Access

bus

Overview

WeGo Access is publicly funded paratransit service which offers specialized vans for persons with disabilities who are unable to use fixed-route transit service. Access provides door-to-door service within Davidson County with a 24-hour advance reservation.

All Access vans are accessible and operate in conjunction with service times of fixed-route buses in Metro Nashville-Davidson County. Other vehicles, such as a taxi, may be used when Access vans are not available. Passengers who are unable to navigate Access services independently will be required to travel with a personal care attendant (PCA).

Access service operates from 4:45 a.m. to 12 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays and from 4:45 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. Cost is $3.70. To schedule a trip, call 615-880-3970. To speak with an eligibility specialist, call 615-880-3596 . 

All information is available in accessible formats upon request for large print, Braille, audio tape, etc.

Download PDF application

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. As a major piece of civil rights legislation, the ADA protects the rights of all people without regard to their disabilities. The ADA specifies all individuals have a right to be able to use available public transportation and requires that individuals who are not able to independently ride public buses be provided with an equivalent service for their transportation needs within the established service area.

This equivalent service (ADA paratransit) is provided to persons who, because of their disabilities, are unable to independently ride a bus. ADA paratransit must be provided within the same geographic service area and during the same service hours as fixed-route bus service. The maximum fare a public transportation provider can charge for standard ADA paratransit service is twice the adult one-way bus fare. WeGo Access is WeGo Public Transit’s ADA paratransit service.

Reservations must be scheduled by 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and observed holidays and must be made from one to seven days in advance. Multiple rides may be scheduled with one call. If a return trip is required, the return trip must be scheduled at the same time the reservation is made. Access does not accommodate same-day changes or same-day trips.

A Customer Care representative or scheduler may need to negotiate the pick-up and return times within a two-hour window – one hour before and one hour after the requested pick-up time. In order to reserve your trip, the following information must be provided:

  • First and last name
  • Date of the trip
  • Home address
  • Complete address (including the business name and building) and zip code of the pick-up and drop-off locations.
  • Expected arrival time at the destination (appointment or work schedule) or the pick-up time
  • Departure time for the return trip or if the trip is one-way only
  • If you have a PCA or escort riding with you
  • If traveling with a mobility device (i.e., wheelchair, scooter, walkers.) or service animal

When booking a reservation for appointments, allow adequate time to be ready to board the vehicle at the scheduled pick-up time. Be aware of opening or closing times at a business to avoid waiting outside the building before or after business hours. When scheduling trips, consider the following:

  • Allow adequate time to reach your destination;
  • Allow extra time for pick up and drop off of other passengers before reaching your destination;
  • Allow for traffic conditions and weather delays;
  • Allow a minimum of 30 minutes from the end of the pick-up window, even if you only need to be at a location a short period of time. The driver will not wait for you at any destination location after dropping off;
  • Be prepared to accept trip times up to an hour earlier or later than the preferred pick-up time. When the time of arrival is important (i.e., work, school, or doctor’s appointment), the required or appointment time should be provided instead.

If you are going to a doctor’s office or other medical appointment, let the person who is making your medical appointment know you will be using WeGo Access service. Ask them how much time should be allowed for the appointment. This will help you set your return time. It is your responsibility to determine with your doctor how much time to allow for the medical appointment. If you miss your ride home because you underestimated how long the appointment will take, you can call Access and reschedule for a later pick-up time. However, the needs of other customers may not allow Access to return immediately or at your expected time. Generally, a rescheduled trip could take up to one-and-a-half hours before Access is able to return a second time.

There is a 30-minute pick-up window at each pick-up location. Passengers must be ready to board the vehicle within the 30-minute pick-up window. When the vehicle arrives, it will wait five minutes before it leaves. If the passenger does not board the vehicle, the passenger will be marked as a no-show, and the van will leave.

