Services are provided for any person residing within the geographic area of Washington Parish. Passengers may be transported to any destination located within parish boundaries. WPPT does not cross state lines. Specific routes and schedules are available upon request.
DAYS AND HOURS OF OPERATION
Office hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. General public vehicle operating hours are from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Requests for rides will not be accepted after 2:00 p.m. two business days prior to the requested trip. The following is a list of observed holidays:
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Day after Thanksgiving
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
- New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King Day
- Mardi Gras
- Good Friday
- Memorial Day
Washington Parish Public Transit reserves the right to close service temporarily for staff training. Advance written notice will be provided.
In case of inclement weather or an emergency call (985)732-6868 or (985)732-6871 for information regarding closures. TTY 1-800-846-5277
The first pickup will not be before 6:00 a.m and the last pickup will be no later than 4:00 p.m. for all general public trips. Exceptions may be made due to extenuating circumstances. Specific schedules for certain areas may be obtained by contacting the scheduling office at (985)732-6868 or (985)732-6871 TTY 1-800-846-5277. Services may be available at other times. Please call for more information.
RESERVATIONS AND SCHEDULING
All trips are scheduled on a first come, first serve, call-in basis. Demand response trips are trips where the rider calls for service each time a trip is desired. These must be received no later than 2:00 p.m. at least two days prior to the requested trip. Same day requests will be honored on a first come, first serve, space-available basis. Confirmation of demand-response trips is made when the trip is scheduled.
Subscription services are scheduled on a weekly basis. These are recurring trips that the rider does not need to call in for each time. Washington Parish Public Transit maintains a waiting list for subscription trips if there is not space to accommodate a riders' request. You will be notified at the time of your request if you are placed on a waiting list and the approximate wait time for services.
When you call to make a reservation you should be prepared to do the following:
- Identify yourself by providing your name and phone number;
- Provide the date and time you desire the trip. WPPT will make every attempt to schedule your pick up as close to your desired time as possible;
- Provide the location where you want to be picked up, noting if it is your home address, please provide the telephone number at that location;
- Give the address of your destination. Keep in mind WPPT does not provide service outside Washington Parish. If you have more than one stop, inform WPPT at this time. Drivers do not make unscheduled stops;
- Provide your doctors' name and address if scheduling a medical appointment;
- If you will be accompanied by a personal care attendant or a companion please provide the person's name;
- Tell us if you will be using a wheelchair and if it is motorized or manual;
- If you are requesting a return trip, indicate the time you desire to be picked up for return;
- If you have reserved a ride and must cancel, notify WPPT as soon as possible;
- Always refer to the holiday schedule when calling to make a reservation;
Subscription riders who arrive at their destination independently may or may not be eligible for a return trip with WPPT. These requests will be accommodated on a space available basis.
PICKUP AND DROP-OFF PROCEDURES
Trip schedules are constantly changing. Pick-up times for appointments are determined by the system's needs. You will be informed when you schedule an appointment of your approximate pickup time. Expect the bus to arrive as much as 30 minutes prior to or 30 minutes after your scheduled appointment time within city limits. In most rural areas, the bus may arrive as much as 1 hour prior to the scheduled appointment time. You will be informed of this when you make a reservation. For some trips, the driver may call in advance to confirm the trip. Please be ready and waiting for the bus when it arrives.
If more than 30 minutes has passed after your reservation pickup time, you should call (985)732-6868 or (985)839-4535 to get an update on the estimated arrival time of your bus.
The driver will wait for the rider for approximately 5 minutes after arriving at the pickup location. If the rider does not board within the 5 minutes, the driver will contact the dispatcher and rider will be classified as a "no show". The driver will then proceed with his schedule. Please remember, the driver may arrive as early as 30 minutes within the city (1 hour outside city) before your scheduled appointment time and will only wait 5 minutes after arrival.
WPPT provides curb-to-curb service, (door-to-door assistance may be provided upon request, if necessary for ADA eligible riders. This means that drivers wait for riders at the curb of a public street, in front of ( or as close to) the designated pickup location. Riders should be waiting at the sidewalk or another safe waiting area in front of (or as close as possible to) the entrance of the pickup location. Drivers do not cross the threshold of any residence, but will provide assistance with lifts and wheelchair securement system for passengers using wheelchairs or other mobility devices.
