Metro’s Guide to Accessibility and Independence

Call-A-Ride operator, Barbara, helps rider, Donna, on board a Call-A-Ride van. The doors are open and the ramp is lowered. Red brick buildings appear in the background.

We Care

All Metro Transit services – MetroBus, MetroLink and Metro Call-A-Ride – are accessible. At Metro, we’re committed to providing high quality, accessible travel options for all of our customers, and helping you understand the best way to use these services to travel throughout the region.

This guide will help you choose the right service to best suit your travel needs and get you on your way!

WHAT’S INSIDE

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ADA PARATRANSIT FOR VISITORS

Visitors from out of town, who are certified ADA Paratransit eligible by another transit provider, or provide necessary documentation of disability that prevents independent use of MetroBus and MetroLink, may qualify for visitor status and use ADA Paratransit service for up to 21 days in a calendar year. Please contact Transit Access Center at 314-982-1510 to register.


METROLINK AND METROBUS

All MetroLink trains and MetroBus vehicles are accessible. They have priority seating and are equipped to accommodate mobility devices. For many passengers, MetroLink and MetroBus are the quickest and most direct way to complete your trip.

The following features are available for all passengers:

  • All MetroBus vehicles are equipped with lifts or ramps
  • Priority seating is available for passengers who have difficulty standing while the bus or train is in motion
  • Drivers or a recording announce major stops, intersections and transfer points to help passengers recognize their stop or transfer point
  • Reserved spaces are available for riders who use mobility devices, such as wheelchairs or scooters
  • Pressing the “Stop Request Strip” on the MetroLink train is one way to alert the operator that you need extra time to deboard
  • All MetroLink trains and stations are Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible
  • System announcements at MetroLink stations are audible, as well as visual
  • Ticket Vending Machines at all MetroLink stations have tactile buttons, braille and can provide audible information
  • MetroLink and MetroBus schedules are available in large print or braille upon request

Do you have specific questions regarding accessibility not answered here? Call our ADA Services Department at 314-982-1510 or email us at adaservices@metrostlouis.org.


ADVANTAGES TO USING METROBUS AND METROLINK

  • You get to choose your departure time
  • Service is direct, with no detours or extra stops for other passengers
  • Arrival times are more predictable
  • Most affordable options
  • On MetroLink, you are able to connect with 38 stations in Missouri and Illinois without making any transfers
Aerial shot of a MetroBus driving down Market street downtown. Trees line market street and the Old Courthouse and Gateway Arch appear in the background.

The Gateway Arch in downtown St. Louis is just one of the many destinations you can easily access with MetroLink and MetroBus


TRAVEL TRAINING

Metro offers training on MetroBus and MetroLink to individuals with disabilities. This training is your ticket to public transit freedom and independence. Our Travel Instructor or Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist (COMS) will guide you through your options for travel and teach you necessary skills including:

  • Purchasing/paying fare
  • Determining appropriate routes
  • Determining bus stop location
  • Determining the correct bus
  • Proper boarding and departure procedures
  • Emergency procedures
  • Determining appropriate landmarks
  • Proper street crossing skills including safely negotiating intersections
  • Community safety skills

Travel Training Will Help With:

  • Mastering Fixed Route System
  • Embracing Independence
  • Traveling Safely
  • Rider Rights & Responsibilities
  • Overcoming Travel Barriers

BENEFITS OF TRAVEL TRAINING

As an independent traveler, you will have access to more destinations in the St. Louis region. You can travel aboard an affordable vehicle at your preferred time, allowing you more independence and less reliance on family, neighbors or friends for transportation.


TRAVEL TRAINING: INDIVIDUALIZED INSTRUCTION

Before starting travel training, including Orientation & Mobility (O&M) training for blind participants, you will be given an individualized evaluation. Based on this evaluation, instruction will be tailored to specifically meet your skills and needs. Through one-on- one instruction with appropriately trained staff, you will learn to ride MetroBus and MetroLink. You will learn the practical skills needed to travel the Metro Transit system safely and with confidence.