For example, if your pick-up window is between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., the vehicle can arrive anytime (i.e., 10:05 a.m.) during that 30-minute window, even if you have a routine trip. The vehicle will only wait five minutes and then leave. If the vehicle arrives at 10:05 a.m., it will leave at 10:10 a.m. if you are not at the location.

In some circumstances when your 30-minute window is adjusted more than five minutes from the confirmed time, you will receive a call with a new pick-up window.

The driver or dispatcher will not call the passenger in advance or to advise that the vehicle has arrived. It is the responsibility of the passenger to be at the location when the van or overflow provider arrives. If you are unsure of your pick-up window, please call Customer Care at (615) 880-3970.

Riders must wait as close as possible to the entrance of the pick-up location. The driver will go to the door or lobby of the location to alert the passenger of their presence. Access drivers cannot enter a building but will assist passengers from the door to the vehicle. If a rider needs assistance exiting the pick-up location or entering the destination location, a companion or PCA should be available to assist. For drop offs, the driver will assist the rider to the door of the location or as close as possible to the door of the location upon request.

If the pick up is at an apartment complex, nursing home, or adult program/day center, it is the rider’s responsibility to let the Customer Care representative know if there are any special instructions needed, such as security-gated entries, apartment building numbers, or multiple entrances to large institutions. Otherwise, the drivers will pick up and drop off at the main entrance or designated/predetermined points of entry. If the rider fails to inform the Customer Care representative of special instructions and the pick-up cannot be made, it will be recorded as a no-show.

Occasionally, vehicles may be late for a pick up. If the vehicle has not arrived by the end of a 30-minute pick-up window, call Access at (615) 880-3970. WeGo will advise the rider of the status of the vehicle and what time to expect its arrival. If a ride is late and it is after hours, the call wiill be transferred to a dispatcher. If reservations are needed for another day or they need assistance with any other business not related to a late vehicle, they must call during regular business hours.

Access on Demand (AOD) is an additional service offered to Access customers that gives them the option of booking a ride with the provider of their choice as few as two hours in advance. Service operates from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

To schedule a trip using AOD, customers should call (615) 862-5678. A trip must be scheduled a minimum of two hours in advance or at most 30 days in advance. Cost is $7 for a trip up to 14 miles from the starting location. For a trip 14 miles or more from your starting location, you will be charged a $1 for every additional mile. Trips are paid at the time of booking by credit or debit card. For providers that can accept cash, please inform the representative when booking a ride. Payment is due at the beginning of the trip.

Customers are limited to four AOD trips per day. One PCA can ride at no cost, but the dispatcher must be notified at the time of booking if a PCA will join you on the trip. Up to two guests, including your PCA, can join you. There is an additional fare of $3.70 for non-PCA guests. Service animals may ride at no cost, but the dispatcher must be notified at the time of booking if a service animal will join you on the trip. If you use a mobility device, please inform the dispatcher when placing your request.

Cancellations must be made least two hours before scheduled pick up. For customers who have prepaid for a trip, either a credit will be issued for their next trip or the full amount will be credited back to their credit card. If the scheduled provider (e.g. a favorite driver) becomes unavailable, the customer shall be notified of the new driver and vehicle identifying information (name, license plate number, color, taxi medallion number, etc.) as soon as feasible.

Passenger assistance – Driver assistance does not include the following:

  • Assisting passengers on unsafe or steeply inclined mobility ramps or stairs;
  • Locking/unlocking doors or activating/deactivating alarms to any facility or residence;
  • Handling service animals;
  • Handling the controls of electric wheelchairs or scooters;
  • Providing medical treatment;
  • Scheduling trips, changing current schedule, confirming future trips, and purchasing tickets;
  • Carrying groceries or packages; or
  • Escorting a passenger after entering a building or residence. (Passengers will be escorted to the door/lobby of a building or the residence.)

