What is Dial-A-Ride?

Dial-A-Ride (DAR) compliments the existing transit system by providing curb-to-curb, next day transportation service for Kingsport seniors age 65 or older, for residents with a permanent or temporary health-related condition, and qualifying residents with DAR Job Assist. Please note that all of our vehicles our wheelchair accessible.

Dial-A-Ride service operates within Kingsport’s boundaries. To get started, simply complete the application or call KATS at (423) 224-2613.

KATS provides three types of Dial-A-Ride service:

1. Dial-A-Ride ADA: Individuals may be eligible if they have a disability or health-related condition, which prevents them from independently boarding, riding and/or disembarking from an accessible fixed-route transit bus or has a specific impairment-related condition that prevents them from traveling to or from a boarding or disembarking location. You must completely fill out and submit an application in order to be considered for this service.

2. Dial-A-Ride 65: If you are currently age 65 or older, you qualify to use the KATS Dial-A-Ride transportation service. You will need to call 423-224-2613 to register. You will need to be prepared to give your name, date of birth, address, phone number(s) and an emergency contact.

3. Dial-A-Ride Job Assist: Individuals may be eligible if they do NOT qualify for Dial-A-Ride ADA or Dial-A-Ride 65, or are unable to access the KATS regular bus route service and are in need of transportation to and from work (only). You must completely fill out and submit an application in order to be considered for this service.

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kingsport area transit service kats team dial a ride policies

Dial-A-Ride Policies

The following is the Dial-A-Ride Policies adopted by Kingsport Area Transit Service (KATS) and required for KATS customers use of
the Dial-A-Ride Service. Please review carefully to ensure you are able to fully comply.

Applications are available at the KATS transit office or online by clicking here opens in a new window for Dial-A-Ride or here opens in a new window for Job Assist. Applications will need to be filled out completely in order to determine that an applicant is eligible. The applications will be reviewed and a decision made within 21 days of submittal. If a determination has not been made within 21 days of submittal, the applicant will be deemed “temporary eligible” until a determination is made.

KATS constantly strives to go above and beyond the standard of excellence of transit services for our customers. These services will be accomplished in an efficient and effective manner, with the safety of our customers as our first priority.

Dial-A-Ride service is a curb-to-curb (origin-to-destination) service. Drivers are not allowed to come to or pass through any doors to notify you of your trip. Drivers are allowed to assist passengers getting on and off the vehicle and with securing your mobility devices. Reasonable exceptions are made depending on circumstances to meet the origin-to destination needs, including assistance to first door when requested. The safety of passengers and staff must be considered when determining reasonable accommodations.

Should you need to cancel your trip, please contact KATS at 423-224-2613 one (1) hour before the scheduled pick-up time. Any trip not cancelled one (1) hour before the scheduled pick-up time shall be considered a No-Show trip

Before a passenger is suspended from service, KATS will notify the person in writing of the intention to suspend service. The suspension notice will document the specific verified occurrences of No Shows or describe the policy infraction. The individual will have sixty (60) days from the date of the letter to file an appeal with the Civil Rights Program Administrator. Once the letter requesting an appeal is received, an appeals hearing will normally be facilitated within the calendar month following the receipt of the appeal. The customer will receive a  written decision from the Civil Rights Program Administrator informing the customer of the decision within thirty (30) days

Severely mobility-impaired persons may require the assistance of a Personal Care Assistant (PCA). You are required to fill out on the application if you require a PCA and to identify the names of the PCAs that shall be traveling with you. PCAs shall utilize KATS service at no charge. An additional companion can accompany the eligible customer on a schedule trip if room on the vehicle is available, but must pay the regular full fare for the service and have the same origin-to-destination. Our mission at KATS is to transport people in the safest manner possible. KATS staff are not trained medical professionals and cannot provide those types of services.

Registered Dial-A-Ride passengers may bring a guest if there is room at time of of booking in order to ensure available seating. A guest will pay the same fare as the eligible passenger.

All mobility devices must be properly secured in order to be transported by KATS. Customers of KATS must keep their mobility devices clean and sanitary in order to utilize KATS service. Non wheelchair mobility aids such as rolling walkers with a seat intended to allow temporary rest intervals do not meet the U.S. DOT definition of a wheelchair. It departs from the intended purpose of the manufacturers of these devices for a passenger to sit on one of these during a ride on a public transportation vehicle which would compromise the passenger’s safety. During a trip on a KATS vehicle, a passenger using a non-wheelchair mobility device/aid must transfer to a regular bus or van seat. Non wheelchair mobility aids may be stored on the KATS vehicle during the ride as space allows.

All of KATS Dial A Ride vehicles have seatbelts installed and it is KATS policy for all riders to wear seatbelts while riding in the van. Riders who refuse to wear a seatbelt while on the Dial-A-Ride van will not be transported.

The use of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, opened food, or open beverage containers shall not be allowed on the KATS vehicle at any time. Beverages must have a screw on cap. Cups with lids are considered an opened beverage and are not allowed on the van.
Service may be refused to anyone whose behavior or personal hygiene is considered to be hazardous. No animals except service animals that are specifically trained to aid a disabled person may board a KATS vehicle. KATS is not responsible for personal lost articles or articles left on the van. All items found will be located at the transit station.

