MAT Paratransit Overview
MAT Paratransit is public transportation for persons with disabilities who are unable to use Fargo-Moorhead MATBUS Fixed Route Bus Service without assistance. The vehicles have lifts to help people board who can’t negotiate stairs. The maximum weight limit for a MAT Paratransit Vehicle Lift is 800 pounds, including the combined weight of the passenger and mobility device. Advance reservations are required. This service is to the door, with drivers available to assist the rider between the vehicle and building. MAT Paratransit does not provide emergency medical service.
We Are a Shared Ride Service
MAT Paratransit is a shared ride service which means the rider may not go directly to their destination without the driver stopping to pick up or drop off other passengers along the way. Paratransit provides over 200 rides per day. Driver schedules are designed ahead of time to accommodate these rides as efficiently as possible within the city limits of Moorhead, Dilworth, Fargo and West Fargo.
MATBUS Fixed Route Bus Service
In the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area, there are a number of buses that travel on predetermined or fixed routes on regular time schedules. This service is referred to as MATBUS and is open to the general public. To use MATBUS, you may need to travel to the bus stop, wait outside until the bus arrives, transfer between buses, recognize your destination, etc. All of the buses have wheelchair ramps.
Persons with disabilities who are able to travel on MATBUS are encouraged to do so and can ride for discount fare, which is 75¢. To receive discount fare, you must show the driver a Medicare card or Special User Card when you board the bus. A 30 day pass is $26 for a person with a Special User Card.
For MATBUS schedule information, call the Ground Transportation Center at 701.232.7500 between
6 a.m. and 11:15 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. and 11:15 p.m. on Saturday. Visit the MATBUS website at www.matbus.com.
Eligibility for MAT Paratransit
People with disabilities who are certified as “ADA Paratransit Eligible” may ride MAT Paratransit.
What is ADA?
ADA refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The ADA Law requires that transportation services such as MAT Paratransit be provided to persons with physical and mental disabilities who are unable, because of their disability, to utilize fixed route bus service without assistance.
Qualification is based on the individual’s functional capabilities rather than a specific medical diagnosis. Eligibility can be permanent, temporary, or conditional.
If the applicant is considered eligible but only under certain conditions, the reservationist will review each trip requested to see if that trip meets the conditions that were established when eligibility was determined. For example, a passenger may only be eligible for Paratransit during the winter when snow and ice are present. In this example, during the summer the passenger would not be eligible for Paratransit. Conditions are identified on your Special User Card.
Special User Card
A Special User Card is given to an individual as certification that they are entitled to certain MAT special transportation services. Any conditions that apply to eligibility are also listed on the card. The cards are issued by the Transit Offices for the Cities of Fargo and Moorhead.
Visitors to Fargo-Moorhead who have been certified as “ADA Paratransit Eligible” by another public entity will be provided service up to 21 days during any 365-day period beginning with the visitor’s first use of the service during such 365-day period. If service is needed beyond 21 days, the individual is required to apply for eligibility by the Cities of Fargo or Moorhead. Visitors may be requested to show proof of residency outside the city limits of Moorhead or Dilworth, Minnesota, or Fargo or West Fargo, North Dakota.
Hours of Service
Monday - Friday
6 a.m. to 11:15 p.m.
7 a.m. to 11:15 p.m.
7 a.m. to 5 p.m
All trips must be completed and passengers delivered to their destination by 11:15 p.m.
MAT Paratransit does not run on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve after 5 p.m. and Christmas Day.
Where You Can Travel
You may ride any place in the city limits of Fargo and West Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead and Dilworth, Minnesota. You may ride MAT Paratransit for any reason: shopping - dining out - medical appointments - socializing and others!
In Case of Snow
Service will be impacted during a snow event. The drivers will only travel on roads that are reasonably clear of snow. Service may be cancelled during a major snow event. Please listen to KFGO 790AM for weather related announcements.
Scheduling a Ride
7-1-1 Relay (TDD only)
to reserve a ride. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. All calls must be received by 4:30 p.m. Reservations should be made at least one day prior to when the ride is needed and can be made up to 8 days in advance. Same day reservations will be accommodated as space allows.
Sundays and Holidays
Reservations will be taken through an answering machine on Sundays and holidays for next day service only.
To contact Paratransit drivers on Sundays, contact: 701.730.8777 Do not call this number to make reservations.