You will practice using buses and/or trains to locations you visit on a regular basis, until you feel confident in your ability to independently use public transit. Other skills you will learn include:

  • Recognizing landmarks to know when to get off the bus or train
  • How to interact with transit personnel and other riders
  • Skills to stay safe while traveling
  • Recognizing bus numbers
One-On-One Travel Training

Our one-on-one training ensures the program is tailored to meet your specific needs


TRAVEL TRAINING: TRAVEL ORIENTATION SERVICES

Whether it’s one-on-one or in a group setting, you will become more informed on how to use the entire Metro Transit system. This may involve trips to the bus garage or rail station to practice. If you need to be familiarized with the Metro Transit system, travel orientation services are available to provide information regarding fares, routes and schedule reading.

To learn more about our travel training program or Orientation & Mobility (O&M) training, call 314-982-1510 or email TTServices@MetroStLouis.org.


TRAVEL TRAINING: OUTCOMES OF SUCCESSFUL TRAINING

  • How to get to and from the bus and/or train
  • Emergency preparedness
  • How to appropriately respond to unexpected situations such as missing your bus or train, getting on the wrong bus or train, or missing your stop.
  • Important riding techniques
  • How to get to and from specific destinations
  • Follow-up will be done to ensure the participant’s travel training or Orientation & Mobility (O&M) training goals are achieved

TRAVEL TRAINING: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q) How much does travel training cost?
A) Travel training is provided at no cost during the training

Q) How long does it take to complete travel training?
A) Travel training is a gradual process with milestones achieved along the way. The trainer, together with the participant, will determine the length and amount of training needed.

Q) Who will conduct the training?
A) A qualified Travel Trainer or Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist (COMS) will conduct training. They are knowledgeable of the fixed- route system and transportation accessibility.

Q) Who is eligible for training?
A) Individuals with a disability and/ or who are 65-plus years of age who would like to learn how to ride MetroBus or MetroLink are eligible for training.

Q) Where can travel training take place?
A) Travel training is available to any destination that is within Louis City and St. Louis County in Missouri, and St. Clair County in Illinois.

Q) When is travel training available?
A) This program is offered year-round. Travel trainers and participants determine mutually agreed upon dates and times.

Q) How do I sign up?
A) Contact Metro Transit Travel Training, 211 N Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63102; 314 -982-1510; TTServices@MetroStLouis.org

Q) Does everyone successfully complete travel training?
A) Successful travel training completion is determined on a case-by-case The trainer will share progress made and if additional travel training may be a possibility.


METRO CALL-A-RIDE

Metro Call-A-Ride service is available, with advance reservations, to both the general public and to persons whose disabilities prevent them from using the accessible fixed-route transit services (MetroLink and MetroBus). You’ll share your ride with other passengers in modern, wheelchair- accessible vehicles.

Priority reservation scheduling is provided to customers with disabilities who qualify for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit services.

Please note that while the Metro Call-A-Ride service is a great benefit to passengers who cannot use MetroBus and MetroLink, it is not a direct service. You will be sharing the service with other passengers. We encourage all passengers to explore the available Metro Transit options that may provide a quicker or more direct journey.

The Americans with Disabilites Act (ADA) requires that paratransit services provide eligible customers with disabilities equivalent access to areas that are served by fixed-route services during the same times that those routes are available. Fixed-route services include all regular MetroBus routes and MetroLink lines. Commuter or express routes are not included.

To qualify for an ADA trip, the trip must start and end within 3/4 of a mile of fixed-route services at the time the service is operating. If there is no fixed-route service in the 3/4 mile area, if MetroBus or MetroLink are not in operation in the 3/4 mile area at the time of the trip, or a trip is not doable using MetroBus or MetroLink, then ADA Paratransit Services are not available.

Metro Call-A-Ride typically provides curb-to-curb service. Origin to destination service, which provides assistance from the vehicle to the first exterior door at the rider’s pick up and/or drop-off location, is available for those who qualify and request the service at the time of booking. See below for more information about origin to destination services.

Metro Call-A-Ride rates and availability differ based on customer status and location at the time of service.