Occasionally the transit system experiences unavoidable delays. You should plan for the inconvenience of possible delays.
CHANGING A RESERVATION
Call the scheduling office at least one hour prior to the scheduled trip and inform the dispatcher regarding any changes. A change may be approved if it does not require any significant changes in the driver's schedule. If the change is not possible, your trip must be canceled and you will need to schedule a new trip.
Cancellations have a detrimental effect on WPPT services. Late cancellations may deny rides to other passengers by wasting trips and space. Please be aware of the following regarding cancellations:
- Cancellations are monitored and documented;
- If you need to cancel a ride, or need to change a trip, you must call the scheduling office at least 1 hour in advance of your scheduled pickup time;
- Excessive or late cancellations could result in a service suspension;
- If excessive cancellations continue after a suspension and reinstatement, any future trips will have to be paid for in advance;
- Any actions to suspend service will be communicated to the rider in writing.
NON-EMERGENCY MEDICAL TRANSPORTATION
WPPT offers non-emergency medical transportation services. Transportation will not be provided to patients having same-day surgery or outpatient procedures or hospital discharges. Other medical transportation will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Whenever a driver arrives to pick up a passenger, he or she may determine if the passenger is unsafe for transport. The driver will contact a supervisor to report the situation. The release should certify that the patient of the facility is stable and can complete the trip without incident. To protect all concerned, services may be denied or restricted for the medically tenuous. Drivers are not trained beyond basic CPR and First Aid.
COMPANIONS AND PERSONAL ATTENDANTS
ADA (American's with Disabilities Act) eligible riders may bring up to two companions along with them for trips on a space available basis. Companions must get on and off the vehicle at the same location as the eligible rider and must pay full fare. If a rider plans to travel with companions, be sure to tell the dispatcher when calling to schedule the trip.
A personal care attendant is a person designated to care for and to travel with an ADA eligible rider. This person can be a paid employee, family member or friend. Riders who travel with a personal care attendant will be certified by the transit system as requiring a personal care attendant. Personal care attendants will ride free and must accompany the passenger on all of his/her trips.
Passengers eligibility for a personal care attendants are as follows:
- Any person who, because of the nature of his/her disability, cannot navigate an accessible transit system independently. This includes persons who because of their disability cannot independently board, ride, or disembark from an accessible vehicle. This does not include the operations of the wheelchair lift or securement system since drivers are required to operate all vehicle equipment.
- Any person may be temporarily eligible if his or her disability is intermittent or temporary. Those persons would be certified based upon the most limited aspects of their disability and like many other ADA eligible riders rides would be subject to specified conditions.
WHEELCHAIRS AND OTHER MOBILITY DEVICES, OR LIFE SUPPORT EQUIPMENT
If you use a mobility aid or wheelchair, please keep the equipment in good working condition. If a driver believes you cannot be safely transported utilizing your wheelchair or device, he will inform you that he will be unable to transport you until you obtain or aquire equipment in good working condition. Your wheelchair may be considered unsafe if:
- The wheels or other parts are loose or dangerous;
- Tires are low or flat;
- One or both brakes do not hold the wheels securely;
- Footrest (s) or stabilizer bars are missing;
- Battery on an electric wheelchair has a low charge.
Please inform WPPT in advance of your scheduled trip if you are having problems with your mobility aid.
- If you use a manual wheelchair, please have an attendant assist you up and down steps and ramps, over rough terrain, or steep slopes to our curb-to-curb bus service. All passengers using a wheelchair must have it in the upright or semi-upright position and the passenger must be able to remain seated upright in the chair while boarding, during securement, in-transit and disembarking, otherwise a postural belt may be necessary for the safety of the passenger. Passengers are responsible for purchasing his or her own postural belt. WPPT does not supply postural belts.
- Please notify the dispatcher if your wheelchair is oversized. Our lifts can accommodate most wheelchairs up to 30" wide and 48" in length. Maximum weight is specified by the wheelchair lift manufacturer. If your wheelchair exceeds these dimensions and the manufacturer weight limits, WPPT may deny services.