Negotiating Your Ride Time
The reservationist will assist you in reserving a pick-up time. Since this is a shared ride service involving multiple passengers at once, the reservationist might not be able to schedule your ride at your requested time. The reservationist is allowed to negotiate with you an alternative time within an hour before or after your initial requested time to accommodate reservations already made by other passengers. A passenger may ask the reservationist for a confirmation number once the ride has been scheduled.
The following information should be given to the reservationist:
Name of each eligible passenger
If accompanied by a personal care attendant and guest(s)
Pick up and destination addresses
Time you wish to arrive at destination
If driver assistance is required
Scheduling Subscription Rides
If you need to ride regularly at the same time and to the same destination, you may request a subscription reservation. Subscriptions are limited in availability and are determined by MAT Paratransit. If you have a subscription, you will not need to call every week to reserve your rides. You will have to cancel your ride if your plans change. Subscription rides during peak demand times may be restricted to trips for work, school, meals and medical services. Waiting lists may be established. Consistently canceling your subscription ride may result in losing the reservation.
Scheduling Return Rides
You should make a return reservation at the same time you make your reservation to be picked up for a non-medical ride. Passenger requests to change return pick-up times because they are ready early may be accepted if space is available. The driver is not to make other passengers late or unduly prolong their ride to accommodate an early pick-up. The rider is not to expect that an earlier ride will be provided if they call for an earlier pick-up.
Medical Return Rides
If you are dropped off at a medical appointment and expect to be done before 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, call the reservationist when you are ready to be picked up. If your medical appointment will not end until after 2:00 p.m. a return reservation is necessary. Medical delays are accommodated to the best of our ability when appointments go longer than anticipated.
Cancels, No Shows, and Penalties
If your plans change, you should call to cancel your reservation. Trips must 2 Hours be cancelled at least two hours before your scheduled pick-up time. Otherwise, they will be considered a “No Show” and subject to penalty. If you receive 3 or more no shows in a 30-day period and they equal 10% or more of your total rides in that period, you will face a 1-week suspension of service. Continuous violations of the no show policy will result in longer suspensions. Considerations will be made for disability-related issues or if the driver is more than 15 minutes late to your pickup.
If you are not present and ready to go when the vehicle arrives and the driver waited 5 minutes, your ride is considered a no show. Your prescheduled return ride will stay on the schedule unless you call and cancel it. If you are not present for the prescheduled return ride, that ride will be considered an additional no show.
Pick Up Procedures
When you call to reserve a ride, the reservationist will give you a 15 MIN. scheduled pick up time. The vehicle may arrive anytime 15 minutes before or after your scheduled pick up time. You should be ready at the entrance with coat on and packages together. Generally, the driver will pull up to the curb and cannot pull into the driveway of a residential home.
We Wait Five Minutes
Upon arrival, the driver will sound the horn. The driver will wait five minutes for you to appear. If you do not appear, the driver can leave and it will be considered a no show. The driver is not required to enter the building to look for you, nor is the reservationist required to call and notify you that Paratransit has arrived.
If We’re Early
If the vehicle arrives earlier than 15 minutes prior to the scheduled pick-up time, they will beep the horn. If the passenger is not yet ready, the driver will wait until the 15 minutes prior to the scheduled pick-up time before again sounding the horn and beginning to count the five minutes allowed for the passenger to appear.
If We’re Late
If the Paratransit vehicle arrives more than 15 minutes later than the scheduled time and the passenger refuses service or does not show, this will be considered a missed trip rather than a no show. Passengers are not penalized for missed trips.
If requested, the driver will provide assistance to riders between the vehicle and the entrance of a building. Inform the reservationist that you need assistance when you make your reservation. If additional help is required beyond the main door, the rider should have a personal care attendant (PCA) ride along or have someone meet them. The driver will not assist individuals in wheelchairs into buildings that are not accessible (except open the main door).
Bags and Packages
If requested, the driver will assist with either two grocery size bags or one small collapsible cart. The driver will not bring packages past the first door of the building. Space for packages is limited. The packages must be carried in one trip and the packages must be safely secured while on the vehicle. Guests and personal care attendants are expected to assist the passenger.
Passengers who use the wheelchair lift will be assisted on and off the lift by the driver. It is safest for the passenger to back their mobility device onto the lift in the Paratransit vehicle. The passenger can expect their mobility device to be properly secured in four places. Wheelchairs and scooters must be secured during transport. Passengers are required to wear a seat belt and shoulder strap when available.
