Individuals who are interested in using ADA Paratransit service must apply and be found eligible according to ADA guidelines. The RTA handles ADA Paratransit Certification for the entire Chicago region to determine an individual's functional ability to use fixed route services.
To apply for ADA Paratransit, call the RTA's ADA Paratransit Certification program at 312-663-HELP (4357) between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
New Pilot Program:
The RTA launched a new four-month pilot program on February 1, 2023, aimed at simplifying the ADA Paratransit certification process and eliminating the paper application. If the new process is found to be successful, it will be implemented as a permanent change to the certification process.
Pilot Application Process:
For new, first-time ADA Paratransit applicants:
First-time ADA Paratransit applicants must call the helpline at 312-663-HELP (4357) to begin the process. On this call they will be asked a few screening questions, and a flyer to explain the program in more detail will be mailed to them. The flyer will include a few self-screening questions to help the customer decide if they may be eligible for the service before continuing with the application process.
If the customer wants to continue to the application process after reviewing the flyer, they will call the helpline back at (312) 663-HELP (4357) to schedule an in-person interview appointment. Applicants will be instructed to bring a photo ID to the interview. They may also bring additional information about their disability or health condition(s), but this is not required. Transportation to and from this appointment will be provided at no charge if requested.
During the in-person interview appointment, staff will ask the applicant about their ability to use regular buses and trains on CTA and Pace. Applicants may also be asked to complete a physical assessment that will take about 30 minutes and will give us a better idea of the applicant’s travel abilities and limitations.
For customers who are applying for ADA Paratransit recertification:
When a customer calls the helpline at 312-663-HELP (4357) to renew their certification, they will be scheduled for a 30-minute phone interview. Certification staff will call the applicant at their scheduled appointment time. During this interview, we will ask the applicant screening questions to determine if they continue to be eligible for ADA Paratransit service.
All ADA Paratransit certification decisions are made within 21 days of the completion of the interview and assessment. If a decision is not made within 21 days, we will provide ADA Paratransit service until a final decision is made. Applicants are notified of their eligibility by letter.
If the applicant is determined to be eligible for ADA Paratransit for some or all trips, they will receive a Certification Letter, a Customer Guide with information about how to use the service, and an RTA ADA Paratransit Permit ID Card.