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Access-A-Ride Quick Guide

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You can find information for people with disabilities about traveling on MTA public transportation, including a great deal of information about Access-A-Ride by clicking here:

Access-A-Ride (AAR) provides transportation for people with disabilities who are unable to use public bus or subway service for some or all of their trips. It offers shared ride, door-to-door paratransit service. MTA New York City Transit administers AAR; private carriers under contract to NYC Transit provide service.

How to Apply
The Access-A-Ride application is available on-line in pdf format or, call 877-337-2017,* 718-393-4999, TTY 718-393-4259 or TTY Relay 800-662-1220 and press "1" when you hear the recorded message to be connected to the Customer Information Line. Between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday, representatives are available to answer your questions about AAR and can send you an application.

Once NYC Transit receives your completed application, it will be reviewed to see if your case requires an interview by a certifier. The certifier asks questions about your daily travel activities and may have you demonstrate your ability to walk, climb stairs or use a lift to board a bus. A decision will be made about your eligibility within 21 days after you finish the application process.

If you are denied eligibility or given conditional eligibility, you have a right to appeal the decision within 60 days of notification. Appeal instructions and an appeal form are included with the notification letter.

The one-way fare for each registered passenger and each guest is the same as the full fare on mass transit. Please pay the driver the exact amount at the time of your ride. AAR drivers do not provide change. AAR fares are collected prior to the vehicle's departure. AAR drivers are not required to transport any persons who do not pay the appropriate fare. Round-trip fares are not accepted.

AAR TransitChek coupons are accepted as fare payment. Each coupon is good for one trip.

AAR customers ride reduced fare on NYC Transit local and express buses and subways and MTA Bus local and express buses.

Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) ride free when accompanying AAR customers whose IDs indicate they travel with a PCA.

Hours of Operation
Service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays.

How to Arrange for a Trip
Call the Paratransit Command Center at 877-337-2017, 646-252-5252, TTY 646-252-5287 or TTY Relay 800-662-1220 between 7 am and 5 pm daily, one to two days in advance of your trip. When the recorded message begins, press "2." You will be connected to a reservationist. Please have the following information ready:

  • Your ID number, as it appears on your AAR identification card.

  • The date of your trip(s).

  • Your pick-up and destination addresses (include cross streets whenever possible).

  • The telephone number of your destination address.

  • The time you wish to arrive.

  • Whether you will be traveling with a PCA, a guest, or both.

  • Any special instructions such as the need for the vehicle operator to announce his or her presence if you are visually impaired.

  • Please provide the same information for the return trip.

The reservationist will tell you while you are on the telephone whether or not your trip request can be accommodated. You may be offered an alternate pick-up or return time.

On the Day of Your Trip
Please have your exact fare and ID card ready at the time of your pick-up. Be ready to travel at your scheduled pick-up time and be prepared to wait up to 30 minutes after that time. The 30-minute waiting period begins at your scheduled pick-up time and ends 30 minutes later. (AAR vehicles arriving during this 30-minute waiting period are considered on time.) The driver must wait for you for 5 minutes from the time the vehicle arrives during or past the 30-minute waiting period. A driver arriving early must wait until 5 minutes after the scheduled pick-up time before leaving. If you are not at the pick-up location, the driver will leave after waiting 5 minutes.

Please do not leave your pick-up location to call before the end of the 30-minute waiting period.

If the AAR vehicle does not arrive by the end of the 30-minute period, please call 877-337-2017, 646-252-5252, TTY 646-252-2707 or TTY Relay 800-662-1220. When the recorded message begins, press "5." You will be connected to a customer information agent who will assist you.

Guests and Personal Care Attendants
Customers may bring one guest with them when traveling on AAR.Customers approved to travel with a PCA may bring the PCA and one guest; all must travel to and from the same destination.Guests and customers pay the same fare and PCAs travel free of charge on AAR. Children can be guests and are charged a fare, as with other mass transit, except an infant held in the parent's lap.The parent is responsible for securing the child in a seat, and should provide a carrier or car seat.Please remember to inform the reservationist that you are bringing a guest or PCA when reserving a trip so that seats are reserved.PCAs travel at no additional charge on AAR, NYC Transit subways, local and express buses.

Driver Assistance
As long as the driver doesn't lose sight of vehicle, she or he can assist you to and from the vehicle. However, a driver will not enter any buildings.

The driver will help you up or down the curb or one step and will assist you to board the vehicle. If you have packages, the driver will carry two bags totaling 40 pounds to the outside door of your destination.

How to Cancel a Trip
Trips must be canceled by 5 pm the day before a scheduled ride by calling 877-337-2017, 718-393-4999, TTY 646-252-5287 or TTY Relay 800-662-1220. After you are connected, press "4." A reservationist will cancel your trip. (AAR counts a late cancellation or a failure to appear for a trip as a violation. Seven or more violations within a six-month period could result in a period of suspension of your paratransit service.)

