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Rules and Policies

Contact SF Paratransit at (415) 351-7052 for additional information.

Paratransit Rules And Polices At A Glance 

Below are some general rules for SF Paratransit from Riders Guide 1. For specific information and policies about the SF Access and SF Paratransit Taxi programs, please read our Riders Guide 2 and Guide 3, respectively.

Ride Time

A trip on SF Access should take approximately the same amount of time as a trip on a Muni bus, including the time it takes to walk to and from the bus stop and any transfers. For example, if you live in the Outer Sunset District and you are going to the Ferry Building, the trip would take about 50 minutes on Muni. That same trip on SF Access should also take about 50 minutes. A SF Paratransit trip in a taxicab should take the same amount of time as the same trip would require for a cash-paying taxi customer.

On-Time Window

On SF Access, the van is considered on-time if it arrives from five minutes before to 15 minutes after your promised time. For example, if you have a reservation for 10:00, the van would be considered on-time if it showed up anytime between 9:55 and 10:15. That 20-minute period is known as the ’on-time window’.

A taxi is considered on-time if it arrives for pickup within 30 minutes of the time you placed the order.


You should cancel a ride as soon as you know you do not need the ride. For SF Access, you should cancel your ride no less than two hours before the promised pickup time*, a cancellation less than two hours before the promised pickup time is considered a ‘Late Cancellation’.  Your riding privileges may be suspended if you develop a pattern of excessive Late Cancellations, see policy below.


A No-Show or 'no show' occurs if the vehicle arrives at the designated origin location within the pickup time window (which is five minutes before or fifteen minutes after the promised pickup time*), and the certified rider:

  • Does not begin to board within five minutes after the arrival of the vehicle (and the driver announces his or her presence at the door);

  • Refuses the ride (unless due to late vehicle arrival or lack of driver assistance);

  • Cancels at the door;

  • Is not present at the appointed location and time after the driver announces his or her presence at the door;

  • Is not ready for transport at the promised pickup time* or unreasonably delays the van beyond the standard five minute window wait time; or,

  • Does not pay fare for the trip and is unable to take the trip due to a history of non-payment of fares.

    *The promised time is the pickup time given a certified rider at the time of reservation or subsequently modified and communicated to the passenger prior to the trip.

    A No-Show will not be assigned if a medical situation occurs that prevents the rider from boarding the vehicle or if it is verified that the ‘no-show’ was out of the control of the rider.

    Your riding privileges may be suspended if you develop a pattern of excessive No-Shows and/or Late Cancellations, see policy below.

    Service Suspension for No-Shows and Late Cancellations
    on SF Access or Group Van

    No-Shows and Late Cancellations are costly and may prevent other passengers from obtaining rides.  They also complicate the planning process and unnecessarily inconvenience other riders. To ensure that adequate resources are available, an accumulation of three verifiable No-Shows and/or Late Cancellations of SF Access trips in a month’s time (30 days) may result in suspension of service, if it represents more than 10% of the service scheduled by the rider.

    The following penalties will be assessed for No-Shows or Late Cancellations that occur in a 30-day period:

    Violation                               Penalty                                 

    First                                        Verbal reminder to rider

    Second                                  Written warning to rider

    Third*                                    30-day suspension of service

    *For any 30 day period in which a rider incurs three or more No-Show or Late Cancellations, the rider may be suspended if these No-Show/Late Cancellation trips represent more than 10% of riders scheduled trips. For example, if a rider has 40 scheduled trips during a 30 day period and has three unexplained No-Show/Late Cancellations, they will not be subject to a suspension. However, if a rider has 30 or less scheduled trips and have three unexplained No-Show/Late Cancellations during a 30 day period, they may face suspension.  

    Penalties will not be assigned if a medical situation occurs that prevents the rider from boarding the vehicle or if it is verified that the “No-Show” was out of the control of the rider. 

    For all proposed suspensions, the SF Paratransit office will send the rider a letter identifying the suspension period and the reasons for the suspension. Riders who appeal a proposed suspension may continue to ride pending a decision on the appeal. During this process, riders may challenge the validity of their No-Shows and Late Cancellations. If the appeal is denied, the suspension will be imposed effective the date the appeal is denied, pending final notification to the rider.

    Suspensions under this policy will apply to all SF Paratransit services. 


Requests for a Reasonable Modification of SF Paratransit Policies and Procedures

SF Paratransit is committed to ensuring full access to our services.

If you believe there is a modification to a SF Paratransit policy or procedure which will make our system accessible to you, and it can be reasonably made, SF Paratransit will make every effort to accommodate your request.

To request a reasonable modification to an SF Paratransit policy or procedure, please contact SF Paratransit Customer Service at 415 351-7052 or Kent Hinton, Director of Operations at (415) 351-7060. You may also contact Matthew West at the SFMTA Accessible Services
Department at (415) 701-4439 or via email at matthew.west@sfmta.com.

If we are unable to accommodate your request, we will let you know and also provide you with information, in case you wish to appeal our

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