Access-a-Ride Tips & Tricks

We learned some helpful pointers from a recent presentation by Donna Fredricksen, the Outreach & Public Information Coordinator at Access-A-Ride Services, at the Brooklyn-wide Interagency Council on Aging.

The MTA operates the nation’s largest paratransit system to make public transportation accessible for all New Yorkers. Access-A-Ride provides over 24,000 rides a day for New Yorkers with disabilities!

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Photo credit: Wikipedia


How to Apply

  • Call 877-337-2017 to discuss eligibility, receive an application, and schedule an assessment
  • Go to the designated center for an in-person assessment of mobility, cognitive ability, and personal environment. Transportation will be arranged for the assessment. Applicants should bring detailed notes from a doctor or social worker about their disability and transportation needs

Scheduling a Ride

  • Make sure to label the ride as an “appointment” – this lets the dispatcher know that you need to be at your destination at a specific time
  • Be specific about where to be picked up and dropped off. Many buildings have multiple entrances and the accessible doors may not be at the main street address

Status Updates 

  • Call 877-337-2017 and speak with a dispatcher to check the status of your ride
  • Don’t ask for the estimated time of arrival. Due to NYC traffic, dispatchers are unable to predict when a car will arrive. Instead, ask: What is the car’s location? and Am I the next pick up?


  • Traveling with a Companion: Make sure the application includes the ability to travel with a friend, family member, or aide if necessary
  • Free MTA Metro Card: Participants are eligible to receive a free MTA metro card, which includes 4 rides/day
  • Taxi Reimbursement: Access-a-ride authorizes taxi rides within a borough and to LaGuardia and JFK airports. If paratransit services are unavailable, ask the dispatcher about taxi reimbursements
  • Make a Complaint: The MTA encourages complaints to be registered with the customer service team to improve their services. Call 877-337-2017 and speak with an operator

Refer to the Access-a-Ride Guide for more information.