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People with Disabilities

Public transportation for people with disabilities

Access-A-Ride Paratransit Service (AAR) | Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)

1. How it Works

Access-A-Ride (AAR) Paratransit Service provides public transportation for eligible customers with disabilities or health conditions that prevent them from using the public buses and subways for some or all of their trips. AAR operates 24/7/365.

  • AAR service is available within NYC’s five boroughs.
    • This includes an area three-quarters of a mile beyond fixed-route service across the NYC border to parts of Nassau and Westchester counties.
  • AAR is a shared-ride program. This means you may ride with other customers.
  • AAR offers:
    • origin-to-destination service or feeder service for eligible customers.
    • non-priority trips with maximum ride times based on trip distance.
  • Fares are the same as full fare on public transit.
  • Participants can book and manage their trips online.
  • AAR also:
    • complies with federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations.
    • provides free interpretation and document translation services. These are available during the application, eligibility, and scheduling processes.

2. Determine your eligibility

You may be eligible for Access-A-Ride if:

  • you have a disability that prevents you from using accessible buses or subways for some or all of your trips, and
  • if your needs match the ADA’s requirements.
  • You could also be eligible if you’re recovering from surgery, have a long-term condition, or are seeking Paratransit Service during your visit to NYC.

While applying for AAR, you will be asked to show whether you can:

  • go up or down subway stairs,
  • travel to a subway or bus station,
  • get on, ride, and exit a subway or bus,
  • and ride or navigate the bus or subway system on your own.

3. What you need to include

You will need medical documents that prove your transportation-related disability.

Next section:

4. How to Apply

4. How to apply

Here are your options.

Apply by phone

  1. Call to schedule an appointment at an assessment center to see if you’re eligible for AAR.
    • If calling from the NY metro area and adjacent counties, call 877-337-2017.
    • From other area codes, call 718-393-4999.
    • Interpretation services are available if your preferred language is not English.
    • For the hearing impaired (TTY), call AAR using a preferred relay service or the free 711 service relay.
  2. Complete the application form.
    • After completing step 1 above, you will get an AAR application form in the mail. Complete and bring the form with you to your scheduled assessment.
  3. Attend your physical assessment.
    • At your in-person assessment, you will have a personal interview with a healthcare professional as well as functional testing.
    • You can schedule a free Paratransit ride to and from your assessment, if you need.
  4. You will get a decision about your eligibility in the mail.
    • If you are eligible, information for booking rides on AAR will be included.
    • If you are denied or given conditional eligibility, you can appeal the decision within 60 days of being notified.
    • It takes around three weeks for a decision to be made. If you have not received a decision after weeks, you can call AAR at 877-337-2017 to check.

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More ways to get help with this program

Visit the website

Get more information from the MTA about Access-A-Ride.

Call 311

Ask about Access-A-Ride.

Call Access-A-Ride

Call 877-337-2017 (from NYC) or 718-393-4999 (from other area codes) for more information.

Last Updated May 22, 2024

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