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access transit Services FAQs

What exactly is Access Transit Services, Inc.?

ACCESS Transit Services, Inc. (ACCESS) is a subsidiary and service of the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) formed in the fall of 1998 to broker transportation for Medicaid clients in the Capital District.  Access currently arranges senior transportation for Albany County residents to their non-emergency medical appointments, pharmacy, grocery shopping, congregate meal sites, and adult day programs, as well as for JARC clients.  ACCESS also arranges taxi rides to work and work-related services so that TANF-eligible citizens of Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady Counties may attain employment, get a better job or retain the job they have.  Contact the County Department of Social Services about the Job Program or call the JARC line at ACCESS at (518) 437-5131 for more information.

What is ACCESS’ mission? 

Our mission is to maximize personal mobility by coordinating transportation in the Capital District for all qualified recipients.  We are committed to arranging the most appropriate, cost effective mode of transport to meet the needs of each client.  ACCESS is dedicated to maximizing independence and mobility options for each individual.

 

How do I know if I am eligible to have ACCESS arrange transportation for me? 
Access provides transportation as the transporter of last resort. If you are a Medicaid recipient, STAR customer, own a car, or have other means of transportation then you are not eligible. You are eligible if you are a senior over 60 and have no other means of transportation to get to your vital appointment. Typically transportation is provided for medical care and services that are provided in a doctor’s office, mental health facility, clinic, HMO, hospital or rehabilitation facility.

What are ACCESS’ hours of operation?  What is the phone number? 
For customer convenience, ACCESS’ call center operates from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Monday through Friday, closed major holidays.  The phone number for the Senior Transportation call center is (518) 437-5161 for JARC it is 518-437-5131.  Our fax number is (518) 453-8833. Our email address for Senior transportation is albanycountydfa@cdta.org and the email address for JARC is jobsprogram@cdta.org

How do I schedule transportation to an appointment? 
Call (518) 437-5161 at least 3 business days in advance to arrange transportation.  First time callers must get registered first through our call center representatives. Please be prepared to answer questions regarding your mobility so that ACCESS can arrange appropriate transportation for you.

Should I call to confirm my transportation? 
It is always a good idea to call a day or two in advance to confirm. ACCESS will be able to provide you with the name of the transporter.  Often, the transporter will contact the client the day before to confirm arrangements and to verify that the appointment has not been rescheduled or cancelled. 

What if my ride doesn't show? 
Call the ACCESS Call Center at (518) 437-5161.  

What is considered as an urgent care appointment? 
Urgent care is considered to be any medical appointment that is scheduled within 24 hours. Urgent care is not an emergency, for this call emergency response immediately (911 if available).  Urgent care is typically an ailment such as a toothache, swelling from an injury, infection or a follow up test that needs to be performed quickly due to a diagnosis of a serious condition.   

How many days in advance can a request for transportation be made? 

You can make a request as far in advance as you are aware of a scheduled appointment.  

Can I request a specific transporter? 
We will attempt to honor requests for a specific transporter. We have to provide what is the most cost effective.

Unfortunately, we are unable to make guarantees as to the outcome of these requests. 

When will I be picked up for my appointment? 
ACCESS requests that all clients be ready at least one hour before their appointment so transporters have adequate notice and time to schedule and coordinate transportation appropriately.  During times of inclement weather, clients should be ready more than one hour in advance due to increased travel times.
 
What if I don’t know when I will need to be picked up for the return trip? 
If you do not know when your appointment will conclude, it may be necessary for you to call ACCESS to arrange your return trip.  This is known as a “will-call” trip.  Other times the transporter may give you a time when the vehicle will come back to get you.

What is the policy for issuing CDTA Fare Products: Trip Tickets, Day Passes, STAR coupons, 3 Day Pass, 10 Ride Tickets, 31 Day Rolling Swiper, and Swiper bus passes? 
For Trip Tickets, Day Passes, 3 Day Pass, 10 Ride Tickets, 31 Day Rolling Swiper: Senior Albany County clients who live within three quarter miles of a bus route and are capable of taking a CDTA bus to their appointments may receive a CDTA Fare Product. The CDTA Fare Product Coordinator will determine the best Fare Product for the client’s need.

STAR coupons: All persons must be approved to ride STAR service according to the regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Application forms can be obtained by calling 482-2022.  STAR operates curb-to-curb service that is complementary to the CDTA bus network.  Also, STAR does not prioritize based upon the purpose of the trip.  ACCESS will provide STAR coupons good for one ride each to Senior Albany County clients for transportation to medical care and services approved by Access.