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Eligibility for Paratransit

Most of the standard buses and streetcars throughout the RTA system have equipment to serve persons with disabilities, but if you have a disability that prevents you from using the standard RTA system, you may qualify for paratransit rides. The RTA is required to provide this service under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

With the RTA’s paratransit service, a bus or mini-van will pick you up at the curb in front of most any address and take you to almost any other address within Orleans Parish. Advance reservations are required, and you will share the bus or mini-van with other paratransit riders.

If you wish to use the RTA’s paratransit services, you must first must apply for and receive an RTA Paratransit Card. Although paratransit services are for persons with disabilities, not everyone with a disability is eligible.

Who is eligible for paratransit services?

The RTA's paratransit service is meant to help those persons with disabilities that cannot use the standard buses and streetcars in the RTA system. If you have a disability but your disability does not prevent you from using standard buses and streetcars, the RTA may not find you eligible for paratransit eligibility.
You are eligible to use paratransit services if:

  • If you receive Medicare and have a Medicare card, you can automatically get an RTA Reduced Fare Card

  • You cannot use the RTA buses or streetcars on your own.

  • You can generally use the RTA buses and streetcars on your own, but you need someone else’s assistance to use the system in certain ways.

  • Your disability prevents you from using particular bus or streetcar stops.

How do I apply for RTA paratransit services?

1. Get the application form.  ​

To apply to use RTA paratransit services, you need to complete and submit an ADA eligibility form. 

You can also pick up a form in person at the following address: 

Regional Transit Authority
ADA Eligibility/ID Center
2817 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70119

In addition, if you call the ADA Eligibility/ID Center, we will send you a blank form through the mail. The number to call is (504) 827-8345. Our Rideline TTY Number is also available for the hearing impaired: (504) 827-7832.

 2. Fill out the form. 

There are two parts to the application, Applicant Information and Request for Professional Verification. You are to fill out the first part yourself, and a doctor or licensed healthcare professional is to fill out the second part. 

Please be sure all parts of the form are filled out, including your signature and the signature of the doctor or licensed healthcare professional. If any part of the form is not filled out, the RTA will not be able to process your request. The form will be sent back to you until all parts are complete.
3. Submit the form. 

Submit the form by mailing it to the ADA Eligibility/ID Center or by dropping it off in person. We do not accept copies or faxes. 

Regional Transit Authority
ADA Eligibility/ID Center
2817 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70119

4. Wait for a letter of approval. 

It may take up to three weeks for the RTA to process your paperwork for paratransit services. You will receive a letter in the mail about our decision. 

There are two types of paratransit eligibility, unconditional and conditional.

  • Unconditional eligibility – If your eligibility is “unconditional,” you may use paratransitservices under any circumstances.
  • Conditional eligibility – If your eligibility is “conditional,” you may use paratransit services only under certain circumstances. For example, some riders have partially limiting factors such as dialysis. Use the paratransit to accommodate their trip to and from dialysis treatment.

What happens if I am determined ineligible?

If you are determined ineligible, you may file an appeal to an appeal board. The appeal board will be made up of three people who were not involved in the initial decision. The notification letter you received will include instructions on how to file an appeal if you wish to do so.

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