All Madison Metro buses are equipped with lifts to accommodate riders who use wheelchairs, crutches and other mobility devices. However, sometimes this isn’t enough. If you are affected by a disability which makes it difficult to get from your bus stop to your destination or otherwise prevents you from being able to use the bus, you may qualify for paratransit service.
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What is paratransit?
Paratransit services takes riders from one building to another, rather than from one bus stop to another. This is called “curb to curb service”.
You may qualify for this service whether your disability is temporary or permanent, and whether it prevents you from using the mainline buses all the time or only under certain circumstances, such as when the weather is excessively hot or cold. Please refer to the application process to see if you qualify.
Should I use paratransit?
There are advantages and disadvantages to this service. You will have to schedule your rides in advance, for example, and there is no same-day service. On the other hand, being driven from building to building may help you bypass the challenges presented by the campus terrain and traffic.
Is there a cost?
If you do qualify for paratransit service, your ASM Bus Pass will cover the passenger fare, just as it does on Metro’s bus routes. There are no additional charges.
In order to qualify for paratransit service, you must apply to Madison Metro and meet certain requirements set by federal regulations. It may take up to 21 days to process an application, so the sooner you begin the process the better.
For more information about the application process or paratransit services, contact Madison Metro customer service at (608) 266-4466 or visit Metro’s information webpage. Completed applications must be mailed or dropped off at Madison Metro. An original signature is required; faxes and emails are not sufficient due to federal regulations.
If you are approved, you will also have to show evidence that you are a university student (a WisCard) and have an ASM Bus Pass.
ASM Bus Pass Program
If you have questions about paratransit services, picking up an ASM Bus Pass, or any other aspect of the bus pass program, please contact the ASM Bus Pass Program Advisor, Margaret Bergamini, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-263-3950.
The McBurney Disability Resource Center transportation webpage contains more information about paratransit, parking permits and Wisconsin disabled license plates/cards.
There are also three cab companies in the Madison: Union Cab, Madison Taxi, and Green Cab. All take reservations and accept credit cards. Union Cab also offers wheelchair accessible service (lift-equipped vehicles). When you are trying to make it to class or other appointments, reservations are strongly encouraged.