This page answers many common questions about Metro Call-A-Ride service. For additional information, please call 314-982-1505.

A Call-A-Ride van makes a right-hand turn at an intersection in a residential area.

Whether it’s rain, shine or snow, Metro Call-A-Ride can help you get where you need to go


FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO MAY NEED MORE ASSISTANCE

Metro Call-A-Ride service is curb-to-curb in most cases. That means customers get to and from the curb at the pick-up and drop- off locations, however reasonable service modifications and origin to destination services are available.

Reasonable Service Modifications:

Metro’s policy is to provide reasonable service modifications when requested by individuals with disabilities who, without such modifications, would not be able to fully use Metro’s services, programs, or activities for their intended purpose. Requests for these modifications are considered on a case-by-case basis and can be denied for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Granting the request would fundamentally alter the nature of Metro’s service, programs or activities
  • Granting the request could create a direct threat to the health and safety of others
  • Granting the request is not necessary in order for the requesting individual to access Metro’s services
  • Granting the request would create an undue financial or administrative burden for Metro

To request a reasonable modification for any of our services, please contact the Call Center Supervisor or Customer Service Coordinator at 314-982-1505.


Origin to Destination Service

Origin to destination service is available as a reasonable modification for customers who, without such assistance, are unable to access ADA paratransit service.

Origin to destination service means assistance from the vehicle to the first exterior door at the rider’s pick up and/or drop-off location.

Please be aware this type of service may not always be feasible or safe to provide. As a result, requests should be made in advance to allow Metro to assess any safety risks that could prevent us from providing these services. However, same day requests or requests to the driver while onboard may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

For origin to destination service, (to and from most exterior doors) riders must be ready to ride during the 30 minute window, board the van within 5 minutes of the van’s arrival, and meet the following conditions:

  • The parked vehicle must not block or impede traffic
  • There must be safe parking on a public roadway or public parking lot
  • The driver must be able to maintain sight of the vehicle at all times
  • There must be a direct accessible path and safe access from the vehicle to the door
  • The outermost door must be no more than 150 feet from the vehicle

For any request to receive a reasonable service modification, including origin to destination service, the customer making the request will be notified of the decision made by Metro.


ADA ELIGIBILITY

All customers interested in receiving ADA Paratransit eligibility certification must complete an application.

Once the completed application has been received and reviewed by ADA Services staff, an in-person functional assessment may be required. All assessments are conducted at the Metro Transit Access Center by appointment only. Please contact the ADA Services Department seven (7) days after mailing or two (2) days after faxing to schedule your assessment appointment.

Complimentary transportation to the assessment is available upon request. Customers who use a mobility device such as a wheelchair or scooter will need to bring the mobility device to the assessment appointment to determine if the occupied device can be accommodated on ADA Paratransit vehicles.

The assessment process will determine your ability to use Metro’s services independently. It may be determined that you have:

  • Fixed-route only eligibility. You don’t require ADA Paratransit Services.
  • Conditional eligibility. You require ADA Paratransit Services under some conditions.
  • Unconditional eligibility. You require ADA Paratransit Services all or nearly most of the time.

Disability alone does not determine ADA Paratransit eligibility. Your eligibility determination decision will be sent to you in writing following your assessment.

Applications can be obtained by contacting the ADA Services Department at 314-982-1510, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or via email at ADAServices@MetroStLouis.org, or on our website at MetroStLouis.org/Accessibility


NON-ADA TRAVEL ON METRO CALL-A-RIDE

Metro Call-A-Ride services are available on a space available basis to customers who are not ADA-eligible and to ADA customers taking trips that are not ADA-eligible.

  • Fares are charged on a mileage basis with a base rate for minimum miles. The Metro Call-A-Ride trip software determines the mileage between the requested origin and destination of the trip.
  • Service is curb-to-curb.
  • Trips may only be scheduled one (1) day prior to service by 4:30 p.m.
  • All additional riders pay a fee for non-ADA travel.
  • Limited service is available for some Medicaid trips.
A Call-A-Ride van parked with its passenger doors open and ramp extended.

