In an effort to do our best to accommodate the needs of each Dial-A-Ride customer, we have some procedures that we ask you to follow:
- Reservations can be made Monday through Sunday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- After hours, customers should leave a detailed message. Call (805) 688-5452 and leave a detailed message if no customer service representative is available. If the requested time is available, the trip will be scheduled the following service day. If the desired time is unavailable, the customer will receive a return phone call to the number provided on the message and the dispatcher will suggest alternative times.
- To help accommodate rider travel needs, trip reservations must be made no later than the day prior than the desired trip time.
- Same-day trip requests will be honored on an as-received basis, space permitting, and must be requested a minimum of two hours in advance.
- Dial-A-Ride is a shared-ride service. Patrons are asked to allow at least a 30-minute travel time to their destinations given the vehicle may make additional pick-ups and drop-offs en route.
- Reserve a pick-up time at least the day before, but not more than seven days before, when you want to travel. Same-day trip requests are accepted on an as-received basis, space permitting, and must be requested a minimum of two hours in advance.
- You’ll be provided a 20-minute pick-up window within which the DAR vehicle will arrive. Our driver will wait three minutes before departing.
- If early, the driver will wait for the allotted pick-up window time before beginning the three- minute wait period.
- Click here for the complete ADA Paratransit Plan.
Please be sure to provide your most up-to-date contact information when scheduling your trip.
Our customer service representative may need to notify you by phone if an unforeseeable delay impacts your travel reservation.
- Rider’s first and last name.
- If an attendant, child, companion, or service animal will also be riding.
- Rider’s exact address, including an apartment number, building, or business name if appropriate.
- Exact pick-up address (if location differs from rider’s address).
- The exact address of rider’s destination, including suite number, building, or business name.
- Rider’s requested pick-up time and appointment time (if applicable).
- If the rider is traveling with a wheelchair or other mobility device (scooter, crutches, etc.).
Please call (805) 688-5452 to cancel your pick-up request. Trip cancellations should be made no less than two hours prior to the scheduled pick-up time. Consistently failing to appear for a scheduled trip, not being ready at the agreed upon pick-up time, or canceling a trip without proper 2-hour advanced notice may result in a fine or suspension of Dial-A-Ride service privileges.
Changes to Existing Reservations
If a reserved trip will not be made as originally scheduled, it must be canceled and rescheduled as a new trip with the SYVT Customer Service Representative (not the driver) with the new origin and/or destination at least two hours in advance of the scheduled trip. Per the No-Show Policy, if the trip is not canceled two hours in advance, the customer will be considered a no-show if they choose not to take the scheduled trip. Depending upon the origin and destination of the new trip as well as other rider reservations, the customer may lose the originally scheduled pick-up time.
No changes to trip reservations will be allowed onboard the vehicle. The customer may take the trip as scheduled (and therefore incur no penalty) or may refuse to take the trip at the pick-up location (which will be considered a no-show). If the customer boards the vehicle, the driver will transport the customer to the scheduled location at the scheduled time. Boarding the vehicle will be viewed by the driver as confirmation by the customer that they want to take the reserved trip as originally scheduled. If the customer decides after boarding the bus or en route that he/she does not wish to travel to the scheduled location, the driver will return the customer to his/her home as the schedule allows. The trip will be recorded as a no-show and any scheduled return trip will be canceled.
It is not the intent of SYVT to leave customers stranded away from home. However, last-minute schedule changes cannot be accommodated and will not be accepted onboard the vehicle due to their impact on the scheduled trips of other customers.
Santa Ynez Valley Transit depends on efficient scheduling to accommodate as many customers as possible. Therefore, it is important once a customer schedules a trip, the trip either be taken or cancelled within a reasonable amount of time. To ensure service efficiency and effectiveness, Santa Ynez Valley Transit has established a no-show and late cancellation policy. This policy allows SYVT to provide the most efficient service as possible to each of its customers.
Failing to appear for a scheduled trip, or canceling a trip without proper notice, is considered a no-show.
A no-show is defined as:
- A passenger who fails to cancel an unneeded or unwanted scheduled trip.
- A passenger who is not at the designated pick-up location within two (2) minutes of the scheduled time or service window.
- A passenger who cancels a scheduled ride less than two (2) hours in advance of the scheduled pick-up time.
To encourage policy compliance, the following consequences for repeated no-shows may be implemented:
- Two (2) no-shows within a four-month period will result in a verbal warning.
