To provide feedback on transportation for older adults or adults with disabilities, please consider participating in our AAA Transportation Focus Groups in February and March 2020. To receive information on how you can be included, click here: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Human-Services/Adult-and-Aging/Area-Agency-on-Aging/ or call Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging at 707-565-5950.
Traveling should be the least stressful part of your trip.
Traveling should be the least stressful part of your trip.
Who Can I Call for Information and Assistance?
The County of Sonoma Adult and Aging Division has launched an Information and Assistance line 707-565-INFO (4636). The line is answered in English and Spanish Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. Speak with an experienced Social Worker to receive information on programs and services for adults 60 years or older.
How Do I Navigate this Website?
Please keep in mind that all of the links to transportation providers will take you to agency websites outside of the Sonoma Access website.
To return to the Sonoma Access website from an outside agency you will need to click on the back arrow located in the upper left hand portion of your computer monitor.
This site, Sonoma Access, provides all the transportation agencies in Sonoma County that provide service to seniors and adults with disabilities. This changes as new providers come and go from the county. You may report changes through the Contact button.
The “Find Rides” feature provides you with a list of agencies that service travel to a given destination.
Sonoma Access Resources
511.org is a one-stop resource for up-to-the-minute Bay Area traffic, transit, carpool, bicycling, and parking information. The Trip Planner feature will provide route options and fares for public transportation options.
Google Transit allows you to identify public transportation options while also filtering for wheelchair accessibility. Click HERE to understand how to access the “wheelchair accessible” routes in Google’s transit navigation.
How Are Providers Added to this Site?
The Area Agency on Aging (AAA) maintains the Sonoma Access website. AAA also maintains the Senior Resource Guide to enhance public access to information about resources available to Sonoma County older adults and adults with disabilities.
The inclusion of any organization, agency or service on this site does not imply or constitute an endorsement or recommendation, nor does exclusion imply disapproval. The AAA neither guarantees nor makes any representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained on this site.
The County of Sonoma does not claim responsibility for any actions taken by any of the organizations or agencies included on the Sonoma Access site. Under no circumstances shall the County of Sonoma or its employees be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, punitive or consequential damages which may result in any way from the use of the information included on the Sonoma Access website.
What is a Clipper Card?
Using Clipper on Sonoma County Transit
You can use the Clipper Card on all Sonoma County Transit buses.
When using a Senior Clipper Card, seniors and adults with disabilities receive a 50% discount. Veterans ride free. Click HERE to view Discount Fare Categories.
Clipper automatically figures out the cost of your ride, including all discounts and transfers. See Fares and passes for more information on the types of value available.
If you are paying for your ride with cash value, you must have a minimum balance of $3.00 on an adult Clipper card, $2.75 on a Youth Clipper card, or $1.50 on a Senior or RTC Clipper card.
To use Clipper on Sonoma County Transit, locate the Clipper card reader at the front of the bus. Tag your card by holding it flat against the Clipper logo on the reader, and wait for the beep and green light. The card reader either will verify that you have a valid pass and display the expiration date or will deduct the cash value fare and show your remaining balance.
If your card balance is low, the reader will beep twice and display a yellow light. You can still board the bus, but you will need to add value to your card before your next trip. If you do not have enough value on your card, the reader will beep three times and display a red light, and you will not be able to pay your fare with Clipper.
Important! You must “tag off” when you exit the bus to ensure you are charged the correct fare. Clipper deducts the maximum fare from your starting zone and then refunds the difference when you tag your card to the card reader upon exiting. Note that each bus only has one card reader, located at the front of the vehicle. Clipper customers will need to exit at the front of the bus to tag off.
Download the Clipper in Marin and Sonoma Counties guide.
How Do I Learn to Use a Bus?
For information on travel training on the various services in Sonoma County call:
- Sonoma County Transit: (707) 576-7433
- Petaluma Transit: (707) 778-4506
- Santa Rosa CityBus: (707) 543-3336
- Healdsburg Transit: (707) 431-3324
- Volunteer Driver Program: (707) 829-2440
Learn to Ride CityBus Travel Training Program is designed to introduce older adults to the benefits of riding Santa Rosa CityBus. Taking a little time to learn how to utilize CityBus services gives people the independence they need to get where they need to go, when they want to go! This short (1-2 hours), comprehensive training program introduces older adult riders to the features of CityBus, and provides helpful information on fares, bus tickets, monthly passes and transfers. Older Adults learn how to read the CityBus System Route Map and Time Schedules so they can comfortably plan their CityBus trip.
Free Classes offered by the City of Santa Rosa to Learn to Ride CityBus are offered at the Bennett Valley Senior Center. Call 707-545-8608 to sign-up.
- Arrive at the bus stop at least 5 minutes early. Our drivers work hard not to run early, but not everyone’s watch has the same time.
- Make sure you’re at the right stop. Posted on all Sonoma County Transit bus stop signs are route numbers and direction of travel (e.g. East, West) for buses serving that particular stop.
- When you see the bus coming, wave your hand to signal the driver to stop the bus. If you’re traveling at night, a telephone screen or flashlight can be useful.
- When paying a cash fare, please have the exact amount ready; drivers don’t carry change. If you’re using a bus pass, have it ready upon boarding. Proper ID is required when paying a discounted fare (student, senior, disabled and Medicare care holder fare). To find out what you might be eligible for, see the Fares page.
