Download MATAplus Riders Guide (PDF)
MATA conducts in-person assessments for certification for MATAplus services at the Airways Transit Center. This in-person assessment process is by appointment only. Please do not arrive at the Assessment Center without an appointment. Additionally, some MATAplus assessments are conducted in the community in individual circumstances at the discretion of the evaluation team. Complete the MATAplus applications before scheduling an assessment. Applications will not be accepted via mail, email, or fax. To make an appointment, please call 901.322.4080. Please contact Terita Watson (901-722-7193 or [email protected]) or Mark Smith (901-722-1771 or [email protected]) for more information.
MATAplus is a shared ride paratransit service designed to meet the transportation needs of persons with disabilities in the Memphis and Shelby County service area. MATAplus riders must have a disability that prevents them from riding the MATA fixed-route bus system or traveling to or from bus stops. Click here for access to the MATAplus Riders Guide.
If you have a disability that prevents you from using MATA's fixed-route service, you may be eligible for MATAplus service. Based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, eligibility is limited to individuals who cannot board, ride, or disembark from any vehicle on the fixed-route system without the assistance of another individual, or any individual with a disability who needs the assistance of a wheelchair lift or other boarding assistance device.
Applying For MATAplus Service
Understanding the eligibility process
General Information | How to Apply | Questions & Answers
What is MATAplus (Paratransit Services)?
MATAplus (Paratransit Services) provides curb-to-curb public transportation for anyone with disabilities who are unable to use MATA's fixed-route bus or trolley services. (MATA also offers a Travel Liaison Training Program, to ADA paratransit eligible individuals who can use the bus or trolley services, or anyone wanting to learn how to get around the city using public transportation.)
Paratransit services are only available in Memphis and Shelby County.
Who is Eligible?
Eligibility is granted to anyone who cannot independently use MATA fixed-route buses or trolley vehicles because of a physical, cognitive, or visual disability and meet the criteria of the paratransit program after completing the entire eligibility process.
Paratransit Eligibility Criteria
MATA complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 eligibility standards for paratransit services. People with disabilities in the following categories are eligible to receive paratransit services.
Applicants who cannot independently use MATA bus or trolley service, even with training.
Applicants who can use or learn to use an accessible public transit system, but the system is not fully accessible.
Applicants who have a specific impairment that prevents them from getting to or from a bus stop or trolley station.
How to Apply for Paratransit Services
Applicants must follow these steps to be considered for MATAplus (Paratransit Services):
To be considered for certification, applicants are required to complete the following steps:
The MATAplus Certification Application and Medical Verification of Disability Form is one document. If you are printing this document from this site, the applicant will complete pages 1 to 3 and pages 4 to 6 is taken to a healthcare provider that knows about the applicants qualifying disability to be completed and returned to the applicant. Please complete your application (MATAplus Certification Application – pages 1 to 3). Please also request your physician or healthcare services provider complete and return TO YOU the Medical Verification of Disability Form (pages 4 to 6)
Applicants can get an application and form in the following ways:
Pick-up application and form at MATA location.
- The William Hudson Transit Center located at 444 North Main Street in Memphis
- The American Way Transit Center located at 3919 American Way in Memphis
- The Airways Transit Center located at 3033 Airways Boulevard in Memphis
You can also request an application by calling the MATAplus Eligibility Center at 901.322.4080 for an application and form.
If you have received a MATAplus Application from a social service/disability service providers/healthcare service providers/Shelby County Schools/universities or colleges throughout Memphis/Shelby County, in the past, applications will also be available at many of the same locations.
Once you receive the Medical Verification of Disability Form and complete your application, please call the MATAplus Eligibility Center to schedule your interview and possible functional assessment at 901.322.4080.
- Show up at the assessment center for your interview and assessment (please arrive on time).
- Participate in a face-to-face interview with the MATAplus Compliance Specialist
The MATAplus Compliance Specialist will take the applicant’s photo for a MATAplus identification card if applicable
If necessary, the applicant may be referred to undergo a functional assessment (same day and location).
- Participate in a functional assessment with the Functional Assessment Specialist
- Depending on the outcome of all four steps – you may be granted certification within twenty-one (21) days following the interview and assessment
Eligibility Case Review
The results of your interview and assessment are reviewed by MATA to determine if you are eligible for MATAplus (Paratransit Services).
Becoming ADA Eligible for MATAplus (Paratransit Services)
Applicants become ADA paratransit eligible on an "unconditional", "temporary", or "conditional" basis. (Currently, MATAplus does not qualify individuals for conditional eligibility. However, beginning July 1, 2019, MATAplus will begin qualifying individuals for "conditional eligibility.")
Types of Eligibility-There are three types of eligibility:
Unconditional Eligibility - Your disability or health condition always prevents you from using fixed-route buses or a trolley, and you qualify for A.D.A. Paratransit service for all of your trips.
Conditional Eligibility - You are able to use the fixed-route buses or a trolley for some of your trips and qualify for A.D.A. Paratransit service for other trips when your disability or environmental barriers prevent the use of fixed-route transit service.
Temporary Eligibility - You have a health condition or disability that temporarily prevents you from using the fixed-route buses or a trolley.
