Paratransit Services

Welcome

The Division of Paratransit provides transportation services for individual passengers for the following trips:

  • Route 22 Shuttle Bus
  • Medical
  • Shopping
  • Employment
  • Education or Training
  • Prescription pick-ups
  • Other Essential Services

All reservations are limited to availability on a first come first served basis and transportation will be provided with limited passengers on each vehicle. 

All Reservations may be taken up to three (3) weeks in advance. 

Call 908-241-8300 (Option 1) to make your reservation and schedule your trip.

Please Note – As a result of a court order, effective immediately and as of April 18, 2022, CDC’s January 29, 2021 Order requiring masks on public transportation conveyances and at transportation hubs is no longer in effect. The CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings at this time. Face masks are not required; passengers may wear a mask based on personal preference

About

The Union County Paratransit System is a curb-to-curb transport service specializing in transportation of senior citizens (age 60 or older), persons with disabilities and/or economically disadvantaged residents of Union County. There is a fare of $3 per one-way trip. Fare exemptions may apply upon request.

Out of county trips are provided on Monday & Wednesday only. The county provides services within a (5) mile radius of Union County borders. These requests are considered an in-county trip and will be scheduled as such. Paratransit will provide non-emergency transportation for:

  • Medical
  • Nutrition
  • Mental Health
  • Shopping
  • Employment
  • Recreation
  • Education
  • Bus Service
  • Rail Service

Hours of Operation

Paratransit operates Monday to Friday 7:30a.m. to 5:30p.m.

Limited hours available on Saturday.

No Service is provided on Sunday.

Paratransit does not operate on the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • President’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day

How to Make Reservations

Try to be flexible, in your appointment time. You may be asked to change your appointment day or time. Please remember we are a shared ride service that is not able to meet the needs of all residents at all times. We appreciate your cooperation so that we may best accommodate your request.

If possible, make your appointments for the middle of the day when the system is least busy.

Many municipalities provide transportation for their senior residents; information can be obtained by calling your local municipal office.

Reservations can be made Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. by calling the scheduling office at 908-241-8300. First-time callers should call between the hours of 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Name, Address & Telephone Number
  • Date of Birth
  • If you are a Medicaid recipient
  • Income Level (general, not specific)
  • Disability or Special Need (s)
  • If you use a mobility assistance device such as a wheelchair, scooter, cane or walker
  • Race (information required by government funding source) 

Transportation is available on a first-come-first served basis. A minimum of five to seven days advance notice for a scheduled trip is recommended. Limited service may be available on shorter notice.

Please do not call any earlier than three weeks prior to your desired trip.

You will be asked to provide the following information each time you request a trip:

  • Day, Date and Time of the appointment
  • Address, City, State and Telephone Number of your Destination
  • Doctor’s name, Clinic name, Company name, Telephone number, etc.
  • Approximate Time of Return
  • Every effort will be made to accommodate your request however; trips will be determined by availability.

Requests to transport children must be handled on an individual basis and forwarded to the Director of Union County Paratransit for approval before it is scheduled. If the child is required to use a car seat according to New Jersey State Law, the family is responsible for supplying the appropriate seat
for the size of the child.

Reasonable Accommodations will be provided upon request.

Special Requests: Group and/or evening transportation arrangements must be made by calling the Administrative office at 908-659-5000. Evening trips requested after 5:30pm and Saturday will cost $76.92 per hour per vehicle from the time the vehicle leaves the yard until the time it returns.  Group trips scheduled during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 10am to 2pm will be charged $76.92 per hour per vehicle.

Veterans’ Transportation

  • Transportation is available every Tuesday and Thursday to Lyons Hospital
  • Every Monday & Wednesday transportation is available to East Orange Veterans Hospital
  • Transportation is provided daily to the veterans clinic at Trinitas Hospital

Fares and Policies

Fares

Effective February 1, 2020 it is $3 per one-way trip. In the event that you cannot afford the fare, waivers based on the passengers income are possible. All information is confidential. Billing will be done each month following the month of service. You will be asked to make your payment by check or money order ONLY payable to “Union County Paratransit System.”

ADA Complaint Policy and Form

Click here

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations cause unnecessary delays to the overall operation of the Paratransit System. If you have to cancel a trip, you must call as soon as possible before the scheduled pickup time. If you call after business hours, please leave your name, telephone number and scheduled trip information on the answering machine.

