Bus Rider Guidelines
Bus Rider Guidelines
ARTS provides a safe, clean, ride with a competent driver, arriving at your destination in a timely manner.
ARTS transportation service is available Monday through Friday, 52 weeks a year, excluding holidays and three staff training days. These days will be posted on the bus.
This section outlines ARTS’ essential policies.
When the ARTS driver arrives to pick you up, the bus will wait a maximum (3) minutes for the rider. If you are going to be late or need to change your trip time, please call ARTS at least (1) hour in advance so we can notify the driver. If you miss your pick up, the bus will not come back.
ARTS bus drivers are trained to assist people with disabilities and all vehicles are lift equipped.
ADA Accessible Vehicles
All ARTS vehicles are ADA accessible. For transports done by Volunteer or Private Car Drivers, passengers who use wheelchairs must be able to transfer themselves into and out of the vehicle. If you need further assistance, please bring someone along who can help you free of charge.
ARTS may reduce or cancel services during severe weather events. Local radio and television stations, as well as our Facebook page, will be updated when a service reduction or closure occurs.
Riders are expected to be ready 30 minutes before their scheduled pick up. This allows us the opportunity to efficiently transport riders from multiple areas with multiple destinations. Time of pick up for out-of-town passengers will vary due to home locations and the number of people scheduled to go. Times on the schedule are approximate.
ARTS riders must schedule their appointments at least (1) day in advance. Dispatchers will attempt to provide service for medical appointments only if scheduled before 10:00 am the day of. Please provide as much advance notice as possible by calling 764-3384 or 1-800-442-3320 from 6:00 a.m to 4:30 p.m. ARTS has a TTY/TDD system for hearing limitations by calling the same number listed above or through Relay Service. For non-English Speaking clients, ARTS will get name and contact information and contact a translation service to assist.
The fare includes pick up, (2) stops and a return ride home. Extra stops will only be allowed if time permits. Priority will be given to out-of-town passengers who have only one day of bus service.
Fares and Payments
This section covers guidelines for handling shopping items on the bus and provides information about fare payments and certain fare exemptions.
Riders should make sure that contents in shopping bags are secured to ensure safety. ARTS encourages people to use reusable bags with a zip top closure. Please limit the number of packages/bags as there is limited storage space available when buses are filled to capacity. Packages cannot block the aisle. Items such as bleach, canned goods and soda must be placed securely in bins (if equipped) located on the bus, placed under seats or held by the rider. Package sizes cannot exceed 20x10x12 inches and 25 lbs. You can use reusable grocery bags. Packages will be placed outside of the entry door or just inside the entry door. ARTS is not responsible for lost or misplaced items.
Please have the exact fare and pay the driver when you board the bus. Department of Health and Human Services, and any contracted eligible clients going to a specific covered service will not pay a fare as long as ARTS has the necessary referral information.
Passenger Support and Assistance
This section addresses ARTS’ policies on passenger assistance, the limitations of driver assistance, the role of personal care attendants, and the guidelines for service animals on board.
ARTS bus drivers are trained in passenger assistance techniques and will provide assistance in boarding and disembarking from the vehicle if needed. Passenger assistance may include guiding the passenger to the vehicle, lending a steady arm for balance when boarding the vehicle, finding a seat or loading and securing a wheelchair.
ARTS drivers will not provide assistance that involves bearing weight including lifting and/or carrying passengers. Individuals who need extensive assistance in traveling must arrange for a personal care attendant to accompany and assist them. The driver may refuse services if the passenger cannot safely travel to and from the vehicle without the driver lifting and/or carrying them. For passengers using wheelchairs, the path to and from the bus must be clear. ARTS drivers will not enter the passenger’s home to assist them. For the safety of both drivers and passengers, ARTS does not provide in-home assistance.
Personal Care Attendants (PCA)
An eligible personal care attendant can ride at no charge. The passenger may be asked to provide information about the function of the PCA. ARTS does not provide personal care attendants.
Service animals are allowed to ride for free with bus passengers. Service animals must be under the control of the rider at all times. (ADA regulations define service animals as individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. No proof of license or certification can be required of the rider.)
Policies and Procedures
This section outlines ARTS’ policies on rider behavior, the process for appeals and complaints, trip cancellation guidelines, and the protocol for trip modifications.
Suspension and Appeals
ARTS may suspend a rider for incidents of disruptive behavior, violating the Passenger Conduct, Hazardous Materials, Audio/Video Device policies or breaking the law. Riders will be notified in writing of a suspension or penalty.
A rider may appeal a suspension or penalty. Appeals must be submitted in writing within (10) days of receipt of the written suspension or penalty addressed to ARTS, Attn: Executive Director, PO Box 552, Presque Isle, ME 04769. The appeal must include the rider’s name, mailing address, telephone number and the reason for the appeal. ARTS will respond to the appeal in writing within (10) business days.
Any rider who needs to cancel their scheduled trip must notify ARTS at least (1) hour before the pick-up time. Failure to cancel your trip could result in the rider being charged with a “no-show”. Riders with three (3) or more no-shows may have their ridership privileges reduced or altered.
Complaints or Make Modifications
Complaints regarding ARTS service or staff may be submitted in writing to the Management at the above address or by calling ARTS Business Office at (207) 764-5246 or 1-800-442-3320. ARTS will respond to written complaints in writing within (10) business days.
ARTS reserves the right to change guidelines without immediate notification. For trip modifications, please call the numbers listed above at least one day before the trip.
This section covers the guidelines and expectations for passengers personal conduct while using ARTS vehicles.
Proper Attire / Personal Hygiene
Proper attire including shirts and shoes must be worn on ARTS vehicles. Please refrain from the use of fragrances due to other person’s sensitives.
Food Consumption & Smoking
Eating, drinking, or any tobacco use is not permitted on ARTS vehicles. Please do not bring open food or beverage containers on board.
Seat Belts and Restraints
Maine law requires that all passengers use seat belts if the vehicle is equipped with them and appropriate child safety restraints while the vehicle is in motion. Passengers must remain seated until the vehicle comes to a complete stop.
Passengers with a medical seat belt exemption must provide a medical exemption certification when boarding. This exemption must be updated every year by your physician. Child safety seats must be used appropriate to the size/height and weight of the child. ARTS buses are equipped with built-in child seats; however parents are encouraged to use their own due to the limited number of built-ins. Parents are responsible for securing children in safety seats.
Some portable oxygen tanks are permitted on ARTS vehicles. Allowable tanks must be secured to a mobility device or be of a portable design that permits the user to carry the tank with a shoulder strap. Wheeled oxygen tanks are not permitted on ARTS vehicles as the buses are not equipped with appropriate devices to secure them. Oxygen tanks may not be stored in vehicle aisles. ARTS drivers are not responsible for oxygen tanks.
Passengers are expected to adhere to commonly accepted rules of conduct. Please be courteous with your driver and other passengers. A driver may refuse to transport a passenger who appears to be under the influence of alcohol, illegal or dangerous substances, or whose behavior and/or language is abusive, offensive, disorderly or dangerous to him/herself, the driver or other passengers Littering or defacing of property is prohibited. ARTS reserves the right to deny service as appropriate.
Guns, knives, explosives, dangerous liquids and hand carried parcels that could cause injury to other passengers are banned by law. This includes car/lawn batteries.
Radios, scanners and portable CD/tape/DVD players may be used on the bus only if the sound is transmitted to the user by ear plugs or headphones and the content is not offensive to other passengers.
Any private information given to ARTS regarding your transportation needs will be regarded as confidential.