All Metro Call-A-Ride vehicles are equipped with lifts or ramps that can accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices


RESERVATIONS

The reservation lines are answered every day, including holidays, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. All telephone calls are monitored for quality assurance purposes. Please listen to the pre-recorded messages, which may announce any changes.

Before you call, make sure you have the following information:

  • The passenger’s full name, home address and phone number.
  • The exact address and phone number of both the origin and the destination for all of the trips you are scheduling.
  • All information regarding extra riders, such as attendant, children, or service animal, etc.
  • If you are using Medicaid for your medical trip, please have your Medicaid number ready and the phone number of the physician’s office. All Medicaid trips must be verified.
  • If you need any special assistance, please request it at the time of booking

Please note: The ADA permits flexibility in scheduling to allow Metro Call-A-Ride to accommodate as many customers as possible. Your trip may be scheduled up to one hour before or after the pick-up time you requested.

Once your trip is scheduled, we may pick you up 15 minutes before or after your scheduled pick up time. You must be ready 15 minutes before your scheduled pick up time.

To make your reservation on Metro Call-A-Ride, simply call 314-652-3617 or 888-652-3617. Call 711 for Relay.


TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST USE OF METRO CALL-A-RIDE SERVICES

This list of travel tips answers many common questions about Metro Call-A-Ride service. For additional information, please call 314-982-1505.

1)Call to make your trip reservation. If you are an ADA-eligible customer, you can schedule your trip the day before or up to three (3) days in advance.

On Fridays, you can schedule your trips up to five (5) days in advance. To make your reservation, call 314-652-3617 or 888-652-3617. Call 711 for Relay.

The reservation phone lines are open daily 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Please schedule your trip as early as possible to have the best chance of securing your desired pick-up time.

2)Cancel early if you are unable to keep your reservation so we can adjust our schedules and make room for other customers.

Please call as early as possible. Rides cancelled with less than a three hour notice, will result in a no-show infraction. Remember to cancel both the “go” trip and the “return” trip when needed, as they are two separate trips.

Repeated late cancellations or no-show infractions may result in a suspension of your riding privileges. For additional information, please contact our Customer Service Coordinator at 314-982-1505.

3)Call the Cancellation and Inquiry line if you need to cancel a trip. Call 314-289-5230, available every day, 24 hours a day.

4)Call in advance if you need to change any part of your trip reservation. For example, if you scheduled a ride to the doctor, you cannot wait until the driver comes to pick you up to request a ride to the grocery store instead.

Trip changes cannot be made on short notice because it would require a completely new schedule.

You need to call at least a day before the scheduled trip to request a change.

5)Approximate pick-up times for your trips are given to you at the time you make your reservation.

The driver may arrive up to 15 minutes before or after your approximate pick-up time. You must be ready to ride when the driver arrives.

Even if the driver arrives in the early window (15 minutes before the approximate pick-up time), the driver will only wait five minutes before leaving, as other passengers may be waiting on the van.

If you think you have missed your van or want to check on your trip, call our Cancellation and Inquiry line at 314-289-5230 and we will be happy to check on your trip for you.

Please note: if you have missed your van, it may not be possible to schedule another trip. That is why it is very important to make sure you are ready to ride 15 minutes before and after your scheduled pick-up time.

6)Exact fare is required to board the van, so remember to have the correct change for your Metro Call-A-Ride fare. Drivers do not carry money or make change and cannot accept tips.

7)Curb-to-curb service is provided on all Metro Call-A-Ride vans for your convenience. Origin to destination service is available for those who qualify and request the service at the time of booking. For additional assistance, ADA-eligible customers may bring along an attendant at no additional charge.

8)Pick-up and drop-off locations are designated at large complexes, including colleges, shopping centers and medical facilities. If one of these locations does not meet your needs, you may request an alternate pick-up or drop-off location when making your trip request. If upon arriving at your destination you learn that you need to adjust your return pick-up location, please have the driver notify dispatch so that we can easily locate you when we return.

