For our valued customers with disabilities, as well as seniors with limited mobility, BCTA offers a wide range of accommodations to make travel more convenient, safe, and comfortable. The following is an overview of these accommodations:
BCTA is very pleased to announce that all vehicles in regular fixed route and DART service are equipped with either a lift or a ramp to accommodate passengers using mobility aids such as wheelchairs or scooters. If you require the use of a lift or ramp to board a BCTA vehicle, please notify the driver as you board.
A few words about mobility aids
If you use a mobility aid – such as a wheelchair or scooter – and need to board a BCTA vehicle, there are two points you should remember. First, the mobility aid must be secured to the floor for the entire time between your boarding and de-boarding stops. This is to ensure your safety and the safety of other passengers. If you are willing and able to do so, you may move out of your mobility aid into a regular seat for the duration of your trip, but the mobility aid itself must remain secured.
Second, there are limits to the size and type of the mobility aid that can be accommodated on board a BCTA vehicle. BCTA is capable of carrying all “common wheelchairs” as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). A “common wheelchair” is, specifically:
“a mobility aid belonging to any class of three or four-wheeled devices, usable indoors, designed for and used by individuals with mobility impairments, whether operated manually or powered. A “common wheelchair” does not exceed 30 inches in width and 48 inches in length measured two inches above the ground, and does not weigh more than 600 pounds when occupied.”
Kneeling and low-floor vehicles
If you don’t require the use of a mobility aid, but still require some extra accommodation to board the bus, we can help. BCTA is pleased to announce all of its fixed route vehicles have the capacity to kneel, or feature a low-floor design to make the boarding process easier and safer. If you feel you need the bus to kneel, please notify the driver as you board.
Is a kneeling or low-floor bus still not quite sufficient to allow you to board and/or de-board the vehicle independently? Don’t worry! BCTA drivers are ready and willing to offer direct assistance to passengers in boarding and de-boarding a bus.
On fixed route services, drivers are required to leave the driver’s seat to assist a passenger in boarding or de-boarding a bus upon request. The driver’s obligation to help applies only to getting a passenger between the bus stop and the seat, and does not include any assistance with packages or personal belongings.
Because DART is a more personalized and specialized service, a higher level of assistance is offered. DART service is categorized as “door-to-door,” which means that a BCTA driver will assist the passenger not only in boarding and de-boarding the vehicle, but also between the vehicle and the front door of their origin or destination.
On both fixed route and DART services, a passenger is permitted to bring along personal belongings and/or packages to the extent that they can carry these items on their own, in one trip.
In either case, please be sure to notify the driver if you feel you need assistance.
Designated seats for seniors and the mobility-impaired
Once you’re safely on board the vehicle, BCTA designates seats at the front of the vehicle as reserved for seniors and the mobility-impaired. This is so a passenger with limited mobility will have a shorter distance to travel in boarding and de-boarding the vehicle.
If you feel you need to make use of these designated seats, please notify the driver as you board the vehicle. If you are an ambulatory passenger occupying one of these seats, you may be asked to move in favor of a passenger who needs accommodation.
Armband program for the visually impaired
If you have a visual impairment, it may be difficult for you to tell whether a BCTA vehicle is approaching your stop so that you can get ready to board the vehicle. We can help make sure you don’t miss your bus! BCTA offers brightly colored armbands to visually impaired passengers. These armbands allow a BCTA driver to see you, and identify you as a BCTA passenger. They will know that you intend to ride and will stop to pick you up whether or not you are aware the bus is approaching.
If you are interested in the armband program, please contact BCTA directly.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), BCTA fixed route drivers are required to announce all major timepoints along the route. A major timepoint is defined as the stops listed in our paper schedules.
This accommodation is designed to ensure that customers having certain visual and/or cognitive impairments will know when it is time to de-board the vehicle at or near their final destination.
If the stop you wish to de-board at is not defined as a major timepoint, don’t worry – we are still very much willing and able to help you! For stops that are not defined as a major timepoint, as you board the bus please ask the driver to make a special announcement when the bus is approaching your de-boarding stop. He or she will be happy to do so.
Telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD)
Our customer relations representatives are available six days per week to answer questions and provide information regarding BCTA services. Much of this information is provided over the phone. But if you have a hearing impairment and are unable to use a conventional telephone, you can still obtain trip-planning information and have your questions answered by BCTA through our TDD system. All of BCTA telephone lines are TDD compatible when the incoming call is also TDD compatible.
