Learn About Dart
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) provides Demand Response Transportation services for people who, because of their disability, are unable to safely and independently utilize PSTA buses. DART service is a form of public transportation which meets PSTA’s obligations to provide door-to-door service which parallels or “complements” local bus service in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Passengers will be required to share a ride whenever possible, as is done on the regular bus system.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it possible for people with disabilities to have better access to the community. PSTA's "functional" DART certification process will encourage people to use regular PSTA fixed-route service whenever possible. In this way, PSTA is ensuring that DART will only be used by those who truly need the service. A "functional" certification process determines if a person has the ability to use the regular bus. It does not make decisions based on the type of disability you have or a specific diagnosis by a physician. Rather, it determines if you are able to do such things as travel to a bus stop, board a bus, and navigate the fixed route system. In-person assessments are also utilized on an as-needed basis to facilitate determining eligibility. Eligibility for DART service is based on how a person's disability under ADA affects daily life activities which would prevent the use of accessible fixed-route service.
There are two categories under which a person can be eligible for DART:
Eligibility includes those persons who, because of their disability, cannot independently use a regular, accessible bus.Category 2
Eligibility pertains to situations in which a person cannot travel independently to or from a bus stop.
A client can also be given "conditional" eligibility for DART if they are able to use the regular bus under certain conditions, but not others. In this situation, eligibility for DART will be determined according to a particular set of circumstances or conditions, which pertain to a person's disability.
If you have a permanent or temporary disability and are unable to independently use the regular, wheelchair accessible PSTA buses, call PSTA at 727-540-1800 for a DART application form. These forms are also available at the PSTA facility located at 3201 Scherer Dr., St. Petersburg, FL 33716, and also available for download.
DART trips are provided wherever regular PSTA local bus service is available. Service area is subject to change. Service is not available outside Pinellas County. DART services are available during the same days and hours as the regular bus service for any given trip request.
The DART fare is $4.50 per one-way trip. No discounts are offered. Fare is to be paid to the driver when boarding the vehicle. Payment can be made in cash ($5 bill or smaller) or by using a DART ticket. Convenient single and 10-Ride DART tickets are available online or through our Tickets by Mail Program.) Fares are also available to purchase online.
PSTA contracts with these companies to provide DART service. Please call them directly to make reservations.
Care Ride 727-536-7433
Or you can call PSTA and be routed to the DART provider.
Trip Reservations/Cancellation: 727-540-1960
PSTA welcomes any feedback about the program and the service you experience. If you have questions or concerns, please call 727-540-1888.
You may call up to one (1) month before your scheduled trip to make a reservation, but no later than 5:00 p.m. the day before your trip. Telephone operators are available to take reservations between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays. In order to accommodate as many clients as possible, pick-up times will be negotiated up to one hour before or after the pick-up time requested by the client. Cancellations must be made at least two hours prior to a scheduled pick-up time, or the trip will be deemed a "no show." If a passenger is not at the door, ready to board a vehicle within five minutes of the scheduled pick-up time, the trip will be deemed a "no show." DART service may be discontinued if a client establishes a pattern of regular and repeated no-shows. These regulations are in place to help PSTA serve all DART clients efficiently.
Lift-equipped vehicles are available for DART clients who are unable to board an ambulatory vehicle, such as those who need to travel in a wheelchair. PSTA requires that the driver secure all wheelchairs while a passenger is transported in it.
In addition, PSTA and DART providers are ready to take relay and voice calls.
Written information is available in alternate formats, and assistance is available upon request. Accommodations in policies and procedures will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Please note: Emergency transportation service is not provided.
DART drivers’ role is to provide safe, reliable, accessible transportation.
Driver assistance is provided to any DART passenger who requests it when boarding and leaving the vehicle, and to/from building entrances. It is the passenger’s responsibility to:
- Unlock the building entrance and navigate within the building.
- Administer their own medication.
- Bear their own weight in route to and from the vehicle.
- Carry their own packages, parcels or groceries.
- Provide and install their own child safety seats when required by law.
- Provide their own Personal Care Attendant (PCA) to assist with any of the tasks listed here which they are unable to perform themselves due to their disability, other physical or behavioral assistance beyond what is provided by the driver or tasks at their origin or destination. PCA’s ride for free when traveling with an approved DART client.
Recurring or Subscription Trips can be made for trips which have the same origin, destination, times and days of the week, and will permit you to travel without having to make a reservation each time you take these trips. Recurring trips must be pre-approved and confirmed on a monthly basis and are subject to the same rules as non-recurring trips.
On Board Rules
- Guide dogs and FTA-approved service animals are welcome, but must remain under the DART client’s control and not pose a danger to others.
- Riders may bring one (1) portable oxygen tank. No one is allowed to smoke in the vehicle.
- Food and drink may be transported, but eating and drinking is not permitted in the vehicle. NOTE: Disability/Health exceptions will be considered by PSTA on a case-by-case basis.
- Tipping the driver is not permitted.
- Disruptive on-board behavior may result in the suspension of riding privileges or the requirement that the passenger travel with a Personal Care Attendant.
- Personal belongings must be kept within the passenger’s own seating area.
If you are not found eligible for PSTA's DART service at this time, a letter will be mailed to you explaining the reason and advising you of procedures to follow if you wish to appeal. If your condition changes in the future, you may re-apply for PSTA DART service.
Whether or not you are found eligible for DART, you are encouraged to contact the DART/Mobility Office about other transportation options, many of which are described elsewhere on this website: Free Travel Training on PSTA’s accessible bus service, low-cost Transportation Disadvantaged services, East Lake Shuttle door-to-door service, Connector and Direct Connect service to your address.