9)We carry many people to shopping centers and grocery stores. To ensure that we have enough room for everyone on the van, we ask that you limit the number of packages to the amount that you can manage without displacing other passengers.

10)Metro Call-A-Ride is able to accommodate portable oxygen tanks and respirators. The driver will assist you in securing this equipment.

11)We welcome service animals, which include dogs and other animals trained to work or perform tasks for passengers.

Remember:

To make your reservation call 314-652-3617 or 888-652-3617.

To cancel a trip reservation or check on your trip call 314-289-5230.


YOU HAVE CHOICES

MetroBus passenger in a wheelchair boarding at the front of the bus

MetroBus – serving stops in Missouri and Illinois. All buses are equipped with lifts or ramps and offer priority seating

MetroLink passenger exiting a train onto the platform in a wheelchair. Passenger is wearing jeans, a whit shirt and blue baseball cap

MetroLink – 38 stations, over 46 miles of rail, and all trains and platforms are ADA accessible

Call-A-Ride operator, Barbara, helps rider, Donna, on board a Call-A-Ride van. The doors are open and the ramp is lowered. Red brick buildings appear in the background.

Metro Call-A-Ride – all vans are wheelchair lift-equipped, and priority reservation scheduling is provided for passengers taking ADA-eligible trips


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT METRO CALL-A-RIDE

Q) Who can use Metro Call-A-Ride?
A) While Metro Call-A-Ride is available to any customer, priority is given to eligible customers with disabilities who functionally cannot use available MetroBus/MetroLink services in St. Louis City or St. Louis County.

Q) How much does the Metro Call-A-Ride ADA Paratransit Service cost?
A) ADA fares are twice the cost of the regular full fare on fixed-route services. ADA fares are only available when:

(a) any personal conditions of ADA eligibility are in effect on the day of service and
(b) the trip starts and ends within 3/4 miles of available regular fixed-route service or MetroLink station.

Q) Can someone ride with me if I need assistance?
A) One Personal Care Attendant providing assistance to an ADA-eligible customer may ride at no charge to and from the same origins and destinations as the customer taking an ADA-eligible trip.

Q) What if someone just wants to come with me?
A) At least one companion may ride with the ADA-eligible customer at the same rate as the customer. Additional companions may ride on a space available basis, but all companions must pay the same fare as the customer.
Rates for other passengers and/or other trips vary. Please call 314-652-3617 to check rates.

Q) When planning my Metro Call-A-Ride trips, how much travel time should I allow?
A) This service is shared with other riders, which means your trip may not be direct. To accommodate as many riders as possible, your trip may be grouped with others who will be picked up and/or dropped off during your ride. However, the length of trips for ADA- eligible customers and/or trips should be similar to the fixed- route equivalent.

Q) For what type of trips can I use Metro Call-A-Ride?
A) The Metro Call-A-Ride service is available for any type of trip you wish to take, from going to work or medical appointments, to shopping or entertainment.

Q) When and where is Metro Call-A-Ride ADA Paratransit Service available?
A) Metro Call-A-Ride ADA Paratransit Services are available for locations that are within 3/4 of a mile of a MetroBus route or MetroLink station at the time the bus/train is running. If a bus or train is not running in an area, or the trip is not available on a fixed-route, then Metro Call-A-Ride ADA Paratransit Services are not required. These trips are limited and subject to higher fares.

Q) Is Metro Call-A-Ride available only to customers with disabilities?
A) The service is available for any customer, however priority is provided for ADA- eligible customers taking ADA-eligible trips.


EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND REASONABLE MODIFICATIONS TO POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Effective Communication: Metro Transit will generally, upon request, provide appropriate aids and services leading to effective communication for qualified persons with disabilities so they can participate equally in Metro Transit’s programs, services, and activities, including qualified sign language interpreters, documents in Braille, and other ways of making information and communications accessible to people who have speech, hearing, or vision impairments.

