Metro paratransit service is available to individuals who cannot use Metro’s fixed-route, city bus service due to a disability. Those determined eligible for the service are prevented from getting to or from a bus stop, or from riding a bus. This may include someone with physical, sensory, and/or intellectual disabilities.
Eligibility determinations are not based on symptoms, type of disability, use of a mobility aid, age, income, ability to drive, or access to a private automobile. Someone with similar circumstances may have a very different eligibility determination due to their functional ability.
A written application and an in-person assessment conducted by a trained paratransit professional is required to use our service. The functional abilities evaluated in the assessment may include the applicant’s gait and balance, bus route and landmark identification, short term memory and attention span, or other functions necessary for using a bus. In some instances, Metro will also contact your health care or social service professional for more information.
Applications for paratransit eligibility continue to be processed during the current public health emergency. In-person assessments, however, are delayed to a later date. Eligibility determinations are made based on the completed written application and a potential phone interview.
To apply for eligibility, candidates must complete the application form. If you would like to receive an application through the mail, please call (608) 266-4466.
Completed applications can be sent to:Metro Transit
Attn: Paratransit Eligibility
1245 E. Washington Ave. Suite 201
Madison, WI 53703
After applications are received by Metro staff:
- Metro will contact you to schedule a 30-minute in-person assessment. Metro provides transportation to and from the assessment if needed.
- A letter with an eligibility decision will be mailed within 21 days after completing the application process.
- You may file an appeal if you disagree with the decision. Information about the appeal process is included with your eligibility determination letter.
Are you a visiting Madison? Learn more about visitor eligibility.
Types of Eligibility
If someone is determined to be unable to use Metro’s fixed-route city bus service under all circumstances, their eligibility is considered 'unconditional.'
It may be possible for someone eligible for paratransit to also use Metro’s fixed-route city bus service for some trips. In these instances, a 'conditional' eligibility applies. Those with 'conditional' eligibility may only use paratransit when specific conditions exist, such as the presence of ice or snow.
'Temporary' eligibility could also apply for riders who have either unconditional or conditional eligibility status, but only for a limited term.
If you do not agree with the eligibility determination, you may file a written appeal within 60 days after the issuance of the determination letter. Individuals not involved in the original determination will review the appeal. If you'd like to file an appeal, please review the instructions provided in your eligibility determination letter.
Eligibility Recertification & Renewal
Metro will provide instructions on the recertification process for long-term users as their expiration date approaches. Recertification for all riders occurs on a three-year cycle. This process allows Metro to update records and consider circumstances that may have changed over time.
Riders with temporary eligibility should reapply for eligibility before the noted expiration date on their ID card in order to continue using paratransit services. However, any person, including someone already eligible, can file a new application at any time if they believe their eligibility status has changed.