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What to Expect When Using Paratransit

No-Show Policy

A no-show occurs when an individual schedules a trip and fails to use the service by missing their scheduled trip and negatively impacting service.  CobbLinc defines no-show as a missed trip not cancelled by the customer or whenever a customer cancels a trip within 1-hour of the scheduled pick-up time.  If an individual receives four (4) or more no-shows in a calendar month AND they equal more than 10% of the rider’s total scheduled trips for the calendar month, that individual will be suspended.

Any customer who receives a suspension will be notified of such in writing and has 10 business days to file an appeal.

CobbLinc does not have a no-show strand policy.  If a no-show is issued, the bus will proceed to its next destination and will not return to pick you up.

A letter will be sent to customers who receive two (2) no-shows in one calendar month to alert them of the potential for suspension of service if additional no-shows occur. A second letter will be sent when the total of no-shows reaches three (3) in one calendar month to notify them of the risk of having service suspended.

Any customer who receives a suspension will be notified of such in writing and has 10 business days to file an appeal.
The suspension period will begin 15 calendar days from the date of the suspension notice letter and will be shown on the suspension notice letter.

Suspension Due to No-Shows for Subscription Service

A subscription customer who is suspended due to no-show violations will lose their current subscription status and may reapply after the suspension is completed.

Suspension of Service Appeal

Any passenger who receives a suspension has the opportunity to appeal. The appeals process is not for individual no-show incidents that pose no risk of having service suspended. The appeals process is available when the customer receives a letter notifying them that they are at risk of having service suspended. This letter will also notify them of the opportunity to appeal all the no-show violations that may lead to a suspension of service.
Appeals must be in writing and must be received by CobbLinc within 10 business days of receipt of the Suspension Notification Letter. The appeal should be addressed to:

CobbLinc Customer Service & Paratransit Center
Attn: Paratransit Suspension Appeal
431 Commerce Park Drive
Marietta, GA 30060

The passenger will be notified in writing of an appeal hearing date and time. Appeals are held the third Monday of each month unless otherwise notified. If an appeal is made, service will continue until the appeal is decided.

Written notification of the Appeals Board decision will be sent to the passenger within 30 calendar days of the appeals hearing. If the appeal is denied, the suspension will begin 10 business days from the date of receipt of the Appeals Board decision letter.

Planning Your Trip

Pick-Up Window

When a ride is scheduled, the vehicle is given a 30-minute pick-up window that starts 15 minutes before your scheduled pick-up time and ends 15 minutes after your scheduled pick-up time. Customers must be ready to board the vehicle at any time during this 30-minute window.

If the vehicle has not arrived by the end of the 30-minute period, please contact CobbLinc Dispatch at (770) 424-3265, TDD 711, for assistance.

Trip Duration

Because CobbLinc’s Paratransit Service is a shared-ride service, your vehicle may make additional stops to pick up or drop off other customers. As such, your trip time may be as long as a comparable fixed-route trip plus an additional one-half (½) hour for travel and/or wait time for shared-ride passengers.

Determining Your Pick-Up/Drop-Off Time

Customers can request their pick-up time based on the time they need to be dropped off for an appointment or based on the time they wish to be picked up.

For example, if you must be at a location by 9:00 am, use this time to determine an appropriate pick-up time that will get you to your destination on time.

Or if you end work at 4:00 pm, use this time to determine an appropriate pick up time.

When determining your requested pick-up time, please keep rush hour traffic in mind. Every effort will be made to accommodate your requested pick-up time, however, there are factors that may affect pick-up, drop-off, and travel times for paratransit service, such as:

  • Shared-ride trips
  • Pick-up windows
  • Vehicle wait times
  • Service demand

Customers may be asked to adjust their requested pick-up or drop-off times due to high demand at certain times of the day for paratransit service.

It is permissible under ADA regulations for reservations staff to negotiate the requested pick-up or drop-off time within a one-hour window before or after the passenger’s requested time. The reservationist will consider trip constraints, such as latest arrival times or earliest pick-up times, as well as vehicle travel time and the 30-minute pick-up window, when negotiating pick-up/drop-off times.

