A-Ride is a shared ride, advanced reservation, ADA paratransit service intended to provide a comparable level of transportation to that which is provided by a TheRide's fixed-route bus. ARide riders share trips if they are generally traveling in the same direction at the same time. Trips are scheduled without regard to the purpose of the trip. TheRide also provides GoldRide service to seniors aged 65 and older.
What is the ADA?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires transit agencies to provide service comparable to fixed-route service for individuals whose disabilities prevent them from being able to access a fixed-route bus.
The ADA states that TheRide's regular bus service should be the primary means of public transportation for everyone, including people with disabilities. Under the ADA, A-Ride serves as a safety net for only those persons who do not have the functional capability to ride TheRide’s regular buses.
TheRide provides many options for people with disabilities to use public transportation services. Please use the menu to the left to find out how to use A-Ride; an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) shared-ride, demand-response public transportation service.
How do I become eligible for A-Ride?
To be able to use the service due to disability, an ADA application must be completed. For those who have been approved, A-Ride provides service in the same area and at the same days and times as TheRide's regular fixed-route buses. A-Ride is also available to companions of qualified riders, personal care attendants (PCA's) and service animals. To ensure there is a seat available for companions, be sure to notify A-Ride that you will have someone accompanying you when you make your reservation.
ou may download the A-Ride Application, or call or write to TheRide’s main office to request a printed application.The A-Ride application is also available in alternative format, such as large print or audio, upon request. Applications, however, must be submitted to TheRide in written format. You may receive assistance from other people in filling out the application. Any person providing assistance must be identified on the application form in the designated space. You may contact TheRide for additional information at 734.973.6500.
Completed applications will be reviewed for eligibility within 21 days from their submission. Eligibility determinations, on completed applications, not made within 21 days will result in the applicant being considered eligible until a determination is made.
Upon submission of your completed application you may be contacted by TheRide’s Office for Eligibility Determinations to set up an interview to review your application. If you are required to participate in an in-person interview you will be provided a trip to and from your interview free of charge. Failure to attend the interview will be conclusively deemed a withdrawal of the A-Ride application. Applicants required to meet in-person are encourage to bring any other documentation which you wish to have considered as part of the eligibility process.
A-Ride eligibility is based principally on the application form and the information submitted with it. An applicant must establish that he/she is functionally unable to use TheRide’s regular fixed route bus services. Please make sure that the application is complete. Incomplete applications will delay the review process. If any information is not true or misrepresents the facts, the applicant will be found ineligible. If the effects of your disability do not prevent you from riding the regular bus you may be found eligible for TheRide's Fare Deal service.
Completed applications must be returned to:
A-Ride Eligibility Determinations, 2700 S. Industrial Hwy., Ann Arbor, MI 48104
For more information contact TheRide at (734) 794-1721
A-Ride eligibility categories
Conditional eligibility will apply to individuals who are able to use TheRide’s regular fixed-route bus line for some trips, but may require A-Ride for other trips, or in special circumstances. Eligibility for A-Ride trips will be determined on a trip-by-trip basis and will be based on the individual’s functional ability to independently use TheRide’s regular fixed-route bus line for some trips, or part of a particular trip.
Unconditional eligibility will apply to individuals who have been judged functionally unable to independently use regular fixed-route service in any circumstance. Temporary Temporary eligibility may apply to individuals with temporary disabilities that are expected to last at least three months or longer. Temporary eligibility lasts for the expected term of the disability or until a visually or cognitively impaired individual has become “mobility trained”, but in any event no longer than 12 months. After the 12-month period, individuals who were granted temporary eligibility must reapply and be reevaluated if they require continued use of A-Ride services.
If you are eligible for ADA paratransit services under another agency, and are visiting the Ann Arbor area, you may use A-Ride while you are visiting for up to 21 days within a one year period. If you do not have documentation of ADA paratransit eligibility, then you will need to complete only Part A of the A-Ride application. If your disability is not apparent, then you may be required to complete the A-Ride application for documentation of disability. Please contact AAATA at (734) 794-1721 prior to your visit or as soon as possible.
Is there an eligibility appeal process?
If you are not in agreement with a decision made regarding your A-Ride eligibility, you may appeal the decision in writing. Appeals processes are carried out in accordance with the ADA regulations. Call TheRide at 734.794.1721 or e-mail ARide@theride.org for more information.
You may request the following types of appeal:
Informal appeals may be requested within 15 days following the date of the letter of eligibility. Most disagreements are resolved through an informal appeal. Informal appeals are held by TheRide’s Travel Trainer. Decisions are made in writing within 7 days following the review of the appeal. Persons who disagree with the informal appeal decision may request a formal appeal.
Formal appeals must be requested in writing within 60 days following the date of the letter of eligibility. Requests beyond this period may not be considered. Formal appeals are held by TheRide’s Paratransit Coordinator. Formal appeals may be held in-person. Decisions are rendered in writing within 30 days following the appeal otherwise presumptive eligibility will be given until a decision is made. Formal appeal decisions are final.
What are the A-Ride service areas?
Base Service Area
The A-Ride Base Service Area is defined by a 3/4-mile radius either side of TheRide’s scheduled fixed route bus service. Advance reserved trips, that begin and end within the Base Service Area, are considered ADA trips. Whenever the scheduled fixed route bus service area changes, the A-Ride Base Service Area changes as well.
Township Service Areas
A-Ride is available for ADA eligible residents of Ypsilanti, Pittsfield & Superior Twp’s. who reside beyond the Base Service Area. These riders may request trips to locations within their township on weekdays between 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Additional funding permits eligible Pittsfield Twp. riders to travel within the Ann Arbor City limits. Additional funding permits eligible Ypsilanti Twp. riders to travel within the Ypsilanti City limits.
