Riding Para-Transit


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is STS?
A: CATS' Special Transportation Service (STS) provides door-to-door transit services within ¾’s of a mile of all local fixed route buses routes during each individual route’s hours and days of operation for individuals with disabilities certified as eligible according to the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) .

Q: How do I become certified to ride STS?
A: Individuals certified to use STS must meet a three-step certification process that includes:

  • An application with professional verification
  • In-person interview; and
  • A functional assessment

Q: How do I apply for certification?
A: Contact the STS Certification Coordinator at 704-336-5055 to receive an application via the mail, fax, or e-mail. Applications are also available online here. Complete your application and then have it verified and signed by a medical, rehabilitation or healthcare professional and then mail it back to STS at 901 N. Davidson Street Charlotte, NC 28206.

Q: What happens after I return my application?
A: You will be contacted by our certification coordinator to complete your in-person interview and functional assessment.

Q: Why do I have to participate in an in-person interview? Is it required and who will conduct it?
A: Yes, an in-person interview will be required by all applicants. An in-person interview provides an opportunity to get more detailed information about travel abilities than may be possible using only a written application. The interview will be conducted by Carolinas HealthCare System's Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation Vocational Services.

Q: What are functional assessments? Are they required and who will conduct them?
A: Functional Assessments provide an objective and independent appraisal of abilities to perform the tasks necessary to use fixed route services. While every customer applying for STS will have to participate in an interview, a functional assessment may not be required. The results of the interview will determine if an assessment is necessary. Carolinas Rehabilitation will also conduct the assessments.

Q: When will I find out if I'm eligible?
A: After your interview and assessment are complete, STS will notify you of your eligibility within 21 days after we receive your completed application. Those considered as eligible to ride STS will be sent a letter of determination stating their eligibility to use the service.

Q: What if my application for recertification is denied?
A: An individual who has applied for certification and is denied or has conditions placed on their use has the right to appeal their evaluation. An independent panel has been established to hear appeals and the panel includes a person with a disability. All appeals must be in writing and received within 60 days after you have received written notice of your eligibility determination decision.

Q: What if I am no longer eligible to ride STS?
A: CATS fixed route service is accessible, and we do offer training to teach you how to use the fixed route system.

Q: Can my STS eligibility change?
A: Yes. If the nature or severity of your disability changes or the accessibility of your transit service changes, then your eligibility status could change.

Q: What is fixed route?
A: Transit services where vehicles run on regular, pre-determined, pre-scheduled routes.

Q: What is travel training?
A: Travel training prepares people with disabilities to travel safely and independently throughout the fixed route system. Specifically trained personnel may work with you on an individual or group basis to teach you the travel skills needed to follow a particular route in the safest, most direct way.

Q: How can travel training help me?
A: People with disabilities who take advantage of travel training gain the freedom to choose what kind of transportation they wish to take. The training also makes traveling more flexible and trips no longer need to be scheduled in advance as in the case with STS.

Q: Are there designated seats for people with disabilities on the fixed route service?
A: Yes. There are designated locations on the bus for people with disabilities and securements for wheelchairs.

Q: Who do I contact for more information?
A: You may contact STS at 704-336-2637, between the hours of 5:00 a.m. to midnight Monday – Saturday and 6:00 a.m. to midnight on Sunday and holidays .

CATS Special Transportation Service - 704-336-2637

CATS STS Certification Coordinator - 704-336-5055

CATS Customer Service - 704-336-RIDE

  • Transit information
  • Trip planning
  • Braille and large print schedules
  • Information/Questions
  • Complaints/Requests
  • Transit ID's

TTD - 704-336-5051