[updated May 12, 2017]
Various entities in New Jersey provide low or no cost transportation services for people with disabilities. Whether it's standard NJ Transit buses, AccessLink shuttles, county services, or charitable organizations, knowing what's out there is crucial to finding the services that best suit your needs or those of your loved ones.
New Jersey Transit has made various investments to make its standard services accessible for disabled individuals. Most NJT buses have lifts or ramps for wheelchairs and systems to keep them secured and in place during travel. Most buses also have a "kneeling" feature, meaning that the entrance steps lower several inches toward the ground for those who may have trouble with that first step. Also, NJ Transit buses have priority seating in the very front for people with mobility issues.
As for train transportation, many NJ stations are equipped with elevators to accommodate wheelchairs, and passengers can request assistance from the conductor with using a portable ramp to board and disembark the train.
NJ Transit also offers a reduced-fare program for people with disabilities. Individuals approved by NJ Transit authorities may be eligible for a fare reduction, and personal care assistants may be able to ride along with their clients free of charge as long as they have appropriate credentials/identification on hand.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the state of New Jersey provides an affordable option for those who cannot get around using traditional public transportation --- even with the extra accommodations.
The system, known as Paratransit or Access Link, allocates shuttle buses, sedans, and wheelchair-lift-equipped vans to pick up people and take them to select destinations around the state. One-time as well as recurring trips can each be scheduled. When a trip is booked, Access Link will arrive for pickup in a 40-minute window (20 minutes before or after) the desired time.
Individuals with disabilities can use the service to travel to destinations within a ¾ mile radius of established bus routes. Unfortunately, if your desired pick up or drop off point is not within this radius, a ride cannot be provided.
The driver will assist passengers in getting into and out of the vehicle, but he or she is not trained in first aid and is not permitted to help with personal belongings. Keep in mind, this is a curb-to-curb service, meaning that individuals who require assistance getting outside to the vehicle may need more comprehensive travel services.
To apply, individuals can call NJ TRANSIT at 1-800-955-2321 and speak to a certification specialist who will schedule an appointment for an in-person assessment. For more info on Access Link, visit their website.
Services offered by counties
Some New Jersey counties offer paratransit services to their disabled and/or disadvantaged residents for little or no charge. For example, Union County offers curb-to-curb transport services for a flat fee of $2 per one way trip. They'll also wave the fee when appropriate. Out-of-county trips can be scheduled on Mondays and Wednesdays, and trips in or within a five mile radius of anywhere in the county can be arranged seven days a week. However, it's important to note that each county has different rules and offerings. Check with your county to see what services are available in your area of NJ.
Other forms of transportation assistance
(A non-profit statewide advocacy organization focused on providing information and support for community-based transit services.)
(A directory of accessible transportation options for people with disabilities and others in New Jersey who don't have easy, reliable access to private autmobile transportation.)
(A service dedicated to helping individuals find solutions to personal needs by providing infomation on resources in the community like day care, shelters, affordable housing, social services, employment training, senior services, transportation, medical insurance, and more.)
Do you have specialized transportation needs in NJ but not sure if NJ Transit, Access Link, or county paratransit has the right level of care for you or your loved one? On Time Transport has wheelchair vans, medical cars, and shuttles and can take you anywhere in New Jersey or out of state.
Have any questions related to our services or your public transportation options? Give us a call at (908) 298 9500.
We're always here to help.