As an alternative, you can also receive all of the information needed to plan your trip directly from this website. If you have further questions or need more information, you can also make a request via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Materials in alternative formats
Much of our written material (schedules, brochures, program applications, etc.) is widely available in a format accessible to those with unimpaired vision. However, all of these materials can be made available in alternative format upon request. Please contact BCTA with your specific needs, and, allowing for a reasonable lead time, we can work in-house or together with Beaver County Association for the Blind and Lighthouse for the Blind to provide the materials you need in Braille, large print, or audiotape format.
Park and Ride is currently available at the following locations:
- Chippewa Central Square
Rt 51, Chippewa, PA
200 W Washington St, Rochester PA
- Expressway Travel Center
131 Pleasant Drive, Aliquippa PA
- Northern Lights Shopping Center
Rt 65, Economy Borough, PA
- Ambridge Borough Municipal Complex
11St, Ambridge PA
For More information on Park and Ride options in and out of Beaver County, click here
In many cases, your animal friends are welcome to ride along with you on board BCTA vehicles, but with certain restrictions. It is important to note that these restrictions protect the safety of other passengers as well as the animal.
“Service animals,” which provide some manner of bona-fide assistance to persons with disabilities (for example, dogs that assist persons with visual impairments), are welcome on board BCTA vehicles at all times.
Other animals, not classified as “service animals,” are permitted on board the bus with their owner if the animal is in an approved pet carrier that fits on the owner’s lap. An approved pet carrier would be a device such as one that is purchased at a pet store (Petco, PetsMart, etc.) for the purpose of safely transporting an animal in an enclosed manner. This does not include any bags, cardboard boxes, etc, nor does it include large carriers such as a fish tank, cage, or terrarium that does not fit on the owner’s lap.
In all cases, the animal should be under the direct observation and control of its owner at all times while on board the vehicle.
De-Boarding the Bus
Whether we let you off right at your door, or if you have to transfer to another BCTA bus, or you have to walk to your final destination, BCTA wants to make sure that you reach that destination quickly and safely. Please allow us to explain the proper procedure for de-boarding the bus:
- Don’t hesitate to ask the driver if you need help identifying your destination
- Please wait to exit the bus until it comes to a complete stop
- For your safety, if you need to cross the street after de-boarding the bus, please do not cross directly into the path of traffic. Rather, wait until the bus has pulled away from the stop and you have a clear view of traffic in both directions before attempting to cross.
We always do our best to provide our customers with a pleasant, safe ride to their final destination. But we can’t do it alone! We depend on our customers to follow basic, common sense rules of conduct, and to treat other passengers the way they would like to be treated.
With that in mind, conduct prohibited on BCTA vehicles includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Refusing to pay the proper fare
- Harassing or threatening the driver or other passengers
- Using profanity
- No smoking, no chewing tobacco, no snuff, no vapes, and no e-cigaretts
- Not sitting while the bus is in motion when seats are available. In the rare instance when there are no seats available, you must use the hand railing or standee strap.
- No firearms or weapons of any kind are permitted on BCTA buses, on BCTA property, or inside BCTA property at BCTA’s Rochester and Center Township facilities
- Listening to music without headphones and/or at a volume that disturbs other passengers or the driver
- Blocking the aisle with a stroller or other large item. All children need to be removed from child strollers and seated in a regular seat. The child stroller must be folded and stowed upright or under the seat. Children unable to sit on their own may remain in a carrier or be held by the adult. The carrier must be safely seated next to the fare-paying adult.
- Transferring a duly-issued Day Pass, 7-Day Pass, 31-Day Pass, Reduced Fare Identification Card, or Free Senior Transit Identification Card to another passenger
- Lying down or occupying more than one seat (Of course, we make reasonable exceptions for children and sleepy adults as space permits)
- Loud or disruptive behavior, including using phones on “speaker”
- Putting feet up on the seats
- Defacing the vehicle or other peoples’ belongings
- Bringing animals aboard that are not service animals or are not carried in an approved pet carrier
- Smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or any other lit tobacco product, or use of an electronic smoking device that provides a vapor of nicotine or other substance, and which simulates smoking through inhalation of the device.
- Drinking (Only a cup/thermos with a locked, spillproof lid will be permitted)
- Transport of recreational bicycles
- Attempting to board a bus in motion or opening or attempting to open closed bus doors for any reason.