Three or more un-cancelled appointments (no-shows) within a 30-day period will result in the suspension of your transportation privileges for 14 days. You will be charged the $3 fare for all trips you fail to cancel in advance.

Severe weather conditions may force cancellation of service. Please refer to the ucnj.org website or call 908-241-8300 for closure notifications after 7 a.m.

Non-Discrimination Policy

We are committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from, or denied the benefits of our services on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Any person who believes that they have, individually or as a member of any specific class of persons, been subject to discrimination on the basis of race, color, or natural origin, may file a complaint in writing to Union County Paratransit. To file a complaint, or for more information on Union County’s obligations under Title VI, please write to Union County:

Union County Paratransit System
10 Elizabethtown Plaza, 2nd Floor
Elizabeth, NJ 07202

If information is needed in another language please call 908-659-5000. Si necesita información en otro idioma, llame al 908-659-5000

Reasonable Modification Policy

Click here

Title VI Non Discrimination Policy

Submit a Title VI Complaint Online – Click here

Title VI Complaint Form- Click here

The Title VI Act of 1964, as amended, helps to ensure anti-discrimination is enforced throughout the work undertaken by all recipients of federal funding.  The County of Union, including Union County Paratransit, has implemented procedures to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, disabling condition, or being included within minority populations and/or low income populations, as well as, ensure meaningful access to programs and activities by persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). Title VI also prohibits exclusion from participation, denial of benefits to, or others subject to discrimination under any program or activity administered by the County of Union.

Any person who believes they have been aggrieved by an unlawful discrimination practice under Title VI has a right to file a formal complaint with the County of Union.  Any such complaint must be in writing and filed with the County of Union.  The complaint must be filed within one hundred eighty (180) days following the date of the alleged discriminatory occurrence.    Transportation services provided by this agency are in whole or part funded through federal funds received through NJ TRANSIT and as an individual you also have the right to file your complaint with the Federal Transit Administration in writing and may be addressed to: Title VI Program Coordinator, East Building, 5th Floor – TCR, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, Office of Civil Rights, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590 or visit www.njtransit.com/diversity

The County of Union also provides language access services to populations of persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) who are eligible to be served or likely to be affected by our programs.  The County of Union will schedule interpreters or bilingual staff when necessary to communicate, unless, after being informed of the right to interpreter services, the individual expresses a clear preference to bring their own interpreter. The County of Union will schedule an interpreter or bilingual staff member at no cost to assist in reading English language notices, letters, or other written information from the County of Union.   

To file a written complaint, or for more information on the County of Union’s obligations under

Title VI and/or to request LEP services, please either write to Deana Mesaros, Director, Union County Paratransit, 10 Elizabethtown Plaza- 2nd floor, Elizabeth, NJ 07202, or contact the County of Union at www.ucnj.org.  

Responsibilities

Passengers

  • If you are a veteran you may be asked to provide your ID number
  • ALL passengers are required to wear a seat belts when the vehicle is in motion
  • Smoking, drinking or eating is not permitted on the vehicle.
  • Unruly or inappropriate behavior may result in loss of transportation privileges
  • Pets are not allowed. A service animal may accompany a person with a disability upon request.
  • Passengers will be responsible for carrying all their packages into their homes
  • Be ready 15 minutes prior to scheduled pick-up time.
  • Allow 15 minutes after your scheduled pickup time before calling the reservationists. If an aide is needed, it is the passenger’s responsibility to obtain one. Please notify intake when making a reservation
  • Telephone the scheduling office if you will be late for a return.
  • Reasonable Accommodations will be provided upon request
  • Portable Oxygen and alternate format available upon request

Drivers

  • The Driver will blow the horn and wait 5 minutes before moving on to the next scheduled pick-up.
  • Drivers are NOT permitted to accept tips or collect fares.
  • Assistance is provided getting on and off the vehicle at the curb. Visually impaired passengers will be assisted door-to-door.
  • Help will be provided with securing seat belts.
  • Assistance is provided to a passenger using a mobility device to get on and off the vehicle from the curb and in securing the device on the vehicle.
  • Drivers are required to report all problems to the dispatcher and take directions from the dispatcher on resolving any issues.
  • Help will be provided putting on and taking off, no more than two (grocery size) bags per passenger.
  • Only passengers on the drivers scheduled list will be transported.