Use of wheelchairs and other mobility devices – Access will make every attempt to accommodate wheelchairs, scooters, and other mobility devices. However, for safety reasons, Access strongly recommends that wheelchairs and similar devices be equipped with working brakes. Please be sure that wheelchairs, scooters, and other mobility devices are clean, safe, and in good working condition before using the Access service. Individuals who cannot board the vehicle using the steps may use the wheelchair lift upon request.

Securing of wheelchairs and other mobility mevices – Access will make every attempt to secure standard wheelchairs and scooters. If it is too difficult or impossible to secure the wheelchair or mobility device, the van driver may suggest that the rider transfer to a van seat, if it is possible for the rider to do. It is the rider’s choice to transfer or remain in their mobility device. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has advised that the ADA does not allow transportation to be denied if the mobility device cannot be secured.

Secondary mobility aids – These are limited to portable devices, such as walkers, crutches, canes etc., and cannot exceed 10 pounds total. The device must be secured either: (a) next to the rider, without overhanging the aisle or (b) in the rear of the vehicle. Operators shall assist in the loading and unloading of the device. WeGo Public Transit is not responsible should any damages occur to the secondary mobility device.

Use of safety belts – WeGo requires all passengers to wear a safety belt while the vehicle is in motion. Refusal to wear a safety belt will result in refusal of service.

Use of portable oxygen – The ADA provides that transportation service must be provided to a rider who needs to bring along an oxygen bottle. For safety reasons, it is an Access policy to require the rider to maintain control of the oxygen bottle. If the rider cannot pull an oxygen bottle cart or carry or maintain control of the bottle by themselves, then the rider shall provide a PCA to perform those functions. When choosing to ride shared public transportation, it is the responsibility of the rider to select a size of oxygen bottle that they can control.

Subscription service – Subscription service is limited to riders who are unconditionally eligible and traveling to the same place at the same time for a minimum period of 30 days. Access will terminate any subscription service that is cancelled 50 percent or more of the time during any 30-day period or if there is a consistent pattern of cancellations for any part of the subscription.

No-Shows – The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) ADA regulation allows transit agencies to suspend, for a reasonable period of time, the provision of paratransit service to customers who establish a pattern or practice of missing scheduled trips, also known as no-shows. The USDOT ADA regulation acknowledges that paratransit customers who repeatedly fail to appear for their pre-arranged rides can have a detrimental effect on operational efficiency, cost, and the quality of the service for other customers. However, the ADA does not allow transit agencies to base a suspension of service on any trips missed by a customer for reasons beyond his or her control, including trips missed due to transit agency error or delay. These trips are not a basis for determining a pattern or practice of missing scheduled trips or no-shows.

Under WeGo Public Transit’s Access No-Show Policy, a no-show will be logged on the customer’s record for the following reasons, with the exception of reasons not allowed under ADA regulations:

  • Ride cancelled with less than two hours before the beginning of the pick-up window;
  • Ride cancelled at the door or not cancelled at all;
  • Customer not ready to depart within five minutes after the vehicle arrives for pick up;
  • Customer cannot be located at the scheduled pick-up location.

Below are some circumstances WeGo will consider beyond the customer’s control:

  • Scheduled ride arrived outside the scheduled pick-up window;
  • Illness that precluded the rider from calling to cancel;
  • Personal attendant or another party who didn't arrive on time to assist the customer;
  • Customer was inside calling to check the ride status and was on hold for extended time;
  • Customer’s appointment ran long and did not provide opportunity to cancel in a timely way;
  • Another party cancelled rider's appointment;
  • Customer’s mobility aid failed;
  • Sudden turn for the worse in someone with a variable condition;
  • Adverse weather impacted customer’s travel plans, precluding the customer from cancelling in a timely way.

WeGo keeps customers apprised of recorded no-shows with a door hangar left by the operator or a call from an Access staff member. If a customer’s record forms a pattern or practice of excessive no-shows considered to be within the customer’s control, a suspension could be imposed. No-shows are tracked on a monthly basis according to the criteria below, with each month of excessive no-shows counting as an occurrence:

  • Five or more no-shows in one calendar month; and
  • 15 percent or more of all scheduled trips are no-shows.