- Three (3) no-shows within a four-month period will result in a written warning.
- Four (4) no-shows within a four-month period will result in a written notice of a monetary fine or a seven (7)-day restriction on using the service (service suspension). A monetary fine, equal to the cost of the four (4) missed one-way trips (currently $7.00 for senior and ADA-certified patrons), may be imposed. A customer may not schedule another trip until the fine is paid in full.
- Five (5) no-shows within a four-month period will result in a written notice of a 30-day service restriction (service suspension).
Santa Ynez Valley Transit has an appeals process that allows customers to appeal any monetary fine or restriction in service due to repeated no-shows. A customer may submit a written appeal within seven (7) calendar days of receiving notification and should submit a letter to Santa Ynez Valley Transit specifically outlining why the monetary fine or service restriction (suspension) should not be implemented.
To ensure safety for both SYVT customers and staff, SYVT prohibits seriously disruptive behavior, public health threats, and refusal to comply with rules. ADA regulations expressly authorize a public transit agency to suspend a Dial-A-Ride customer’s service because of no-shows. ADA regulations also expressly authorize a public transit provider to refuse or suspend service to a Dial-A-Ride customer if the customer engages in conduct that is violent, seriously disruptive, or illegal.
The following list provides examples of behavior and conduct that, generally speaking, would meet the ADA’s “violent, seriously disruptive or illegal conduct” standard. These examples serve as a starting point for the case-by-case determination required by the Service Refusal and Service Suspension policies and should not be viewed as a basis for automatic service suspension or refusal. In addition, this is not an exhaustive list of conduct and behaviors that might be encountered within the SYVT Dial-A-Ride program. These examples serve as representative illustrations of conduct and behavior that is potentially within the scope of the Service Suspension Policy and should be evaluated according to that policy’s requirements.
Violent, Seriously Disruptive, or Illegal Behavior
Service may be refused to riders who engage in violent, seriously disruptive, or illegal behavior. Examples of such behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Physical actions toward operators or other passengers, such as striking, biting, kicking, spitting, and/or throwing items.
- Threatening operators or other passengers.
- Isolated instances or a demonstrated pattern of causing damage to vehicles, such tearing seats, breaking windows, breaking seatbelts, removing or disabling equipment, and similar conduct.
- A demonstrated pattern of no-shows.
- Isolated instances or demonstrated pattern behaviors causing service disruption, i.e., that result in the bus operator having to interrupt service for a significant time period or having to put the vehicle out of service, preventing pick-up or drop-off of other customers, or results that have a similarly disruptive effect on service. Such behaviors include but are not limited to continuous shouting, screaming, banging the windows, upsetting other passengers, causing other passengers to engage in seriously disruptive conduct, and opening emergency windows.
- Isolated instances or a demonstrated pattern of unlawful behavior, such as possession of drugs or an open container of alcohol, smoking, exposing oneself, urination onboard SYVT vehicles, sexual harassment of SYVT customers or employees, and any other illegal behavior.
Service may be refused to any rider who poses a potential public health threat. Examples of public health threats include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A demonstrated pattern of uncontained incontinence;
- The existence of excrement on clothes or on hands; and
- The existence of other body fluids, such as blood or vomit, on face, hands, or clothing.
Refusal to Comply with Safety Rules
A rider that refuses to comply with posted safety rules or driver instructions may be refused service.
An example of such a refusal includes, but is not limited to:
- A demonstrated pattern of refusal to travel safely, such as refusal to remain seated (when seats are available and standing would pose a risk to safety), refusal to remain in an upright position, refusal to have mobility device secured, or boarding or attempting to board with an unsafe mobility device.
Not Sufficient to Support Service Suspension or Refusal
While the following behaviors may be undesirable and/or unwanted, they alone are not sufficient to support service suspension or refusal:
- Abusive or profane outbursts that do not fall under the criteria for “seriously disruptive behavior”; and
- Language or comments that are offensive, annoying, or embarrassing to SYVT operators or staff.
Service Refusal Policy
Service refusal is intended to address conduct or behavior occurring at the time of service delivery but for which a suspension would not be appropriate. For example, an SYVT customer who on a particular occasion insists on boarding with an unsafe device or object, or who is engaging in violent conduct, may be refused service on that occasion. The operator must immediately notify dispatch of the service refusal and the reason(s) for the service refusal. This should include a detailed factual description of the conduct or behavior upon which the operator based the decision to refuse service. The driver and dispatcher shall both document the incident via an incident report.