Return Trip Times

To ensure timely pick-ups, drop-offs, and avoid the risk of a no-show, the minimum recommended time between trips is one (1) hour.

If a customer chooses to schedule their trips too close together and is not ready to board the vehicle for the return trip within five (5) minutes of the scheduled pick-up time, a no-show will be given and the vehicle will not return to pick them up after it leaves the pick-up location.

Vehicle Wait Time

It is important to be at the designated pick-up location at the scheduled pick-up time provided by the reservationist. The vehicle will wait up to five (5) minutes past the scheduled pick-up time for a passenger to arrive at the curb or designated pick-up point. The operator cannot leave or charge you with a no-show, until five (5) minutes after the scheduled pick-up time.

The vehicle is not permitted to wait while the passenger conducts business at their destination. The passenger will need to make a reservation for their return trip. Pick-up time and operator wait time requirements will also apply to the return trip.

Personal Care Attendants

If a passenger requires a Personal Care Attendant (PCA), this must be approved during the initial certification process or when there is a change in the passenger’s functional ability to use the service. PCAs ride for free and must board and exit the vehicle with the customer.

To prevent potential abuse of this provision, a friend or family member does not count as a PCA unless the customer regularly makes use of a PCA and the companion is actually acting in that capacity, as provided for in 49 CFR Part 37 Subtitle A, Appendix D.

Please inform the reservationist when making your reservation if a PCA will be traveling with you. If the customer requires a PCA and is under the age of 12, the PCA must be an adult. Customers must provide their own attendant; CobbLinc cannot provide attendants.

Service Animals

Service animals are allowed on CobbLinc vehicles and in CobbLinc facilities. A customer may board a vehicle at any time with a service animal with no prior arrangements. A service animal is defined by ADA as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability, including but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items. Please describe to the operator/employee what physical function or task the service animal will be providing. For safety reasons, operators are not permitted to handle service animals.

Traveling Companions

When making reservations, customers must inform the reservationist of any travel companions and any mobility device(s) the companion will be using. Traveling companions, including children, that ride with the customer do not need to be certified by CobbLinc and do not need an ID card.

One traveling companion may ride with a paratransit passenger and must board and exit the vehicle with the customer. Appropriate fare must be paid for a traveling companion, including children over 42 inches tall.
Additional companions may ride if space is available and must pay the appropriate fare.

Operator Assistance

Operators provide assistance to passengers while getting on and off the vehicle. However, to meet the requirements of ADA origin-to-destination service, assistance beyond the curb may be provided on an individual, case-by-case basis due to disability, adverse weather and/or physical barriers. You must let the reservationist know that you will need extra assistance when making a reservation.

Operators are not permitted to take passengers up or down steps, ramps, or walks. The operator will provide assistance with the use of lifts, ramps, and securement devices. The operator will assist in pushing a manual wheelchair up the ramp or onto the lift of the bus. Operators do not assist with packages and/or personal items.

Packages and Personal Belongings

While packages are allowed on the vehicle, operators do not provide assistance loading or unloading packages, personal items, groceries, or luggage. The number of packages allowed is only what a customer (or the PCA, companion, or child) can carry on or off the vehicle in one (1) trip.

Passengers will be required to secure their packages at their seats, as storage space on the vehicle is limited.
Excessive luggage and large boxes cannot be accommodated. The maximum combined weight of all packages cannot exceed twenty-five (25) pounds.

Boarding the Vehicle

Passengers must have their CobbLinc Paratransit Photo ID, fare ticket(s), or money (exact change is required) ready to present to the operator when boarding the vehicle. Failure to provide a ticket, pass, or exact fare currency at the time of boarding will result in the disruption of a passenger’s service and a no-show will be added to the passenger’s record.

Pick-Up Locations

Customers should be waiting in the designated area when the vehicle arrives to pick them up.

