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Special Services - Paratransit

PAL Direct
click here to access PAL Direct

Paratransit Application (PDF)     |     PAL Application (Word)
PAL Pass Transaction Form
Pal Direct (PDF)     |    Pal Direct (Word)

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, NFTA-Metro’s Paratransit Access Line provides curb-to-curb, shared-ride transportation that is comparable to the fixed route bus and rail system. Paratransit Access Line (PAL) is available to individuals who, because of a temporary or permanent disability, are unable to use the fixed route service.

Eligibility for PAL is strictly limited.  You may be eligible for PAL if, because of your disability, you:

  • cannot independently board, ride or exit from any vehicle on the fixed route bus or rail system which is accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities.
  • cannot use an accessible fixed route vehicle, but the route or the accessible vehicle on the route that would be used is not accessible or usable, or the stop that would be used is not accessible or usable due to the physical characteristics of the stop.
  • cannot independently travel to or from the fixed route bus stop or rail station.

Reasonable Modification/Accommodation

Paratransit Access Line makes provisions to ensure that each passenger gets from his/her point of origin to his/her point of destination. Bus operators may provide minimal assistance to escort a customer to and from the vehicle. Customers who need assistance, due to a disability, are encouraged to make requests in advance. The request should be as specific as possible and include information on why the modification is needed in order to use PAL transportation service.

PAL will provide assistance beyond the curb, as needed, unless such assistance would result in a fundamental alteration of PAL’s service; present a direct threat to the health and safety of the bus operator, other passengers, or the paratransit vehicle; or the requested modification would not be necessary to permit the customer to use the service for their intended purpose and the customer could nevertheless successfully get where he or she is going without the modification.

Service Area

PAL's service area extends three-quarters of a mile on either side of or from the ends of Metro's bus and rail fixed route. This does not apply to commuter or express route service. If your home address is beyond the service area, this does not mean you are not eligible, it means PAL will not be able to provide a pick-up or drop-off at your home address. You can arrange for us to pick you up in a safe location within the service area.

Hours and Days of Service

PAL operates during the same days and times that the regular bus and rail system is available in an area.

Trip Length

PAL is a shared ride service and a direct trip to and from a destination is not guaranteed. A trip on PAL will be comparable to the duration of an identical trip taken on the fixed route service. Comparable includes all factors such as, travel time to the bus stop and/or rail station, waiting time, actual riding time, transfers and travel from the stop to the destination. This standard exists except when circumstances are beyond the NFTA’s control (including inclement weather, and factors constituting traffic delays).

Ride Reservations and Cancellations

To take a trip you must first apply and be certified as eligible for NFT-Metro’s Paratransit Access Line (PAL

Customers can schedule, confirm or cancel trips using PAL Direct, our automated reservation system. PAL Direct is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at paldirect.nfta.com or by calling 716-855-7239. ADA Controllers (Reservation agents) are available 7 days a week 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you need assistance while using PAL Direct, press 0 to be transferred to an ADA controller. Reservations can be made up to 14 days in advance, but no less than 4:00 p.m. the day prior. Keep in mind that PAL can only provide trips at times that mirror the fixed route.

Waiting for Your Ride

Please be ready to board the vehicle at the beginning of your 30-minute pick-up window. Bus Operators are instructed not to arrive before the start your pick-up window, however, the PAL vehicle may arrive any time during your 30-minute pick up window. Once the vehicle arrives, the operator is allowed to wait no more than 5 minutes.

Have your PAL identification card ready to show the bus operator when you board the vehicle.

If your pick-up window has passed and the vehicle has not arrived, you may call the reservation line at 716-855-7239, option #2 and ask for an estimated time of arrival.

Companions

A companion may travel along with the PAL customer as long as the companion and the PAL customer have the same origin and destination. Additional companions may accompany you on a trip on a space available basis. Be sure to add all companions when making your reservations. Companions pay the same fare as the customer.

Personal Care Attendants

Customers who are unable to travel independently may travel with a Personal Care Attendant (PCA). Your application for PAL service must specifically state that you need the assistance of a PCA. Personal Care Attendants ride for free and must have the same origin and destination as the customer. Be sure to add a PCA when making your reservations.

Application Process

Applications for service are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at:

Metropolitan Transportation Center
181 Ellicott Street – PAL Customer Service
Buffalo, NY 14203

You may also download a copy from our web site at metro.nfta.com, or call PAL Customer Service at 716-855-7268 to have an application mailed to you.

Your eligibility status will be determined in writing within 21 days of receipt of a fully completed application.

Completing a PAL Application

PART 1 of the application must be completed and signed by all applicants. If you are unable to complete the application, someone else may complete and sign it for you.

PART 2 of the application must be completed by one of the certified or licensed healthcare professionals listed on the application, who is able to determine your functional capabilities. This Health Care Professional must be treating or evaluating you for your disability.

Visitor Eligibility

When visiting the Buffalo/Niagara area, an ADA paratransit eligible customer may utilize PAL service for up to twenty-one days within a one year period. If you would like to use PAL during your visit, please contact our Customer Service Office prior to your visit to learn how to use our service. Proof of ADA eligibility is required.

Service Animals

Service animals, including guide, hearing ear and service animals for persons with physical disabilities are always welcome on PAL.

Mobility Aids

PAL vehicles are able to transport individuals who use a wheelchair or scooter as a mobility aide. Mobility aids cannot exceed 30 inches in width and 48 inches in length when measured two inches from the ground and cannot exceed 800 pounds when occupied.

Fares

One way fares are paid when you board. Bus operators are unable to accept round trip fares. A PAL fare is double the fare on the fixed route system. Please have exact fare, operators are not able to make change.

NFTA’s PAL Pass

PAL clients and interested agencies can purchase a fixed amount of rides with the same discounts offered to regular Metro Pass holders.  The pass is simply hole punched by a Paratransit Operator each time the customer boards the vehicle.  The card can be discarded once all the numbers are punched.

Small Price, Huge Savings
10 Trips - $35
20 Trips - $70

PAL Pass is Available at:

Ticket vending machines (cash only) are available at:

  • All Metro Rail stations
  • Metropolitan Transportation Center in downtown Buffalo
    181 Ellicott St, Buffalo, NY 14203
  • Portage Road Transportation Center
    1124 Portage Rd, Niagara Falls, NY 14301
  • Transportation Center in Niagara Falls.
  • 2180 Factory Outlet Blvd Niagara Falls, NY 14301
  • By phone (716-855-7200) Accepting Discover, Visa or Master Card. Checks, money orders and credit card transactions may be mailed with a PAL Pass Transaction Form.
  • Or online, PAL Pass can be purchased online and are handled through PayPal.

PAL Pass Restrictions:

The PAL Pass is valid for existing PAL transportation service by the purchaser with valid ID.  The pass is not redeemable and may only be used by one person on any one trip.

For more information about the NFTA Paratransit Access Line, contact the customer service office at:

PAL/ NFTA
181 Ellicott Street
Buffalo, NY  14203
(716) 855-7268 (716) 855-7377 TDD
Cash office: 855-7200

Information in Alternative Formats

All public information materials are available in large print, audio recording and braille upon request. Please contact PAL Customer Service Office.

We would like to know what you think about our service and encourage comments about PAL service. Commendations and concerns can be registered by contacting one of the following:

PAL Customer Service
716-855-7268 (voice)
716-855-7239 – option #8
1-800-662-1220 or 711 (relay)
palfeedback@nfta.com (email)

Please report Americans with Disability Act violations to:
NFTA ADA/EEO Administrator
181 Ellicott Street
Buffalo, NY  14203


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