Public transit includes buses, trains, and ferries with fixed routes that are open to the general public. Accommodations for seniors and people with disabilities include priority seating, wheelchair lifts, audible stop announcements, and elevators at stations. Public transit services serving Alameda County include AC Transit, Altamont Corridor Express (ACE), Amtrak, BART, Broadway “B”, County Connection, Dumbarton Express, Emery Go-Round, Estuary Crossing Shuttle, San Francisco Bay Ferry, San Leandro LINKS, Union City Transit, Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), West Berkeley Shuttle, WHEELS. These systems connect to other transit providers including Muni and Caltrain.
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Paratransit services are mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide mobility for people who, due to a disability, are unable to ride regular buses and trains some or all of the time. ADA paratransit is a parallel service to regular public transportation services (buses and trains). This means paratransit services operate in the same area, on the same days, and during the same hours as regular public transit. ADA paratransit services in Alameda County include East Bay Paratransit, Union City Paratransit, and WHEELS Dial-a-Ride.
Travel training provides consumers with information and hands-on training to learn how to travel safely and comfortably. Training sessions involve one-on-one or group instruction designed to teach seniors and people with disabilities how to travel independently on fixed-route public transit. Typically, individuals receive training on how to travel to their most frequent destination (for example, to work or to a medical office). Several organizations in Alameda County offer travel training classes.
Volunteer driver programs offer a network of volunteers that provide door-through-door rides. These programs connect riders to drivers who can provide additional assistance to passengers by escorting them from their homes to the vehicle and from the vehicle to inside their destination.
The Alameda County Transportation Commission has been working on mobility management initiatives for seniors and people with disabilities for many years, utilizing a strong focus on consumers, and coordination between cities, transit agencies and community based organizations.