What to do if an AAR Vehicle is Late
If your AAR vehicle has not arrived 30 minutes after the scheduled pick up time, you may call the Paratransit Command Center at 877-337-2017, 646-252-5252, TTY 646-252-2707 or TTY Relay 800-662-1220 for a trip status. When the recorded message begins, press "5." You will be connected to a customer information agent (CIA). The CIA will contact the carrier to find out the AAR vehicle's estimated time of arrival (ETA) and its location. The CIA will tell you the ETA and the location of the scheduled vehicle or will dispatch another AAR vehicle to pick you up.

Taxicab/Car Service Authorization and Reimbursement
If the scheduled AAR vehicle or another AAR vehicle is unavailable within a reasonable period of time, the CIA can authorize a taxi or car service for customers able to arrange for them. In those instances, a CIA will give you an authorization number to take either a taxicab or car service. You are then responsible for paying the full fare plus any tolls and obtaining a receipt from the driver. You must submit a written request for reimbursement to NYC Transit. NYC Transit will reimburse you for the total cost of the trip (including up to a 15 percent tip), minus the full AAR Paratransit fare.

Your reimbursement request must include your name, address and AAR ID number, NYC Transit authorization number, original taxicab meter receipt or original car service receipt, including the car service name and telephone number (with the fare amount plus tolls), and the date of the trip. NYC Transit does not accept copies or faxes of taxicab or car service receipts and will return any request that does not include the necessary documentation.

Receipts that appear altered may be rejected and the amount of reimbursement may be limited when it seems excessive.

Please mail requests to:

AAR Taxicab Reimbursements
NYC Transit, Paratransit
2 Broadway, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10004

NYC Transit also reserves the right to offer customers conditional authorization subject to verification that your same day pick-up problem was NYC Transit's responsibility. You will not be reimbursed for taxicab or car service fare if NYC Transit determines that you are responsible for the problem.

NYC Transit will not authorize taxicab or car service for customers who are:

  1. Not ready to travel when the AAR vehicle arrives within the 30-minute time period.

  2. Not at the scheduled pick-up location when the AAR vehicle arrives.

  3. Finished with appointments early and want a return trip prior to the scheduled pick-up time.

In the event NYC Transit offers you an alternate trip on AAR, you have the option of either waiting for the AAR vehicle or taking a taxicab or car service at your own expense. The scheduled arrival time for an alternate trip may be up to one hour after the trip is offered. If you are delayed but wish to keep your return-trip reservation, call the Command Center at 877-337-2017, 646-252-5252, TTY 646-252-2707 or TTY Relay 800-662-1220 and press "5" to be connected to a CIA at least 60 minutes before your scheduled pick-up time to reschedule your return trip.

Subscription Service
Paratransit subscription service is for AAR customers who make a trip that starts at the same place and ends at the same destination at the same time one or more days a week. These trips are automatically scheduled which eliminates the need to call in advance for each trip. Call the Customer Information Line at 877-337-2017, 646-252-5252, TTY 646-252-5104 or TTY Relay 800-662-1220 and press "1" to request an application for subscription service. Note: Subscription service is subject to availability.

No Show/Late Cancellation Violations
Any time you cancel after 5 pm on the day before you are scheduled to travel or do not appear for your trip you have scheduled, you will receive a violation. NYC Transit counts violations on a rolling six-month basis. This means if you receive a violation on June 1, it counts towards a suspension until December 1. You may not dispute an individual violation at the time it occurs.

Notification of Suspension and Right to Appeal
If your travel record shows that you have accumulated at least seven violations in six months or less, you may receive a notice of Suspension. The Notice includes a list of each trip that was cancelled late or for which you are recorded as a no-show, the dates the suspension is scheduled to begin and end, and instructions for filing an appeal.

A customer may appeal a Notice of Suspension in writing or by requesting an in-person hearing. To appeal a scheduled suspension, you must show specifically which trips you think should not be listed as violations, and why. You should provide any documentation that is relevant to your reasons for missing these trips or canceling them late. Please keep records and documentation relating to your travel on AAR in case you receive a Notice of Suspension and wish to appeal.

If you do not appeal a Notice of Suspension, or if your appeal is unsuccessful, your AAR service will be suspended. First-time suspensions last for two weeks. Second suspensions are set for three weeks, and third or subsequent suspensions are four weeks in length.

If you have subscription service and are suspended for violating the No-Show/Late Cancellation Policy, your subscription will be cancelled as well. You may not reapply for subscription service until four months after your suspension ends.

Customer service representatives can take your complaints, comments and suggestions by telephone. Please contact us at 718-330-3322 or TTY 718-596-8273. If you prefer, write to us at:

NYC Transit, Paratransit
2 Broadway, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10004

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