Where appropriate, alternative transportation arrangements should be made for an SYVT Dial-A-Ride customer to ensure the customer’s safety. For example, service refusal at a customer’s place of residence would not require alternative transportation. However, a service refusal at a non-home location could require that such arrangements be made. This could be in the form of a taxi ride home or being picked up by an SYVT field supervisor. In any case, the action should be documented and the trip must be recorded as a no-show. It is important that the trip be recorded as a no-show so that it will serve as a deterrent to the undesired behavior.
If service is refused for a prohibited behavior that is later determined to be the result of a disability, SYVT will work with the customer and/or the customer’s representative to identify an accommodation or modification that will help prevent future service refusals due to the prohibited conduct or behavior.
Service refusals may not be used as a substitute for a service suspension. Behavior occurring repeatedly should be reviewed and addressed in accordance with the guidelines for service suspensions.
Service Suspension Policy
Reports of inappropriate conduct (including no-shows) must be investigated to the extent practicable to determine the facts of the events giving rise to the report. If the investigation confirms that the conduct did occur, the investigator must then determine whether the conduct rises to the level of violent, seriously disruptive, or illegal.
In making this determination, the cause of the conduct should be considered; for example, if information is brought forward indicating the customer’s conduct is asserted to be involuntary due to their disability. In such circumstances, the relationship of the disability condition to the conduct at issue must be considered. If the available information shows the conduct is involuntary and caused by the customer’s disability, SYVT must consider whether the conduct is such that some reasonable modification would enable the individual to use the service. If reasonable modification is not possible, or if the conduct is not involuntary or caused by the customer’s disability, reasonable modification would not be required. If appropriate, continued use of paratransit service may be conditioned upon the customer’s compliance with measures reasonably calculated to ensure the safety of the customer, other passengers, or employees.
Generally, a service suspension should be implemented only after the customer has been given at least one (1) verbal warning and one (1) written warning (a total of two warnings) regarding the conduct or behavior for which a service suspension is contemplated.
A verbal warning must be documented by the driver or dispatcher via an incident report. This report should include the specifics of the behavior or conduct involved; the time, date and location of the conduct; the date and time the verbal warning was given, the name and title of the SYVT employee who gave the verbal warning, and any other relevant facts. The incident report should note that the SYVT employee informed the customer as to the specific behavior that should cease or be corrected as well as the potential consequences of failing to change the behavior.
A verbal warning should be given when a DAR customer has accrued two (2) no-shows within a four-month period.
Behavior that triggers a written warning (including a no-show) must be documented by the driver or dispatcher via an incident report. A written warning should describe the behavior or conduct for which the warning is given. This description should include the specifics of the behavior or conduct involved; the time, date and location of the conduct; details regarding the prior verbal warning; and any other relevant facts. The written warning should advise the customer that the behavior or conduct must cease or be corrected, and of the consequences of failure to cease or correct the behavior or conduct. If appropriate, the warning should include a description of the conduct expected of the customer in the future or of the modification offered or required as a condition of continuing to provide SYVT Dial-A-Ride service. SYVT staff shall consider whether the written warning itself or the corrective action suggested or the modification offered should be further discussed with the customer and/or his or her representative.
A written warning should be given when a DAR customer has accrued three (3) no-shows within a four-month period.
Notice of Service Suspension
If the proposed service suspension is the result of four (4) no-shows within a four-month period, the customer will be issued a Notice of Service Suspension effective for seven (7) days, as detailed in the No-Show Policy. The customer will be given the opportunity to pay a monetary fine equal to the four (4) missed one-way trips in lieu of a potential service suspension. If the customer elects to pay the fine in lieu of a service suspension, no trips will be scheduled until the fine is paid, and service will resume immediately upon full payment of the monetary fine.
If the proposed service suspension is the result of five (5) no-shows within a four-month period, the customer will be issued a Notice of Service Suspension effective for thirty (30) days, as detailed in the No-Show Policy. No payment of a monetary fine will be accepted in lieu of suspension.
Notice of any proposed service suspension must be in writing. The notice must include identification of the prior warnings given regarding the conduct at issue. For each warning listed in the notice, the date of the warning, the behavior or conduct for which the warning was issued, and the customer’s attempts to cease or correct the behavior or conduct shall be summarized. If the service suspension is due to no-shows, the date, time, and pick-up location of each no-show should be included in the written notice.