Notification of Eligibility
Again, applicants are notified within 21 days of their interview and assessment. If it is determined during your interview that you do not qualify for MATAplus, you will not be forwarded to the Functional Assessment Specialist for an assessment, and you will be told at the time of the interview that you do not qualify for the assessment and the next steps will include the following:
- You will be mailed an official notice acknowledging that you did not qualify to continue the eligibility determination process for the particular reason.
- You will be informed that you have the right to reapply for services within 60 days from the last interview/assessment.
- You will be informed of your right to appeal the decision and will be notified of the appeal process.
Note: If an eligibility determination cannot be made within 21 days from the receipt of the application (day of interview and assessment), the applicant will be granted presumptive eligibility.
Contesting / Appealing an Eligibility Determination
An appeal process is available to any person who is denied full eligibility for MATAplus (Paratransit Services) or disagrees with an eligibility decision. Full eligibility is when you received Unconditional Certification. Conditional and Temporary Eligibility is not full eligibility, and you have the right to appeal those determinations (unfavorable determination).
How Do I Get Started?
For more information or questions about MATAplus (Paratransit Services) Administrative Appeal Policy and Form, please call 901-722-7193 for additional assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: The Eligibility Process
MATAplus requires all new applicants, and riders wishing to renew their certifications, to submit a paratransit certification form, then participate in an in-person interview and assessment.
Here are some answers to a few frequently asked questions to help you understand what to expect with the eligibility process.
Question: I have a permanent disability. Why is MATAplus asking me to submit to an "in-person" assessment to determine my eligibility to use MATAplus (Paratransit Services)?
Answer: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) require MATAplus to implement a process that strictly limits eligibility to individuals who clearly meet ADA eligibility standards. The new in-person assessment process will identify an individual's potential rather than limitations in their ability to use accessible bus or trolley public transportation.
Question: How will the assessment work?
Answer: You will be required to undergo a functional (cognitive or visual assessment not currently offered) assessment as determined by your disability. The results, coupled with your travel habits, will determine the best way to serve your transportation needs.
Question: Who will conduct the assessment?
Answer: The assessment will be conducted by an Eligibility Specialist and Functional Assessment Specialist.
Question: What will the assessment cost me?
Answer: There is no charge to you for the assessment.
Question: Where will I have to go for an assessment?
Answer: The assessment will be conducted at the Airways Transit Center located at 3033 Airways Boulevard within the MATA service area.
Question: What will happen when I get there?
Answer: A brief interview will be conducted by eligibility staff to review your application, your photo may be taken, and then a functional assessment will be performed by a Functional Assessment Specialist at the same location.
Question: What happens after the interview and assessment?
Answer: The results of your interview and assessment will go through an internal review process, and within 21 days, you will be notified of your eligibility status in writing. If you are certified, a one to three years certification identification will be mailed out with the notification.
Question: What happens if I am not eligible for MATAplus (Paratransit Services)?
Answer: An appeal process is available to any applicant who is denied eligibility.
Question: What can I do if I disagree, as a result of the eligibility determination process, with having access to MATAplus (Paratransit Services).
Answer: An appeal process is available for any individual seeking eligibility who does not agree with any conditions of the eligibility determination process
Right To Appeal
Applicants have the right to appeal any decision that denies an application. Appeals must be filed in writing within sixty (60) days of receiving a denial letter.
Types Of MATAplus Service
- ADVANCED (DEMAND RESPONSE) RESERVATION SERVICE - Allows an individual rider to make a reservation for a trip anywhere from three days up to the day before they wish to travel. There is no limit to the number of non-subscription trips that can be booked on any given service day. An unlimited number of trips may be reserved during one telephone call.
- SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE - Many MATAplus customers establish travel patterns to and/or from the same locations, during the same days and hours, at least three days per week. These individuals are offered a subscription service that does not require them to make any further reservations, except to cancel a trip or to make an additional reservation. The subscription service is offered Monday-Saturday and is restricted to work, medical and educational trips. Once approved for the service, subscription customers will confirm desired days and travel times with a MATAplus reservation agent.
MATA accommodates passengers with reasonable modifications which may include helping passengers insert money into fare boxes, allowing passengers to eat, drink, or take medicine aboard a transit vehicle to avoid a medical problem, and permitting passengers to board separately from their mobility devices when the passenger can control the movement of the device.
Additionally, MATA will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities during periods of construction, road closures and special events that disrupt normal vehicle patterns. MATA will also provide additional time for persons with disabilities trying to reach MATA's vehicles and while boarding or alighting vehicles when requested.
Passengers may request modifications in advance or at the time they are needed. Passengers are not required to say "reasonable modification" when asking for an accommodation. MATA staff will work with passengers to find an alternative approach to accommodate their accessibility needs if a policy, practice, or procedural modification cannot be fulfilled.
In addition, MATA will provide information (upon request) in various formats such as large print, Braille, etc. to help persons with disabilities. MATA also has TTY services available.
To request information in any of these formats or for a reasonable accommodation, call MATA's certification department at 901.322.4080. Passengers may also request a copy of MATA's reasonable modifications/accommodations policy.