For example, a customer with five no-shows out of 25 scheduled trips in a month would receive an excessive no-show occurrence because he or she meets both criteria of 20 percent of their scheduled trips. However, a customer with five no-shows out of 50 trips would not, because he or she was a no-show on only 10 percent of his or her scheduled trips. Customers with fewer than five no-shows per calendar month will not receive an excessive no-show occurrence.

No-show penalties are calculated on a 12-month rolling period (by monthly occurrence):

First monthly occurrence Warning letter
Second monthly occurrence Five-day suspension
Third monthly occurrence 10-day suspension
Fourth and beyond monthly occurrence 15-day suspension and eligibility review

Prior to suspension, each no-show will be verified, and the customer will receive a phone call warning of the excessive no-shows. If the customer notifies the Access staff in writing within a reasonable period of time, the warning call will allow the customer to dispute the no-shows. If a suspension is imposed, the individual will receive a letter of the suspension and will have the right to appeal within 60 days of the suspension letter.

Appeal

Customers receiving a suspension penalty under the No-Show Policy have the right to appeal. A customer’s suspension letter will include information on the appeal process. Once the request for an appeal is received, a five-member Appeal Panel will convene. The Appeal Panel consists of two WeGo staff members, two Access stakeholders, and an individual with the Metro ADA Office.

Customers who appeal a suspension for no-shows will be permitted to continue to use Access service pending the outcome of the appeal hearing. All Access policies and procedures still apply. Customers will be notified by letter of the outcome.

Requests for an appeal must be sent in writing to the WeGo ADA Coordinator at the following address:

ADA Coordinator
WeGo Public Transit
430 Myatt Drive
Nashville, TN 37115

Customers needing this information in an alternative format should call the Access Eligibility Office at (615) 880-3596. For more information, visit WeGoTransit@nashville.gov or call (615) 880-3970.

Return trip cancellations – Riders must cancel their return trip if they cancel or no-show the first part of the trip. They will receive an additional no-show for return trips that are not cancelled.

Denial of service – Riders, their PCAs, or companions traveling with riders who violate rules of conduct are subject to penalties, including suspension of service. Riders, their PCAs, or companions traveling with riders who engage in physical abuse or cause physical injury to another rider or the driver, or who engage in other illegal activities, may be subject to immediate and permanent suspension and possible criminal prosecution. Riders, their PCAs, or companions who engage in activity that disrupts the operation of the Access service may also be subject to a suspension of service. If a rider is disruptive to service, WeGo reserves the right to require that a PCA travel with the rider as an option to service suspension.

In addition, Access service will be denied to any person who poses a potential public health threat. The existence of excrement on clothes or on hands poses the potential for the spread of diseases like shigellosis. Contact with other body fluids, such as blood or vomit, poses an HIV or hepatitis B or C threat.

If the vehicle arrives for a pick up and the passenger or his or her clothing is soiled with feces, urine, vomit, blood, or the passenger displays a draining sore or an open wound, which is not dressed in a manner that prevents seepage of bodily fluids, the passenger has the following choices:

  • Re-scheduling the trip until they have cleaned themselves, clothes have been changed, or the sore or wound is dressed in manner to prevent the seepage of bodily fluids; or
  • Having the incident considered as a refusal of service.

In the case of re-scheduling the trip, a second vehicle will be dispatched when permitted by the daily trip load, and a no-show will not be recorded for the initial scheduled pick up.

In the case of a refusal of service, the driver shall seek prior approval from an operations supervisor/dispatcher before refusing service to any individual. If the operations supervisor/dispatcher determines that a potential threat to public health exists as described above:

  • Service will be refused;
  • No-show will not be recorded; and
  • Director of Operations or Director of Customer Care will give the person a letter explaining the reason for the refusal of service.

