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ADA Paratransit Certification Appeals Eligibility Review Board

Eligibility Review Board Community Representative

The RTA is looking for three Community Representatives to serve as Eligibility Review Board members for the ADA Paratransit Certification Formal Appeals program. Community representatives are short-term contractual positions, not employees of the RTA. Candidates must be professionally affiliated with an organization that supports people with disabilities or have experience working with older adults and people with disabilities, and have a basic understanding of public transportation in the RTA region and ADA Regulations. People with disabilities who meet these requirements are encouraged to apply. Each Community Representative must be available to serve a minimum of a two-year term agreement beginning in 2024. After the completion of the first term, there may be an option to extend the agreement up to two additional times, not to exceed four years total. Apply by December 15, 2023.


The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requires public transit agencies to provide ADA complementary paratransit service for customers whose disability or health condition prevents them from using fixed route bus and rail services for some or all their trips. In this region, Pace operates ADA Paratransit service on behalf of CTA and Pace; as a commuter rail provider, the ADA does not require Metra to provide ADA Paratransit service.

ADA Paratransit service is only to be provided as an alternative for an eligible fixed route trip that an individual cannot complete independently. It is important to note that having a disability does not automatically qualify an individual for ADA Paratransit; eligibility is based on an individual’s ability to use accessible fixed-route public transportation services for some or all their trips.

Eligibility for ADA Paratransit service requires potential riders to apply and be certified by the RTA ADA Paratransit Certification Program. The eligibility decision is based on information provided by the applicant, an in-person interview, functional assessments necessary to help evaluate the applicant’s abilities, and information provided by professionals familiar with the applicant if needed. If an applicant disagrees with a decision of “Not Eligible,” “Conditionally Eligible,” or “Temporary Eligibility,” they may appeal that decision.

ADA Paratransit eligibility appeals are heard by the RTA Eligibility Review Board (ERB), which is an independent panel of four individuals, including two Community Representatives, who were not involved in the initial certification decision, and two RTA staff.

ERB Community Members' Qualifications and Duties

All potential ERB members must meet the minimum requirements and be available to perform the duties as described below. (Note, the ERB Community Members are not employees of the RTA.)

  • Individuals who are professionally affiliated with an organization that supports people with disabilities. People with disabilities working at such organizations are encouraged to apply.
  • Have first-hand knowledge of public transportation in the RTA region (i.e., riders of fixed route bus and rail and/or ADA Paratransit).
  • Possess a basic understanding of the ADA as it relates to public transportation and ADA Paratransit eligibility (additional training will be provided).
  • Must be able to separate eligibility/regulatory requirements from personal opinions and experiences.
  • Must maintain strict confidentiality of all appeal cases and discussions among ERB members (including the handling of written case materials).
  • Must be prepared for all hearings by reviewing all submitted appeal materials in advance and drafting clarifying questions to ask appellants during the hearings.
  • For each appeal, be prepared to hear and discuss complex medical conditions to determine if the appellant’s demonstrated functional ability to use transit and the additional information provided during the appeal process translates to ADA paratransit eligibility.
  • Must be punctual and arrive promptly at all hearings.
  • Be available to serve for a minimum two-year term.
  • Be able to travel to the RTA office at 175 W. Jackson Blvd. in Chicago (the RTA does not reimburse for transportation-related costs).
  • Be available to participate in formal hearings on an as-needed basis. Hearings are scheduled several weeks in advance, and there are approximately six hearing dates per year. Typically, three appeal hearings are heard back-to-back from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. on each appeal hearing date.
  • Must participate in introductory and periodic refresher trainings (typically 1 to 2 days annually).


  • Members will be compensated $100 for each completed appeal hearing they participated in.
  • Members will be compensated $200 for each full day of training and $100 for each half day of training.
  • Members will be compensated $50 for each appeal in instances where the ERB member has prepared and appeared for the appeal hearing, but the scheduled appeal hearing does not occur due to last-minute cancelations or no-shows by the appellant.
  • Members will also be compensated $50 for each hearing that is canceled two business days or less in advance of the hearing.

Please submit a letter of interest that includes the following information:

  • Explain why you are interested in the position.
  • Explain your relationship to the disability community.
  • Explain your understanding of the ADA as it relates to public transit.
  • Provide your availability.

Letters of interest should be submitted by December 15, 2023, to:

Regional Transportation Authority
Mobility Services Department – Attn. Daphine Phillips
175 W. Jackson, Suite 1550
Chicago, IL 60604

or emailed to

If you have any questions, please contact Daphine Phillips at (312) 913-3153 or

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