Spokane Journal of Business

STA center now offering paratransit assessments

Agency adds new service at Plaza to check eligibility while also offering training

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Spokane Transit Authority has expanded services inside the STA Plaza downtown to include assessments of applicants' eligibility to use its paratransit services.

Paratransit is a door-to-door public transportation service provided to people who can't access regular, fixed-route services because of a physical or mental incapacity.

Paratransit eligibility is determined through an application process that includes a physical or cognitive assessment, and until recently, applicants only had the option to take applications to a licensed medical or mental health professional to complete a section for verification of a disability.

Now, the STA Mobility Center is capable of providing the free assessments of paratransit eligibility on the second floor of the plaza, located at 701 W. Riverside, says Molly Myers, an STA spokeswoman.

She says people have the option to use the STA center for the assessments or they can still complete the application-only process with the section completed by health professions. The applications are available on the STA website and can be mailed or delivered to the STA Mobility Center.

STA contracts with Sacramento-based Paratransit Inc. to provide the free paratransit assessments, as well as a mobility training service for paratransit riders, Myers says.

The mobility training also can help seniors and people with disabilities so they can ride regular STA buses independently, she says.

The recently remodeled 1,800-square-foot space for paratransit assessments and related services previously had offered only the mobility training for paratransit riders at the plaza. The $230,000 remodel completed last fall now allows for the one-on-one assessments, Myers says.

She says people who seek paratransit services aren't required to go through the in-person assessments at the STA Plaza.

However, she says, a paratransit application for the service is required that includes the section for verification of a disability.

Treva Lind
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