Recertification process
It is required that Access customers submit an application for recertification every three years or whenever certification expires (i.e., temporary disability status). At the appropriate time, Access will send a recertification packet to verify continuing eligibility. The packet will provide detailed instructions on the recertification process. A copy of the recertification application is online at WeGoTransit.com or a rider may call Customer Care at (615) 880-3970 to request an application.

In the case of customers whose functional ability is not expected to change over time and as previously determined and approved by WeGo, a phone call to verify the customer’s status and information will be conducted instead of a full recertification process. This will help lower the cost of eligibility determination while maintaining an up-to-date register of Access customers.

Rider conduct
In order to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone, riders, their PCA, and any companion(s) traveling with riders must adhere to the following rules of conduct:

  • No eating, drinking (unless there is a specific need for food accommodation), vaping, or smoking while onboard the vehicle;
  • No riding under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs as defined in the Code of Conduct;
  • No abusive, threatening, or obscene language or actions;
  • No deliberate fare evasion;
  • No physical or verbal abuse of another rider or the driver;
  • No operating or tampering with any equipment while on the vehicle;
  • No sound generating equipment shall be played on the vehicle, unless a headset or earphones are used;
  • No touching of any animal without the permission of the owner;
  • Baby strollers must be folded and stowed so as not to block the aisle or cause injury to persons on the vehicle;
  • Heads, arms, and other body parts must be kept inside the vehicle and objects must not be thrown from vehicle windows;
  • Passengers shall remain seated unless they are boarding or departing the vehicle;
  • Passengers must refrain from actions that divert or distract the driver from operating the vehicle;
  • Passengers may not transport car batteries, fireworks, flammable liquids, or propane bottles on transit vehicles.

For additional rules of conduct, please download the Code of Conduct brochure at WeGoTransit.com or call (615) 880-3970 for a copy.

Appeals Process

Denied application, suspension or other penalties
The ADA requires that transportation providers establish a process for persons to appeal decisions if they are denied access to paratransit service. WeGo has established an appeals procedure for persons whose applications for paratransit eligibility are denied or for persons who have received suspension notices for other reasons.

An individual may file an appeal when Access denies paratransit service for any of the following reasons:

  • Denial of Eligibility;
  • Suspension resulting from excessive no-shows or cancellations; or
  • Suspension for seriously disruptive behavior.

A copy of the appeals process is available by calling Customer Care at (615) 880-3970. Appeals for denial of eligibility must be made in writing and postmarked or emailed within 60 days of receipt of a denial letter. Send your Appeal for Eligibility Denial to:

WeGo Access Appeal Committee
WeGo Public Transit
430 Myatt Drive
Nashville, TN 37115
or email marilyn.yokley@nashville.gov

Access passengers who have received suspension notices for other reasons may request an Appeal Hearing. The appeal must be made in writing and postmarked or emailed within 10 days of the suspension or exclusion letter to:

WeGo Access
Attn: ADA Coordinator
430 Myatt Drive
Nashville, TN 37115
or email tanesha.durham@nashville.gov

Denial of Eligibility for Access Service
The Access Appeal Committee will review the letter of Appeal and the corresponding file within 15 days to determine if the denial will be upheld, modified, or overturned. The decision of the Appeal Committee is final.

The individual can attend the hearing to address the committee in person or by phone. Access will provide free transportation to and from the hearing. If the person no-shows for the hearing, the person will be marked as a no-show and the hearing rescheduled. In the case of rescheduling, the hearing date may be more than 15 days from the date the request for a hearing was received. If this is the second request for a hearing after a no-show and the person no-shows again, the person will be marked as a no-show and the hearing will not be rescheduled.

Appeals for suspension or exclusion letter
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will review the letter of appeal and the corresponding file on the excluded or suspended individual to determine whether the exclusion or suspension will be upheld, terminated, or modified. The CEO will communicate his decision to the individual seeking the appeal in writing within 10 days of receipt of the letter requesting the appeal. The decision of the CEO is final.

Book Your Trip

Close