Modifications to Policies and Procedures: Metro Transit will make all reasonable modifications to policies and programs to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to enjoy all of its programs, services, and activities. For example, if a passenger cannot reach or insert a fare into the farebox, the operator may handle the fare, so long as the operator is not required to reach into pockets or backpacks to retrieve the fare. Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a program, service, or activity of Metro Transit, should, as soon as possible, but, when feasible, no later than 48 hours before the scheduled event, contact:

Amy Parker, ADA Coordinator
211 N Broadway
Suite 700, Mail Stop 400
St. Louis, MO 63102-2759
Email: ADACoordinator@MetroStLouis.org

Phone: (314) 982-1525, call 711 for Relay

The ADA does not require Metro Transit to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of its program or services, or impose an undue financial or administrative burden.

Complaints that a program, service, or activity of Metro Transit is not accessible to persons with disabilities should be directed to Amy Parker, ADA Coordinator.

Metro Transit will not place a surcharge on a particular individual with a disability or any group of individuals with disabilities to cover the cost of providing auxiliary aids/services or reasonable modifications of policies or practices.


Transit Agency Complaints, Comments and Concerns

Metro has designated the ADA Coordinator as the person to coordinate its ADA compliance efforts. ADA complaints should be in writing and contain information about the alleged discrimination such as name, address, phone number of complainant and location, date, and description of the problem. Alternative means of filing complaints, such as personal interviews or a tape recording of the complaint, will be made available for persons with disabilities upon request. Complaints may be submitted directly to:

Amy Parker, ADA Coordinator
211 N Broadway
Suite 700, Mail Stop 400
St. Louis, MO 63102-2759
Email: ADACoordinator@MetroStLouis.org

Phone: (314) 982-1525, call 711 for Relay

Complaints may also be submitted through Metro’s Customer Service Department and forwarded to the ADA Coordinator:

Phone: 314-982-1406 or 618-271-7879, 711 for Relay
Email: CustomerService@MetroStLouis.org

You may include this information in a letter, email or fax, or access an accessible PDF form at MetroStLouis.org/adacomment.

Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the complaint, the ADA Coordinator or designee will contact the complainant to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions. Within 15 days of the discussion, the ADA Coordinator or designee will respond in writing, and where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant. The response will explain the position of Metro Transit and offer options for substantive resolution of the complaint.

Bi-State Development d/b/a Metro Transit is committed to providing you with safe and reliable transportation services and we want your feedback regarding your experience as our customer with a disability. Please use the form on the following page for suggestions, compliments, and complaints. You may also contact the ADA Coordinator directly by phone at 314-982-1525, 711 for Relay; by email at ADACoordinator@MetroStLouis.org; or by mail at 211 N. Broadway, Suite 700 – Mail Stop 400, St. Louis, MO 63102-2759. Please make sure to provide your contact information in order to receive a response.

Public Rights Under Title VI. For more information on Bi-State Development’s Civil Rights program, and the procedures to file a complaint, contact 314-335-3509; EEOCivilRights@bistatedev.org; or visit our administrative office at 211 N. Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63102.


CONTACT INFORMATION

Main Switchboard
314-982-1400
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Transit Information
314-231-2345 or 618-271-2345
314-207-9786 (text)
TransitInformation@MetroStLouis.org
Transit Information representatives can help you plan your trip on Metro and provide information on schedule times, transfers, and walking directions. Transit Information is available Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Customer Service
314-982-1406 or 618-271-7879
314-207-9786 (text)
CustomerService@MetroStLouis.org
A Service Analyst will investigate any service matter or concern you have, and will record all of your comments or feedback about Metro Transit service. Customer Service is available Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Elevator Status
314-289-6872
Service is available 24/7

Metro Public Safety Department
314-289-6873 (voice)
314-300-0188 (text)
Call with safety concerns or to report a suspicious package. Available 24/7

Metro Call-A-Ride Reservations
314-652-3617
888-652-3617
7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Available 365 days a year

Metro Call-A-Ride Cancellations and Inquiries
314-289-5230
Available 24/7, 365 days a year

Information in Alternative Format or Reasonable Modifications to Service
Please contact ADA Coordinator 314-982-1525 (48 hours before events when feasible)

For All Numbers Above
Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or speech- disabled customers, please call 711 for MO Relay