Dial-A-Ride ADA customers pay $2.00 each time you board the van for scheduled trips that are within the designated ¾ mile Dial-A-Ride
zone. Dial-A-Ride 65 and Job Assist customers pay $3.00 each time they board. Any trips scheduled outside the ¾ mile Dial-A-Ride zone will require you to pay a zone charge based on the location of the desired trip. Zone charges vary by location; therefore, we encourage you to check with the dispatcher when scheduling your trip to determine the appropriate fare. You must have the correct change or tickets to ride the KATS service and pay the driver upon being picked up or boarding the vehicle. Drivers cannot make change or take you to an unscheduled location to make change. 24 count ticket books may be purchased on the van from the driver via exact cash or check. Any passenger refusing to pay or does not pay for service at the time of boarding, shall be prohibited from future use of KATS transit services.

KATS Dial-A-Ride is a call ahead service that requires reservations to be made in advance for the desired trip and must be made by calling 423-224-2613. Reservations can be made during the regular office hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday and via voicemail on Sunday for desired trips on Monday. Trips for Monday can be scheduled via voicemail on Sunday; however, in order to better ensure your trip reservation, we recommend you schedule during business hours the previous Friday. Trips may be scheduled up to 30 days in advance. Please note that while we do offer SAME DAY SERVICE on a space available basis, it is always in your best interest to schedule all of your trips at least one day in advance to ensure your trip and time requests. Same day trips are worked in when available trip times permit. The last call for return trips home or also known as “will call trips” need to be made before 5:00 pm with no exceptions. Picks-ups at clinics or agencies will be setup on a “Will Call” basis meaning the customer will call back (423) 224-2613 for a return trip. Any “Will Call” trips scheduled in advance shall be set up as a scheduled pickup without trip negotiation time availability. Please be aware that federal regulations require that ADA trips have 1st priority over all other trips.

Dial-A-Ride customers must be available for his / her pick-up trip 30 minutes before their scheduled drop off time. (* Due to travel distance, scheduling and trip capacity, we may need additional time in order to ensure your desired drop off time). For example, if you have an appointment at 9:30 am, you should be ready for pick up at your home at 9:00 am. (unless notified differently upon booking your trip). Upon the KATS vehicle arriving to the customer’s address, the driver will only wait 5 minutes. It is the customer’s responsibility to watch for the KATS vehicle. If the customer has not boarded within 5 minutes, the trip will be marked as a “no-show” trip.

If a passenger is unable to make his or her scheduled trip, and does not call the dispatcher to cancel the trip at least 1 hour in advance of the scheduled pick-up time, the trip will be considered a “no-show.”

Last minute cancellations, or “no-shows,” are detrimental to the efficient and effective operations of the KATS transportation system. No-shows waste resources that could be used to provide transportation to other passengers. This being stated, KATS understands that occasional schedule conflicts and other circumstances will inevitably occur from time to time and that it may be necessary for a scheduled passenger to cancel a trip for unexpected circumstances beyond their control. The goal of KATS is to work with passengers in a positive way in order to minimize no-shows. To view KATS full no show policy, click here opens in a new window.

Passengers may only carry on what you can safely and securely stow on your lap. If you shop and have more than what you can manage by yourself, please make other arrangements for a way home. For example, you may use KATS to take you to the store for shopping and then call a taxi or friend for your return trip if you have several bags of groceries. No pets of any kind are allowed to travel with KATS.

Visitors to Kingsport, TN are welcome to use KATS Dial-A-Ride ADA paratransit services as a guest for up to 21 days in a year. Please provide us with documentation showing that your hometown transportation provider has determined you to be ADA eligible or provide documentation of your place of residence and disability. If you have need for paratransit service in Kingsport for more than 21 days a year, you must apply through the regular Kingsport Area Transit Service eligibility process. Out of town visitors wishing to use KATS paratransit service are requested to contact Candace Sherer, Transit Planner at 423-224-2613 prior to their arrival in order to ensure service.

To appeal an ADA determination, a written request for hearing must be filed with the city ADA Coordinator, George Decroes at [email protected] or via the grievance online form. The complaint should be submitted as soon as possible and must be submitted no later than 60 calendar days after the alleged violation. Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the complaint, the ADA Coordinator or designee will offer to meet with the grievant to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions either over the phone, electronically, or in person. More information regarding the details of the Appeal Process can be found at https://www.kingsporttn.gov/ opens in a new windowgovernment/ada-compliance/ opens in a new window.

In order to ensure that services are provided by KATS, whenever feasible, requests for modifications shall be made and determined in advance during the KATS Dial-A-Ride eligibility process or through customer service inquiries. Due to the unpredictable nature of
transportation, some requests for reasonable modification are often one-time situations and may be made while in transit. You may inquire about any needed modifications at our office, or over the phone by calling 423-224-2613. You can also contact us here opens in a new window.

If you are being accompanied by an infant or a child that requires a car seat or a booster seat under Tennessee law, the child must be secured in the car seat or booster seat on board a KATS Dial A Ride vehicle. Per Tennessee law, children under one (1) year of age, or any child, weighing twenty (20) ponds or less, must be secured in a child passenger restraint system in a rear facing position, meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards, in a rear seat, if available, or according to the child safety restraint system or vehicle manufacturer’s instructions. Children between 1 to 3 years old, weighing more than 20 bs. must be properly secured in an approved forward-facing or rear facing child passenger restraint system. The rider will be responsible for providing and securing the car seat or booster seat. For safety reasons, operators will not transport a child without one. If you are traveling with a child and you will need to bring a car seat, please inform the reservations agent when you call to schedule a trip.

Pets and comfort animals are not allowed. Services animals that are specifically trained to aid a disabled person may board a KATS vehicle.

Any Questions?

Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have!

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