- You may board our vehicles on a power scooter, however, you may be asked to transfer to a seat while in-transit if you can not use the safety belts installed in the vehicle. We will secure your scooter and assist you to a seat if you wish. WPPT cannot ensure your safety and the safety of others if you remain on a scooter. Two-wheeled scooters are not considered a wheelchair under ADA (American's with Disabilities Act), therefore are prohibited.
- We will transport passengers who use portable medical equipment such as portable oxygen tanks, respirators, etc. However, if your equipment is unwieldy in size or dimension, and you are not able to carry it or operate it independently, you will need to have an attendant accompany you. Drivers cannot administer oxygen or operate any other life support equipment.
- You must be able to hold your equipment securely, or we must be able to safely secure it on the vehicle. WPPT can not transport equipment that cannot be safely secured.
Washington Parish Public Transit provides curb-to-curb service for passengers (door-to-door assistance may be available upon request for ADA eligible riders). You are responsible for getting in and out of your residence and destination addresses. Drivers do not cross the threshold of any residence, but will provide assistance with lifts and wheelchair securement systems for passengers using wheelchairs or other mobility devices. A personal care attendant may be necessary to assist you to and from the vehicle. Drivers are not allowed to enter a residence or push wheelchairs up or down ramps.
To protect all concerned, services may be denied or restricted for the medically tenuous. Drivers are not trained for paramedical situations. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
Drivers provide only minimal assistance to passengers boarding or disembarking a vehicle. Minimal assistance is defined as bracing, holding a passengers arms or assisting a wheelchair passenger on and off the lift. If you require additional or special assistance you should have a personal care attendant accompany you on all trips. You are required to furnish your own personal attendant.
Drivers may assist you with groceries and packages to your door, however this is limited to one trip from the vehicle to the door per ride. Large or heavy items are prohibited. Should you need more assistance a companion or attendant may be necessary.
Children age 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
Passengers cannot request a specific vehicle or vehicle type when requesting a trip. i.e. minivan or bus.
Priority seating is made available for passengers with disabilities and seniors. The driver may request an ambulatory passenger occupying priority seating to move if a passenger with a disability or a senior citizen boards.
TRANSPORTING SERVICE ANIMALS
Riders may travel with a service animal, which may be a guide dog, a signal dog, or other animal that has been trained to work or perform tasks for persons with disabilities. Service animals must be leashed, or controlled. WPPT may exclude the service animal if it poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. If an incident occurs while transporting a service animal, the accountability for damages or injuries remains with the passenger responsible for the animal. Drivers may ask the passenger if the animal is required because of a disability. The driver may also ask what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. These questions will determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal.
PASSENGER CONDUCT AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Passengers are expected to behave in a courteous, respectful, and polite manner to the driver and other passengers. Some vehicles may be equipped with cameras for monitoring behavior that may disrupt the safe operation of the vehicle. The driver is responsible for behavior on the vehicle and authorized to maintain a safe, pleasant atmosphere for all passengers.
- No smoking, eating or drinking aboard vehicles. (Exception: if a riders' disability requires periodic consumption of food, then this is permitted);
- No use of radios, smart phones, ipods, tablets or similar devices on the bus unless earbuds or headphones are used and other passengers are not disturbed;
- No fighting, abusive or threatening language or actions;
- No physical or verbal abuse of other riders or the driver;
- No possession of firearms, weaponry, illegal substances and hazardous chemicals;
- No animals other than special assistance or service animals;
- No socializing or distracting the driver while the bus in service;
- No revealing or inappropriate attire;
Strollers are permitted on vehicles if they can be folded and stored safely. Please fold the stroller before boarding and carry your child onto the bus.
Personal hygiene must meet acceptable standards for the comfort and safety of all.
Washington Parish Public Transit reserves the right to refuse service to anyone who appears to be under the influence of alcohol, illegal or dangerous substances or whose conduct is beyond the control of the driver and whose behavior can impede, compromise or jeopardize safety or endanger other passengers. The driver is authorized to make such determinations when a supervisor is not available or time does not permit discussion.
Washington Parish Public Transit reserves the right to refuse any passenger services if they violate any of the above standards.
PASSENGER COMMENT AND COMPLAINT PROCEDURES
Washington Parish Public Transit's goal is to provide excellent service to meet passengers individual needs. In order to satisfy this goal, we welcome any comments passengers may have regarding service delivery. Should you have a complaint, the following complaint procedure should be followed
- All passengers will be informed in writing at initial service contact of the complaint procedure and the passengers right to utilize the procedure.
