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Paratransit: Disability Transport Services Information

Updated/Revised Date: 2022-04-07
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (
Additional References: Disability Transport Services Publications

Synopsis: Information on public and private disability paratransit services for the disabled and elderly, including adapting vehicles for passengers and drivers with disability. In North America, Paratransit is defined as special transportation services for people with disabilities. Public transport is funded via tax dollars - Private transportation is established and funded by private enterprise.


Main Document

In North America, Paratransit is defined as special transportation services for people with disabilities, often provided as a supplement to fixed-route bus and rail systems by public transit agencies. Paratransit services may vary considerably on the degree of flexibility they provide their customers. At their simplest, they may consist of a taxi or small bus that will run along a more or less defined route and then stop to pick up or discharge passengers on request. At the other end of the spectrum, fully demand responsive transport, the most flexible paratransit systems offer on-demand call-up door-to-door service from any origin to any destination in a service area.

Access to both public and private transport is crucial to the ability of people with disability, and their families and carers, to participate fully in community life. Our paratransit section covers businesses and services offering transport for people with disabilities in specially adapted vehicles that can carry wheelchairs and other disability aids. Services providing group transport for disabled persons are also listed.

Whether you require a disability transportation service to work, college, school, or just to go shopping or attend an event, you will often find a private company in your area who can provide you with your mobility needs. Paratransit vehicles available for transporting the elderly (seniors) and passengers with a disability range from wheelchair accessible taxi's to modified vans and minibuses with ramps, lifts, and hoists. Many of the 16-seat minibuses available today can be adapted to take up to four wheelchairs plus seated passengers.

Paratransit systems in many developing world cities are operated by individuals and small business. The fragmented, intensely competitive nature of the industry makes government regulation and control much harder than traditional public transport. Drivers of both public and private disability transport services are professional drivers who are trained to handle people with disabilities and their needs who use their service. The Standards provide transport operators and providers with certainty about their obligations under the countries relevant disability act, such as the ADA and DDA.

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Various modes of transportation icons arranged in a hexagon pattern.
Various modes of transportation icons arranged in a hexagon pattern.

Difference Between Public and Private Transport

Public transport is funded mainly through tax dollars, whereas private transportation is established and funded through private enterprise. Choosing between making use of private or public transportation involves your travel budget and route plan(s).

Paratransit Services Overseas

Also See: Adaptive Driving: Vehicle Hand Controls and Available Products - Information on adaptive vehicle products including automotive hand controls allowing seniors and people with a disability to drive.

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Subtopics and Associated Subjects

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Disabled World is an independent disability community founded in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative reviews, exclusive stories and how-tos. You can connect with us on social media such as Twitter and Facebook or learn more about Disabled World on our about us page.

Disabled World provides general information only. The materials presented are never meant to substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Financial support is derived from advertisements or referral programs, where indicated. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.

Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2022, April 7). Paratransit: Disability Transport Services Information. Disabled World. Retrieved June 2, 2023 from

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