  • Medical Facilities/Large Complexes/Churches: Customers must meet the vehicle in front of the building at the closest curb to the main reception desk or main lobby entrance.
  • Malls: Customers will be picked up and dropped off at the main entrance that is closest to the food court location.
    • Town Center Mall, covered entrance located on lower level. The vehicle drives under the canopy and customers will be picked up and dropped off at this location only.
    • Cumberland Mall, entrance marked “Food Court” with double ramp access. Customers will be picked up and dropped off at this location only.
  • Gated Complexes/Communities: Customers residing in/traveling to or from a gated community should remain in their apartment until notified that the vehicle is at the gate. If the buzzer at the gate does not work, the operator will call dispatch and dispatch will notify the customer to open the gate. If the vehicle is unable to enter the community due to problem with the gate or gate lock, a no-show will be issued.

Boarding with Mobility Aids

CobbLinc may refuse to board a passenger on the lift if the lift or vehicle is unable to accommodate the wheelchair and its user, consistent with legitimate safety requirements.

Any passenger may use the lift at any designated stop. Operators are instructed to deploy a lift, at the request of the passenger, to board or exit the vehicle.

A wheelchair, is defined by ADA regulations, as a mobility aid belonging to any class of three-or-more-wheeled devices, usable indoors, designed or modified for and used by individuals with mobility impairments, whether operated manually or powered.

For passenger safety and comfort, CobbLinc has established the following lift operating procedures and guidelines:

  • Wheelchairs should be backed onto the lift (forward boarding is allowed).
  • Brakes must be locked, if applicable, while on the lift.
  • Electric power to the wheelchair should be turned off. The operator will instruct the customer when to reengage the power.
  • Customers should wait for the operator’s assistance and follow instructions when entering or exiting the vehicle.
  • CobbLinc cannot transport customers with inoperative mobility devices.
  • All wheelchairs and scooters must be secured. Any customer refusing to have their wheelchair or scooter secured will not be transported.

Customers may also transport oxygen concentrators or supplemental oxygen apparatus at any time when needed.

Unattended Passengers/Destination Closures

Closed Business/No Entry

If a business is closed upon the arrival of the vehicle, the passenger can choose to stay on the vehicle and be dropped off at the return address at the convenience of CobbLinc (return trip fare must be paid), or the passenger can exit the bus and wait for the return trip vehicle to pick them up.

Unattended Passengers

If the passenger cannot be left unattended after exiting the vehicle and the caretaker is not at the drop-off location when the vehicle arrives, the passenger will remain on the vehicle and the vehicle will continue as scheduled. The operator will contact CobbLinc Dispatch for assistance. CobbLinc Dispatch will call the emergency contact number and provide the caretaker with the next safe drop-off location to meet the vehicle in-route. If the contact number is not answered or if the number is disconnected, DFCS/911 will be called to take custody of the passenger.

Customer Code of Conduct

The following rules are provided to ensure the safety and comfort of all customers on board CobbLinc vehicles.

  • No eating, drinking, smoking or littering.
  • No riding under the influence of alcohol and/or intoxicating drugs.
  • No operating or tampering with any equipment while in the vehicle, including the hydraulic lift and wheelchair tie downs.
  • Wear seatbelts and check that wheelchair tie downs are secure.
  • Use earphones when playing electronic devices, TVs, radios and tape players.
  • Fold strollers.
  • No weapons allowed on CobbLinc buses
  • Shirts and shoes are required to board and ride the bus
  • No screaming, cursing, profanity and/or abusive behavior towards other passengers / drivers.

Operator Conduct

Operators are expected to obey the same rules as passengers. The following rules also apply:

  • Operators are not allowed to accept tips or gratuities, or act in any manner that would suggest that tipping is appropriate. This includes special occasions such as birthdays and/or holidays.
  • Operators are not allowed to have casual conversations with passengers or engage in any other distracting activity (i.e. using a cell phone or electronic audio and/or video device) while operating a vehicle.
  • Operators are not allowed to enter private dwellings (homes or apartments) of passengers.
  • Operators are not personal care attendants but will assist passengers on / off the bus, pushing and securing mobility devices, opening exterior doors to buildings, and providing safe rides.