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Media Contact:
Morgan Lyons

July 19, 1999

New Assessment Center Opens July 26

Paratransit Customers Begin Recertification in July

DART opens a new paratransit assessment center on Monday, July 26 to assist paratransit customers undergoing federally-mandated eligibility reviews.

The objective of the assessment is to determine whether a current or new customer is able to use DART's bus and rail services instead of or in addition to paratransit. Paratransit customers are required to participate in the in-person assessment when renewing their certification to use the curb-to-curb van service.

At the center, located at 7920 Elmbrook, Suite 106 (southeast corner of Elmbrook and Mockingbird) customers will receive an in-person assessment by a team of qualified health and transportation professionals. The assessment standards are set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. As part of the review, the customer performs a self-assessment and must obtain a physician's verification of disability.

Customers with unconditional eligibility can use paratransit for all of their trips. Customers with conditional eligibility can use paratransit only for specific trips which meet ADA paratransit standards. Persons who are able to use DART bus or rail services to complete a trip cannot use paratransit services for that trip.

DART offers personalized instruction to help customers learn how to ride the bus or train alone. DART Vice President of Paratransit Services Doug Douglas says planning for in-person recertification has been going on for several months. Douglas says this new process will open new travel options for riders with disabilities as well as help free space on vans for people who genuinely need the service.

More information on DART Paratransit Services and the eligibility review process is available by calling 214-515-PARA (7272) or by visiting DART's website, www.DART.org.

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