Drinking alcoholic beverages or being grossly intoxicated to the point of the following:
- Harassing or disturbing others
- Being loud or disruptive
- Losing control over bodily functions
Violation of these rules can result in the following:
- Verbal warning
- Expulsion from the vehicle
- Refusal of future service
- Confiscation of fare media
Paying the Fare
If you need assistance in determining how to use cash, tickets, or passes when boarding a BCTA vehicle, please read on:
As you board the bus, please have your exact fare ready in the form of cash, pass, or ticket.
- This will help speed the boarding process and keep the bus on-time
- Drivers do not carry change
You will not be permitted to de-board at an interim stop to get the correct change to pay your fare – this makes it too difficult for the driver to keep track of customers and their individual fares, and exposes BCTA to fraud.
Fare Cards, tickets, passes and transfers are non-refundable. BCTA will not refund, replace or exchange any type of Fare Media.
Passengers are responsible for all fare cards, tickets, passes and transfers. It is important to keep cards in good condition. If the fare card is unable to be read by the fare box, the passenger is responsible to pay the correct fare using another form of payment; either another fare card or cash.
If paying by cash, fare cards or paper transfer:
- You will notice two slots on the fare box
- Coins are dropped in the right slot
- Paper media are deposited in the slot on the left or swiped across the magnetic strip reader in the middle
To ensure that the correct fare is being paid, and help to prevent fare box breakdowns, bills, must be unfolded before being placed into the fare box.
Do not bend or fold fare cards. Keep the magnetic strip protected from damage. This includes not storing it near a magnet or a cell phone as this might erase the magnetic strip.
If you need to transfer to another BCTA or Port Authority bus, ask the driver for a transfer
If you are purchasing a Day Pass, please notify the driver
If paying by magnetic pass, ticket, or BCTA transfer:
- There will be a small box with a slot in the top in the immediate area of the main farebox
- If the magnetic card is used up or expired, the box will reject it – expired cards are not valid for fare payment
- If you have trips or money remaining on the card, the box will process it and pass it back to you for future use
Boarding the Bus
After you have identified your bus, please follow these guidelines to ensure a quick, safe, and convenient trip for you and your fellow passengers:
- Please be at a designated stop on-time, and if possible, at least several minutes before the published time.
- For insurance reasons, drivers will not permit boarding at non-designated stops.
- In most cases, drivers must adhere to a very strict schedule and will not be able to wait
As the bus approaches, stand close to the stop and signal the driver.
- Direct eye contact and a quick wave of the hand will do
- For your own safety, please do not step into the direct path of traffic
Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, then board at the front door
If you require the bus to “kneel” or if you use a mobility device and require the deployment of a wheelchair lift, please alert the driver
Reading the Headsign
You have read the schedules, you know what time your bus is scheduled to depart and arrive, and you’re waiting patiently at a designated BCTA bus stop. But how are you supposed to know which bus to board? Allow us to give you the following helpful hints:Look at the destination sign on the front of the bus, above the windshield, these signs list:
- Route Number
- Final Destination
- Major Interim Destinations
In many cases, buses have signs along the side that list these same types of information.
Don’t hesitate to flag down the driver and ask questions if you are unsure of which bus to board!
Identifying the Bus
Confused about where you should wait in order to catch a BCTA bus? Don’t be! It’s easy to use our complete stop lists to find a bus stop close to your home, work, or other destination, and just as easy to pinpoint the exact location of that bus stop.
Just remember the following guidelines:
- Printed timetables only include major timepoints – this is the practice due to the large total number of stops in the system
- However, we have many more stops that are not listed in our paper timetables
- You may call BCTA for specific stops close to your origin and destination, request a full stop list by mail, or, better yet, view and print the full stop lists directly from this website!
- Bus stops are generally listed in the following format: MAIN STREET / NEAREST CROSS STREET For example, Merchant Street / 11th Street means along Merchant Street, at or near 11th Street
- Most stops are also designated “near side” or “far side” For example, a “near side” stop at Merchant Street / 11th Street would mean you would wait along Merchant before the intersection with 11th
- Based upon the direction the bus is traveling, it would reach you before it reaches the intersection
- Once you figure out where you need to wait, look for the BCTA Bus Stop sign
It is 12″ wide by 24″ inches tall and it features a white, black, and blue color scheme.