Transportation

NDAD’s general assistance program can include help with public transportation costs for paratransit services, specifically for people with mobility issues who cannot use regular fixed-route city buses.

Typically, paratransit provides door-to-door accessible transport using an advance-notice reservation system through the transit provider. Paratransit vehicles have lifts to help people who can’t climb stairs or who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices.

Required notice may range from same-day reservations to at least 24 hours in advance, depending on the agency. Some paratransit rides may be shared with other passengers, which can mean multiple stops and longer rides.

Several examples in North Dakota include Cities Area Transit Dial-A-Ride in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, Minn.; MAT Paratransit in Fargo, West Fargo, and Moorhead and Dilworth, Minn.; and Bis-Man Transit in Bismarck, Mandan and Lincoln.
 
Here’s the N.D. Department of Transportation’s local bus and transit services website.

Each NDAD monthly ride allotment is capped and based in part on the client’s regular usage. 

Under NDAD guidelines, you must complete NDAD’s general assistance application form either online, in office or by mail to see whether you meet our organization’s income requirements. Out-of-pocket medical expenses are taken into consideration.

You also must qualify to use paratransit through your local transit system. If you’ve not done so already, you need to complete its application form, usually available for download on the system’s website.

You also need to have a mobility issue that’s documented by your medical provider.
For more information about this NDAD program, contact an NDAD office in Grand Forks, Fargo, Minot or Williston.  
 

NDAD Client Spotlight: Jillian Schaible

Transportation access is a daunting challenge for many people with a wide range of disabilities in North Dakota. Bismarck native Jillian Schaible knows this first hand.

Jillian has taken it upon herself to try and better matters, particularly in her community, through volunteerism and as a watchdog over local public transit issues.

Jillian, who has cerebral palsy, does not drive and frequently uses a power wheelchair that gives her more independence. She improved her own transportation access about three years ago when she applied for and began receiving transit tickets from NDAD for rides through Bis-Man Transit, the public transportation system for Bismarck, Mandan and Lincoln.

Each month, she receives assistance for up to 12 round-trip rides.

“It’s very helpful,” Jillian said. “Even if It covers my volunteer stuff and those types of things I’m involved in to help other people, it offsets some of the other costs for me. Sometimes I use it for personal things, and sometimes I use it for community events.

“I can schedule and I can kind of plan out what I’m doing and what I need to do and see how many things I need to attend.”

For example, she serves as a community liaison for people with disabilities on the planning committee for the Great American Bike Race (GABR) It's a large annual fundraising event in Bismarck to support children and young adults with cerebral palsy and other related childhood-onset conditions that permanently affect their lives.

GABR committee meetings will increase starting in December and continuing until the April 2019 event.  Knowing she has transit assistance from NDAD helps her plan around those meetings.

Jillian, who’s on a fixed income, has taken on a mix of paid and volunteer work over the years. She continues to look for “suitable employment,” she said, but those jobs are scarce. 

To complicate matters, she said, paratransit rules have changed. According to Jillian, those changes have resulted in reduced flexibility for riders while often expanding potential bus riding hours and further challenging riders’ abilities to meet set work hours and appointments.

Still, NDAD’s transit help is “fantastic,” Jillian said.

She’s hoping more people will be able to take advantage of NDAD paratransit assistance so they can come closer to “being in the community the way they want to be.”


Harold Ennis
On a pleasant August day in 2012, Harold Ennis got a good, long look at the miles of northwest North Dakota countryside around Tagus, a now-unincorporated town where he spent his youth.   In this rural area between Minot and Stanley, Ennis saw the wetlands and varied waterfowl. New oil development. The crops and grain ...
view all success stories