COVID Vaccination, Testing and Mask Pick Up Sites

Prince George’s County paratransit options

Call-a-Bus

Call-a-Cab

Senior Transportation Services

  • Nutrition Program
  • Medical Program
  • General Transportation

Anne Arundel County paratransit options

Complementary Paratransit

General Paratransit (GPT)

Anne Arundel County Paratransit Riders Guide (PDF download)

Regional Transit Options

Areas outside of the Baltimore and DC Metro areas also offer paratransit services. Many of these are “ADA paratransit” services. In general, ADA paratransit provides services within a three-quarter (¾) mile radius of the fixed public transportation routes in the region and operates only during the same operating hours as regular public transportation. Most of these paratransit options are shared-ride services and require customers to schedule the ride. Additionally, most also charge fares, and some are limited to certain kinds of travel (typically for medical and educational purposes).

All of the ADA paratransit services listed below require applications to use the service, so it’s important to get the application process started at least a week or two before you want to start using the service. The application process Can be confusing, so please do not hesitate to reach out to the Bridges Helpdesk for help.

Most of the following services do not provide information about the availability of their services for non-residents. Please check with the agency or contact the Bridges Helpdesk to explore paratransit options outside of your local area.

Here are some links to other transit options in different areas of Maryland:

Central Maryland

Frederick County Paratransit options

Paratransit options

  • Transit-Plus
    • ADA Paratransit Service
    • Fares not listed

Taxi Access Program

  • Available to Transit-Plus customers
  • Discounted fares
    • Depending on one’s residence, each month, get $70 or $140 of taxi fare “credit” for a $10 fee
    • Three taxi companies participate in this program

Harford County Paratransit options – $2 fares

Harford County Paratransit options – $2 fares

ADA Paratransit

Demand Response

Howard County Paratransit Options

General Paratransit (GPT)

  • One round-trip per day
  • Limited service: medical appointments, colleges, senior centers, etc.
  • $5 fare each way

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) services

  • Shared ride service; Unlimited trips per day
  • $4 fare each way

Carroll County Demand Response Service

  • Limited to medical, employment, and education trips
  • Fares vary based on distance: $2 to $9

Western Maryland

Washington County Paratransit options

Complimentary Paratransit Program – $2 fare each way. 

Ride Assist Program

  • Vouchers for taxi rides

Garrett County Garrett Transit Service (GTS)

GTS provides demand response service to all residents of Garrett County. There is no special paratransit service.

Allegany County Alltrans paratransit service – $3 fare

Southern Maryland

Calvert County Paratransit options

Para Transit Services

  • Four Routes

ADA

  • Curb-to-curb transportation

St. Mary’s County Transit System (STS)

STS ADA Riders” – $2 fare

Statewide Specialized Transportation Assistance Program (SSTAP)

  • $3 fare
  • Travel throughout St. Mary’s County

Charles County:

VanGo Paratransit services

Eastern Shore

Cecil County

Transportation Reimbursement Program

Reimbursement for taxi or ride-share trips

Maximum reimbursement for 2023 is $500; the minimum is $50

Fixed Route Deviation from Cecil Transit

Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot Counties: Delmarva Community Transit

https://www.ccgov.org/government/community-services/cecil-transit

Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot Counties: Delmarva Community Transit

ADA Complimentary Paratransit

  • Dorchester County ADA Service
  • Talbot County ADA Service

Discounted fares on Delmarva Community Transit in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot Counties

Queen Anne’s County

Specialized Services of the County Ride

  • Curb-to-curb demand response service
  • $0 fares through December 2023

Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties

Ocean City ADA Paratransit – $4 fare/day (covers all rides in one day)

Moving Forward

Of course, this is a lot of material. Please reach out to us at the Bridges Helpdesk for anything from exploring your options to finding out what you’re eligible for to formulating an ambitious travel plan for the first time. We’re here to make sure you have the tools and resources you need to Choose Your Own Adventure without emptying your wallet.

Ocean City ADA Paratransit – $4 fare/day (covers all rides in one day)

Ocean City ADA Paratransit – $4 fare/day (covers all rides in one day)

Ocean City ADA Paratransit – $4 fare/day (covers all rides in one day)

Of course, this is a lot of material. Please reach out to us at the Bridges Helpdesk for anything from exploring your options to finding out what you’re eligible for to formulating an ambitious travel plan for the first time. We’re here to make sure you have the tools and resources you need to Choose Your Own Adventure without emptying your wallet.

Contact us

Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

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