- The complaint should be presented in writing by the passenger or passengers representative to the Executive Director of Washington Parish Council on Aging within 14 calendar days of the date of the complaint.
- The Executive Director will investigate and review the complaint with the passenger within 7 calendar days of receipt.
- The passenger will be notified of the Executive Director's decision. If an appeal is not received within 14 calendar days, the Executive Director's decision will be considered final.
- If the passenger is not satisfied with the Executive Director's decision, he or she has the right to appeal to the Washington Parish Council on Aging Board of Director's. This appeal should be presented in writing to the Board's Chairman within 14 calendar days of the Executive Director's written response. If an appeal is not received within 14 calendar days, the Executive Director's decision will be considered final.
- The Washington Parish Council on Aging board of directors will address the appeal within 14 calendar days of receipt. All parties will be issued a written decision within 7 days of the determination.
TRANSIT SYSTEM RESPONSIBILITIES
Washington Parish Public Transit is responsible for providing safe, clean, reliable, and efficient service. We comply with all applicable Federal, State and local regulations. We carry adequate insurance liability that exceeds legally mandated minimums.
Washington Parish Public Transit is committed to keeping all vehicles and equipment properly maintained and in safe working order. We are responsible to provide services as detailed in the previous sections of this policy. The transit system provides a drug and alcohol-free workplace.
Drivers are trained in blood-borne pathogens safety, defensive driving, passenger assistance, drug & alcohol awareness and other training considered appropriate by the agency. All drivers are licensed by the State of Louisiana through the Department of Public Safety.
Washington Parish Public Transit is not responsible for any item or items left on a vehicle.
The transit system employs properly licensed and trained drivers. All staff are trained on an ongoing basis in order to provide safe service.
Once on board the vehicle, riders are required to use the available seat belt system provided and any other securing devices as appropriate. Riders must also remain seated and secured until the vehicle has come to a complete stop. Riders using wheelchairs or other mobility devices may transfer to a vehicle seat, but this is not required. Vehicles will not move until passengers and belongings are secure.
Every child under the age of 13 years will be properly restrained in an age or size appropriate passenger restraint system that meets the applicable federal standards.
Unwillingness to utilize the available methods of securement will result in service denial.
All packages, belongings, groceries, mobility devices must be tied down or placed in a secure location. Drivers will assist passengers in securing their belongings.
The transit system reserves the right to decide where and when to board passengers safely. The transit system may determine if a boarding location is unsafe for equipment and personnel and request that a passenger relocate to a safer location.
Each vehicle is equipped with standard safety equipment such as a fire extinguisher, flares, first aid kit, etc. The vehicle is inspected daily to assure that these items are in proper working condition.
In case of an emergency involving a vehicle or another passenger, always do the following:
- Remain calm;
- Follow the driver's instructions;
- Participate in an orderly evacuation if the situation dictates;
- If you do evacuate the vehicle, go to and remain a safe distance from the roadway, ad away from traffic;
- Do not smoke around the vehicle in an emergency;
- Contact the proper authorities for assistance if necessary;
- Notify the driver if you or another passenger is in distress.
The transit system may choose to cease services at any time when there is threatening weather or unsafe driving conditions. Washington Parish Public Transit is a participant in the emergency operations plan developed by the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness for weather and disaster related emergencies. In the event of a weather or disaster related emergency, the transit system would operate according to the parish plan.
NON-DESCRIMINATION IN SERVICE DELIVERY
Washington Parish Public Transit will not directly or through contractual or other arrangements, discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin or disability in the provision of services.
YOUR FEEDBACK IS IMPORTANT
Please remember that we value your comments and suggestions. The purpose of all WPPT policies and procedures, which have developed over years of experience, is to provide the best service possible for the greatest number of people. If you feel any of our policies, procedures or the service itself could be improved, please do not hesitate to offer your suggestions.
ADDRESS: TELEPHONE: E-mail:
Washington Parish Council on Aging/Public Transit (985)732-6868 or TTY 1-800-846-5277 firstname.lastname@example.org
603 Willis Avenue
Bogalusa, LA 70427