What are the A-Ride operating hours?
A-Ride (ADA) service is available during TheRide’s regularly scheduled fixed route bus service. All A-Ride trips must be completed by the end of these scheduled service hours. If published scheduled fixed route times change, the A-Ride times will change as well.
- The first weekday pick-up may be scheduled as early as 6:30 a.m.
- All weekday trips must be completed no later than 11:45 p.m.
- On Saturday, a trip can be scheduled as early as 7:30 a.m.
- All Saturday trips must be completed no later than 10:45 p.m.
- On Sunday, a trip can be scheduled as early as 8:00 a.m.
- All Sunday trips must be completed no later than 7:45 p.m.
A-Ride does not operate on: Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve service ends at 7:00 p.m. For trips on these days’ call Holiday Ride.
Ho do I make a reservation?
Before You Call (734) 973-1611
- Know your A-Ride ID number and the date(s) you want to travel
- Know your appointment time, or time you want to be picked up
- Know the name & address of where you are going to
- Know the specific entrance you want to be picked up at
- Know what assistance you may need, or mobility aids you use
- Know who will be traveling with you
When Calling A-Ride To Make A Reservation
- Select Option #2 for: Advance trip orders from 1-7 days in advance (this includes trip cancellations from 1-7 in advance)
- Select Option #3 for: Same-Day trip orders on the day of the trip (this includes will-call returns, same-day trip cancellations and where's my ride calls)
For Advance Trips & Advance Trip Cancellations
- Call Weekdays: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Call Weekends: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For Same-Day Trips & Same-Day Trip Cancellations
- Call Weekdays: 6:15 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- Call Saturdays: 7:15 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- Call Sundays: 7:15 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Holiday Reservations (for next day ADA trips only)
- Call On Holiday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
You may call on the holiday to request an ADA trip for the day immediately following the holiday. ADA trips have both an origin and destination within the Base Service Area.
The travel time of an A-Ride trip is comparable to the same trip if made by regular fixed route bus. Pickup times may also be negotiated within one hour before or after the requested time. The reservationist will give you a pickup time and the expected Be-Ready window your ride will arrive within.
Advance reserved trips arrive within a tentative 30 minute Be-Ready window from your scheduled pickup time. Please be ready to board your ride during this time. If your ride has not arrived within 30 minutes from your scheduled pickup time call A-Ride for assistance.
For Same-Day trips and Will-Call Return trips, the Be-Ready window is 45 minutes from your pickup time.
Please be prepared to leave when your ride arrives. Riders who do not board the vehicle when it arrives delay service for other passengers. In these cases, the driver can only wait up to 5 minutes before moving on to their next trip.
On-Board Travel Times
Travel times vary based on trip distance, traffic, time of day and weather conditions. The below table shows expected travel times. If you need to arrive by a specific time, consider your Be-Ready window and travel time when planning your trip. If you’re unsure, tell us, the reservationist will attempt to give you a pickup time that will get you to your appointment on time.
Expected Travel Times
A-Ride shared-ride trips are provided in sedans and accessible lift-equipped buses. Riders using Wheelchairs may travel in a sedan if they can transfer without driver assistance, their wheelchair weighs less than 50 pounds, and it can be stowed in the trunk.
Note: Riders may not choose the type of vehicle they prefer to travel in.
What trip options does A-Ride offer?
A-Ride may provide trip options for riders beyond ADA requirements. These trip options are:
Depending on availability, up to two same-day trips, with a pickup and drop off entirely within the Ann Arbor City limits, are available per day. Call A-Ride to request a same-day trip and your vehicle will arrive within 45 minutes from your confirmed pickup time.
Standing Orders (STO’s)
Standing orders may be available for reoccurring trips. Trips must remain unchanged for 90 days. At least two weeks are needed to process requests. Three no-shows on a standing order, in one month, will cancel it.
Sedan Will-Call Return Trip
A sedan will-call trip is the return leg of an advanced reserved round-trip, without a specific pickup time. Will-call returns may be made from medical or shopping appointments. Two will-call return trips are available per day. Call A-Ride when you are ready for your return trip and your vehicle will arrive within 45 minutes from when you call.
Advance trip requests are available to: St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Washtenaw Community College, UM Lobbies Domino Farms & UM Health Center (Plymouth Rd.)
Note: Same-day trips originating from and returning to the Ann Arbor City limits may be requested to the UM Lobbies at Domino Farms and UM Health Center.
What are the A-Ride fares?
Fare is paid in cash or by Scrip ticket. Scrip are sold in books of 10 for $30. To find out where to buy Scrip books call TheRide 734-973-6500.
PLEASE DO NOT TIP DRIVERS
Exact fare is required, please prepare your fare prior to boarding. For safety reasons drivers do not carry or give change nor are they permitted to retrieve fare from a customer’s pocket, purse or wallet.
$3 per trip for advance reservations & medical will-call trips
$4 per trip for same-day trips
$3 per adult companion
$1.50 per youth companion (K-12)
Free for children age 5 and younger
Free for registered Personal Care Attendants (PCA’s)
Free for Service Animals
Higher fares may be charged for premium services
Note: You must present your A-Ride card to the driver when traveling on A-Ride. If you have lost or misplaced your card be sure to call TheRide’s main office at 734-973-6500 to obtain a replacement. Your first replacement card is free, there is a $5 fee for additional replacements.
A-Ride drivers and reservations treat customers with respect, courtesy and dignity at all times. If you or someone you know have experienced a lack of sensitivity by A-Ride staff, please notify us as soon as possible at (734) 973-6500 or on-line at the following link Contact Us.