Riders with mobility aids are responsible for keeping their equipment in safe, working order. This includes keeping batteries charged on electric wheelchairs and scooters and keeping manual wheelchair brakes in good working order.
Keep a Clear Path!
It is the responsibility of the passenger to maintain a clear path to their door so the driver can provide door through door service. Please keep sidewalks and ramps clear of snow and do not expect the driver to shovel a path to the door.
The driver may refuse to give you a ride at locations that are unsafe for either the passenger, driver or vehicle, including areas not cleared of snow.
Be On Your Best Behavior
Passengers who appear disorderly or are considered a safety threat to the driver or other passengers, including those under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol, will be denied a ride.
Personal Care Attendant (PCA)
If you have a disability and need a PCA to assist you either during the ride or at your destination, you must indicate this on your application. If verified, the Special User Card issued to you will then indicate that you need a PCA and the driver will allow the PCA to ride free. The beginning and ending destination of the PCA must be the same as yours.
Bring Your Own PCA
The Paratransit rider is responsible for bringing their own PCA. MAT Paratransit does not provide a PCA or aide on the vehicle with the driver. The driver’s primary responsibilities are to safely secure the passenger and drive the vehicle with up to 14 passengers. It is possible for the rider to be alone on the vehicle with strangers while the driver is assisting another passenger to the passenger’s door. If an individual cannot ride unattended with strangers for up to one hour, it is the responsibility of the rider to bring a personal care attendant.
Taking a Guest
Each passenger can have one person accompany them as a guest. More guests can ride as long as space is available and no eligible client is refused a ride.
The beginning and ending destination of the guest must be the same as yours. The guest must pay a fare to ride.
The ADA does not require Paratransit service on Sunday because there is no MATBUS fixed route service on Sunday. The Cities of Fargo, West Fargo, Moorhead, and Dilworth choose to make limited service available during the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. for people who are eligible for Paratransit Service.
Paratransit eligible riders who need a lift to enter the vehicle can start making a reservation for Sunday at 8 a.m. the Monday before the ride. Those who do not need a lift can start making a reservation for Sunday at 8 a.m. the Tuesday before the ride.
How to Apply
Applications are available at www.matbus.com, Ground Transportation Center (GTC), 502 NP Avenue, Fargo and Metro Transit Garage, 650 23rd St. N., Fargo. If you would like an application by mail, please call 701.235.4464.
Following receipt of a completed application and professional verification, processing of the application may take up to three weeks. Once approved, you will receive a Special User Card which indicates you are eligible for MAT Paratransit.
Cost to Ride
Each passenger and guest must pay a fare.
Exact Fare Required
Drivers do not give change.
$3.00 prepaid coupon (Sold in books of 10 for $30 or 20 for $60)
Personal care attendants and children under age 7 ride free with an eligible passenger.
Coupon books may be purchased from the driver on your next trip. Coupon books are NOT refundable.
Can I Pay In Advance?
Fares cannot be paid in advance (except through the purchase of coupons) nor billed at a later date. The rider must pay for their ride at the time they ride. It is acceptable to pay for the ride and return ride at the same time.
All of our Paratransit riders are important to us and we strive to provide constant, reliable service. As a shared ride service it is important for Paratransit riders to understand the impact their behavior has on other Paratransit riders and service delivery. Examples of behavior that is disruptive to Paratransit service includes, but is not limited to, a rider not being ready when the driver arrives and expecting the driver to wait more than 5 minutes or return at another time, making multiple reservations then cancelling/rescheduling them within several days, not having a ticket and expecting a ride on credit, or expecting the driver to change the destination of the scheduled ride. A Paratransit rider will be notified of disruptive behavior by letter. A pattern of disruptive behavior will result in a suspension.
Transit entities are required to permit service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities in vehicles and facilities. Service animals are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities, such as guiding people who are blind or who have low vision, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, alerting a person who is having a seizure, or performing other special tasks. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability.
Statement of Non-Discrimination
The Cities of Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota, do not discriminate against an individual on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national
origin, sex, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, disability, age or familial status and assures equal opportunity for all persons in the provision of public transportation services. For more information on your Title VI civil rights or to file a complaint, please contact 701.241.8140