For behavior-related issues, service suspension should be implemented only after customer has been given the opportunity to be heard on the issue for which SYVT is contemplating a service suspension (a “pre-suspension meeting”).
The notice must include a description of the immediate behavior or conduct which prompted the Notice of Service Suspension. This description should include the specifics of the behavior or conduct involved; the time, date and location of the conduct; and any other relevant facts.
The notice must advise the customer of his or her opportunity to be heard in-person or to submit written or alternative format information for SYVT’s consideration regarding the proposed behavior-related suspension.
The notice shall advise the customer that the customer or the customer’s representative must contact SYVT’s designated representative within one week (stipulate date) to request an in-person meeting. The name of and phone number for the designated representative shall be stated in the notice. If the customer prefers instead of an in-person meeting to submit a written response to the proposed suspension, the notice shall advise the customer of the date by which the written response must be received by SYVT. Extensions of this date may be allowed for good cause.
Dial-A-Ride service will continue to be provided during the notification and pre-suspension meeting process unless the behavior in question creates an immediate risk to safety.
If the customer or his/her representative has timely requested an in-person meeting regarding the proposed suspension for a behavior-related issue, the City-designated representative shall notify the customer of the date and time for the meeting. The meeting shall occur at City of Solvang offices unless a different location is agreed upon by the City-designated representative and the customer. If necessary, paratransit service shall be provided to the customer to and from the place of the pre-suspension meeting.
The pre-suspension meeting shall be informal. The customer shall be given the opportunity to provide the City-designated representative with the customer’s account, orally and by documents and other information, of the incident(s) upon which the proposed suspension is based. The customer may also present any other information relevant to the incident(s) upon which the proposed suspension is based. The customer may present his or her account and related information through a representative.
Once the pre-suspension meeting is complete or the customer’s written submission has been received and reviewed, or alternatively, the customer has neither requested a pre-suspension meeting nor provided a written submission by the specified date, the City-designated representative shall review the available information and decide whether or not to suspend service and, if service is to be suspended, determine the length of the behavior-related suspension. The customer shall be notified in writing of the decision, and the basis for the decision shall be explained. If the decision is to suspend the customer’s SYVT Dial-A-Ride service, the customer shall also be advised of his or her right to appeal the service suspension. A description of the procedure for requesting an appeal of a service suspension shall also be included.
Duration of Service Suspension
A service suspension for a behavior-related issue should be “for a reasonable period of time.” “Reasonable period of time” depends on the facts of the specific incident. In determining the length of the service suspension, the following factors should be considered:
- The need to protect other customers, employees, or system safety;
- The seriousness of the risk created or harm caused by the customer’s behavior or conduct;
- The number of prior warnings given and the period of time over which those warnings were given; and
- The likely corrective effect of the suspension on the customer’s future behavior or conduct, in light of the customer’s particular condition.
Generally, similar situations should be addressed by similar suspensions. Suspensions due to seriously disruptive behavior may be different than those imposed per the No-Show Policy depending upon the situation.
Conduct that inflicts serious harm on another customer or a SYVT operator or employee, results in serious damage to SYVT property, or creates an immediate actual risk to safety, may warrant immediate suspension of service without prior warning or a pre-suspension hearing. As soon as practicable following imposition of a suspension for exceptional conduct, the customer should be advised in writing of the basis for the suspension, including a description of the behavior or conduct involved; the time, date and location of the conduct; and any other relevant facts. The customer should also be advised of the opportunity for a pre-suspension meeting, as described above for Notice of Service Suspension. The procedures for convening a pre-suspension meeting outlined above should then be followed.
A suspension for exceptional conduct should be based on behavior or conduct that is extreme or egregious. A suspension under this provision should be the exception, not the rule, and should be used sparingly to address only the most severe and immediately dangerous or threatening actions. If such a suspension is necessary, it should be for no less than thirty (30) days.
Service Suspension Appeals Process
Customers who receive a service suspension based on behavior or conduct have the right to an appeal. The customer must request an appeal in writing within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the decision regarding service suspension. The suspension will be put on hold during the appeals process unless the behavior in question creates an immediate risk to safety.
An Appeals Panel will review the case and make a final decision. The Appeals Panel will include persons not involved in the investigation and review of the initial determination or the pre-suspension meeting. Once the appeals process is completed, the applicant will be notified within ten (10) calendar days. The final decision will be made available in writing or an alternate accessible format if so requested. If the appeal is denied, the reason(s) for denial will be included, and the suspension will be reinstated.