Transit Accessibility

We believe that transit should be accessible to everyone, which is why we offer a wide range of services to make riding easier.

Paratransit Service

Most of the standard buses and streetcars are equipped to serve disabled riders. Some riders, however, may have a temporary or permanent disability that prevents them from using the standard RTA system. For these customers, the RTA offers paratransit rides, as required by law under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Paratransit is a shared-ride service which uses accessible buses and vans to meet the needs of eligible riders. The cost is $2.00. You will need to reserve your ride in advance. See Reservations below.

All qualified paratransit riders need to have an RTA Paratransit Card. For information on eligibility and applying for an RTA Paratransit Card, contact the ADA Office at 504-827-8345 or see Eligibility for Paratransit below.

RTA Paratransit service operates every day of the year (including all holidays) for 24 hours a day.

To make a reservation to ride the RTA Paratransit Service, call the reservation line at (504) 827-7433. Phones are answered Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. RTA Paratransit Service operates every day of the year (including all holidays) for 24 hours a day.

When you call, please make sure you have:

  • An RTA Paratransit Service Card – You may need to provide information on the card to the phone operator, and without a card, the driver will not let you board.
  • Street addresses – You will need to tell the phone operator the street address of your pick-up point and the street address of your drop-off point.
  • The times of your travel – You can book your trip for any time during the following day or up to five days in advance. For example, if you’re calling on a Sunday, you can reserve rides for any times between the following Monday through the following Friday.
  • Pencil and paper – The phone operator may ask you to jot down some information about your trip.

When considering the times you wish to travel, remember that at least one hour must pass between trips. For example, if you are scheduled to be dropped off at an address at 1:00 p.m., you cannot request a pickup at 1:30 p.m. Instead, you need to schedule your pickup at 2:00 p.m. or later.

Also, when considering the times you wish to travel, remember that the paratransit bus is shared between you and other riders. It may make several stops before you arrive at your destination. The length of your trip will depend on the number of other riders sharing the bus with you. Although rides are typically much shorter, your trip could take as long as 90 minutes.

The RTA's paratransit service is meant to help those persons with disabilities that cannot use the standard buses and streetcars in the RTA system. If you wish to use the RTA’s paratransit services, you must first apply for and receive an RTA Paratransit Card. Although paratransit services are for persons with disabilities, not everyone with a disability is eligible. If you have a disability but your disability does not prevent you from using standard buses and streetcars, the RTA may not find you eligible for paratransit eligibility.


You are eligible to use paratransit services if:
  • If you cannot access or use the RTA buses or streetcars on your own
  • If you can generally use the RTA buses and streetcars on your own, but you need someone else’s assistance to use the system in certain ways
  • If your disability prevents you from accessing or using particular bus or streetcar stops

1. Download the ADA eligibility application form, complete and submit to RTA.

You can also pick up a form in person at the following address:

Regional Transit Authority
ADA Eligibility/ID Center
2817 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70119

In addition, if you call the ADA Eligibility/ID Center, we will send you a blank form through the mail. The number to call is (504) 827-8345. Our Rideline TTY Number is also available for the hearing impaired: (504) 827-7832.


2. Fill out the form

There are two parts to the application, Applicant Information and Request for Professional Verification. You are to fill out the first part yourself, and a doctor or licensed healthcare professional is to fill out the second part.


Please be sure all parts of the form are filled out, including your signature and the signature of the doctor or licensed healthcare professional. If any part of the form is not filled out, the RTA will not be able to process your request. The form will be sent back to you until all parts are complete.
 

3. Submit the form.

Submit the form by mailing it to the ADA Eligibility/ID Center or by dropping it off in person. We do not accept copies or faxes.

Regional Transit Authority
ADA Eligibility/ID Center
2817 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70119
 

4. Wait for a letter of approval.

It may take up to three weeks for the RTA to process your paperwork for paratransit services. You will receive a letter in the mail about our decision.

There are two types of paratransit eligibility, unconditional and conditional.

  • Unconditional eligibility – If your eligibility is “unconditional,” you may use paratransit services under any circumstances.
  • Conditional eligibility – If your eligibility is “conditional,” you may use paratransit services only under certain circumstances. For example, some riders have partially limiting factors such as dialysis. Use the paratransit to accommodate their trip to and from dialysis treatment.

If you are determined ineligible, you may file an appeal to an appeal board. The appeal board will be made up of three people who were not involved in the initial decision. The notification letter you received will include instructions on how to file an appeal if you wish to do so.

ADA Complaint Process (Spanish | Vietnamese)

ADA Complaint Form (Spanish | Vietnamese)

RTA is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of its services on the basis of a person’s disability under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Any person who believes she or he has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability by the Regional Transit Authority (hereinafter referred to as “RTA”) may file a complaint. To view the ADA Complaint Process, click here (Spanish | Vietnamese). To complete a complaint form, click here (Spanish | Vietnamese).

To read the ADA Riders Guide, click here. (Spanish | Vietnamese).