Senior Citizen and Disabled Resident Transportation Advisory Board

Meeting Dates for year 2022

  • February 15th
  • April 5th – Hybrid meeting – details coming soon
  • June 6th
  • August 2nd                                         
  • Public Hearing – TBD
  • October 4th      
  • December 6th    

The County of Union SCDRTAP Advisory Board meetings are held the first Tuesday of every other month at 5:30 p.m. on Zoom. The meeting Id number and password will be sent to each board member prior to every meeting.

There is a Public Hearing held once a year (TBA) where the general public is invited to attend via Zoom. Comments are entered into the record for SCDRTAP Funding.

Public Notice

Pursuant to an announcement by Deana Mesaros, Director of the Union County Paratransit System, The Department of Human Services Paratransit will hold a public hearing.

To receive an update when the meeting date is confirmed, please email dmesaros@ucnj.org.

We will be accepting input concerning the 2023 Application to New Jersey Transit for funding under the Senior Citizen and Disabled Resident Transportation Assistance Program, at which time and place all interested parties will be given an opportunity to have their questions answered.

To assure that all members of the public are given an opportunity to have their questions answered, please send all questions to dmesaros@ucnj.org . People who are deaf, hard of hearing and/or speech impaired should access this service by contacting New Jersey Relay Service TTY/TDD 1-800-852-7899.

For those residents unable to attend the virtual hearing, please send written questions/comments to: Deana Mesaros, Director, Union County Paratransit System, 10 Elizabethtown Plaza 2nd Fl. Elizabeth, NJ 07207.

2022 Projected Budget & Paratransit Accomplishments and Initiatives

Accomplishments

This year Paratransit was able to maintain the level of service we anticipated based on the amount of funding we received due to the support of the Board of Commissioners & Federal Transit Administration.

This year Paratransit provided 22,307 rides to the elderly and disabled residents of Union County for medical, dialysis, employment, Covid-19 testing, Covid-19 vaccine, prescription pick-ups, and food shopping. For after-hour trips, we provided approximately 144 trips daily on average.

All drivers and passengers must wear masks, buses are sanitized daily, and cleaning products and disinfectant sprays are provided to every driver daily.

Driver’s temperatures are taken daily before the start of their shift. The barrier shields were installed last year in four of the Rt. 22 safety shuttle buses for extra protection for our drivers to prevent the potential spreading of the coronavirus.

The Route 22 Safety Shuttle is funded by JARC (Job Access Reverse Commute). Paratransit shuttle bus provided to-date 11,644 rides. Paratransit received grant funding for $300,000 from New Jersey Transit for the Job Access and Reverse Commute Program, also known as (JARC) and the Route 22 Shuttle buses.

Paratransit received grant funding for $1,078,814.00 (One million, seventy-eight thousand, eight hundred and fourteen ten dollars) for the SCDRTAP Program (Senior Citizen and Disabled Resident Transportation Program) from NJ Transit.

Paratransit received a Mobility Management grant for $300,000 from New Jersey Transit for operational cost. Paratransit received grant funding for $91,292 from the Division on Aging for transportation services for Union County residents age 60 and over.

The collection of nominal fares has generated $33,101.74. We received $41,000.00 for the transportation of Logisticare Medicaid clients.

We have received $942.00 from the two mental health facilities to transport Medicaid-eligible Partial Care clients.

Initiatives

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Paratransit will continue to take extra precautionary measures to ensure the safety of our drivers and our passengers.

This year Paratransit will hold a virtual public hearing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a recipient of the funding received from the Senior Citizen Disabled Resident Transportation Assistance Program known as SCDRTAP, Casino Revenue money is received through NJ Transit; we are required each year to hold a public hearing. This will allow us to hear from the public. Public comments on the Paratransit System will be entered into the record and become part of the application submitted to NJ Transit for funding in 2022.

Paratransit is in the process of securing a grant for $1,064,750.00 (One million, sixty-four thousand, seven hundred and fifty dollars) for the year 2022 from NJ Transit.

Paratransit will continue to seek ways to generate the funding necessary to provide this vital service to our residents who depend on it for medical transportation such as; dialysis, chemotherapy, radiation, physical therapy, prescription pick-ups, Covid-19 testing, Covid- 19 vaccine, and mental health as well as education, employment, nutrition, and food shopping.

Paratransit will continue to work with the contracted facilities to provide transportation to the clients since many of the facilities were closed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has now re-opened.

Budget

2022 Budget

Contact Us

Advertising Opportunities

Transit media is all around us! Chances are you’ve stood by, passed by or even driven by one of our vehicles this week- Interested in Advertising?

Please email dmesaros@ucnj.org to be connected with an advertising opportunity specialist.