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How To Use Paratransit

Paratransit is the easiest way for a patient to be transported to hospital from their homes. It is a “curb-to-curb system that means there is no need to use public transport or to organize a ride from any friends, family members, or neighbors. When you are in a non-emergency situation but still need to attend hospital for an appointment or check-up, using paratransit is the best way to do it; you will be safe and secure and you will get to your appointment on time without the need to feel stressed, which can add to any medical complaint that you may have. If you think that paratransit might be useful for you, here are some tips on how to use it. 

Schedule A Trip 
Your first job when using paratransit is to schedule a trip. This is why the system needs to be used for non-emergency use only; you do need to book ahead of time and cannot simply call up at the time you need to be collected, as you will need to be entered into the system. 

You can go online or use the telephone to book a trip. Let the operator know where you need to go, where you live, and what time your appointment is; and you will then be told what time a vehicle can come for you. Make sure you are ready to be collected with everything you need for your hospital appointment. 

Other information you may need to give includes:
• Who else will be going with you (if anyone)
• Contact details for your destination 
• Whether or not you will need to bring a wheelchair or other mobility device 

Watch For The Vehicle 
The schedule for your trip might be tight, but even if you have been able to allow a lot of time between being collected and your appointment, you should still ensure you are ready to board the vehicle that comes for you in a timely manner, as there will be other patients who need collecting, too. When the time comes for the vehicle to pick you up, it’s a good idea to watch out for it so that you are ready to get in—or be helped in—as soon as it gets to you. 

The vehicle that you will be looking out for will usually be a minivan type, which will have ramps along the side to help wheelchair users enter it. In some circumstances it may be a standard car, although if you have specified that you have mobility issues then it is more likely that a minivan will be sent to you. 

If you need assistance to go from your home to the vehicle, please do let the booking operator know at the time that you book the trip. 

Who Can Ride With You? 
It will often be useful to have someone ride with you when using paratransit. There are a number of people who you might want to take, although it is best to limit this to one, both for ease and for space reasons. Plus, most hospital appointments will only allow one additional person in the room with you. 

You could have a personal care assistant (PCA) be present as part of your paratransit booking. There will usually be no extra charge for this, and it can be a useful addition if you need some extra help to get to your final destination.