- When the bus stops, wait for other passengers to exit and then board through the front doors of the bus.
- All buses are accessible to people with disabilities. If you’d like, request that the bus be lowered or the wheelchair lift/ramp deployed.
- Once on board, find a seat and enjoy the ride. Please remember the following:
- No smoking or use of e-cigarettes are allowed on the bus.
- No eating or drinking on the bus.
- Service animals may accompany persons with disabilities. The owner is responsible for the actions of the service animal while on board.
- All radios, phones and other audible devices must be used with earphones. Volume must be at a level that is not disruptive to others on the bus.
- Please keep front seats available for older adults and people with disabilities.
- As the bus approaches your stop, push the yellow signal tape located between the windows. This alerts the driver to stop at the next bus stop.
- Carefully exit the bus. If you have a bicycle on the front rack, please inform the driver before disembarking.
How Can I Access Information on the Local Transit Systems?
What Is ADA Paratransit Service?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into federal law in 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in the areas of employment, public services such as transit, public accommodations, private services, and telecommunications. The ADA requires all public transit operators to provide a special service to eligible individuals living with a disability and elderly individuals whose disabilities prevent them from using lift-equipped public transit. The special service, called “paratransit service,” is required by the ADA to complement fixed route public transit service. For this reason, it operates at similar times and in similar areas (defined by the ADA as a minimum of three-quarters of a mile on either side) of existing public fixed route transit, non-commute bus and van routes. The ADA also requires transit operators to establish specific eligibility criteria for users of paratransit service and requires there be no trip priorities (e.g. medical versus recreation) on ADA paratransit services. Transit agencies may require an in-person interview or application to determine eligibility for Para transit service.
Who Is Responsible for Providing ADA Paratransit?
Sonoma County Transit, Petaluma Transit and Santa Rosa Transit are responsible for provision of public paratransit service to complement local fixed route bus and van service in Sonoma County. Para transit services cover 3/4 of a mile off the public transit fixed route services. Application requirements do apply. Please call the public paratransit offices for more information.
Is Paratransit a Shared-Ride Service?
All Paratransit Services in Sonoma County are shared ride services. Other passengers may be on board during transit to a passenger’s destination. Your scheduled pick-up times or route of travel may be altered so another passenger can be accommodated. The vehicle may stop and pick up other riders as it proceeds to your destination. Shared rides lower the cost of paratransit service by increasing system productivity. Paratransit providers may ask you to accept trip reservation times that are different from your original requested pick-up time. Your reservation time may be moved up to an hour earlier or later than you requested. We ask that you be flexible. By changing your time, more passengers can be served.
What Door-to-Door Paratransit Services Are Provided?
- Loading and unloading of passengers to and from the vehicle.
- Escorting passengers to and from the front door of the primary building upon arrival at both origin and destination with the following limitations:
- Drivers cannot enter homes or apartments to interior areas within living accommodations.
- Drivers cannot leave the line of sight of a vehicle or leave a vehicle unsupervised with passengers aboard.
- Drivers cannot assist passengers in wheelchairs or other mobility devices up more than one stair.
- Drivers will not push or guide a passenger up or down and access ramp that exceeds the ADA slope guidelines of 1:12.
- Assisting with carrying personal articles not exceeding four bags, with no bag over 20 pounds. Personal articles such as small suitcases may be transported but are limited to only those items weighing no more than 20 lbs that can be safely stored under passenger’s seat. Packages and items exceeding these weight and size limits will not be transported.
- Ensuring passenger has crossed the threshold of the front door of his/her drop-off site. The Paratransit driver has completed his/her service responsibilities once assured the passenger has crossed the threshold of the drop-off site.
Passengers with special needs requiring greater assistance are encouraged to bring an attendant and/or discuss their needs with a Paratransit supervisor. There is no additional fare for an attendant or personal services assistant.
Who Is Eligible for Sonoma County Paratransit Services?
In order to receive service, all paratransit passengers must be ADA certified by completing an in-person evaluation. To schedule an appointment for evaluation call (707) 541-7180:
- You are unable to independently board, ride, or exit an accessible transit bus, a fixed route van, or similar transit vehicle because of your disability.
- You are able to independently board, ride, and exit an accessible bus, but accessible bus or van equipment has not been assigned to your route, or a bus or van lift cannot be deployed at your stop. (Please note: All Sonoma County, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, and Healdsburg Transit buses and vans are lift-equipped.)
- You are unable to travel to or from a transit stop because of your disability.
Passengers may be considered fully or conditionally eligible under Categories 1, 2, or 3 depending on their disability or the equipment assigned to their route. Conditionally eligible passengers include passengers who are eligible for paratransit only when certain conditions exist (e.g., wet weather, cold temperatures, darkness), the passengers can use the bus for only a portion of their trip, or they have a temporary disability. Conditionally eligible passengers are required to use fixed route service whenever conditions permit. At some point, consumers capable of using the bus may be found eligible for a paratransit trip to and from a bus transfer point rather than for the entire trip. This long-term goal of cooperation between the fixed route and paratransit systems furthers the ability of the paratransit program to meet its responsibilities under the ADA.
ADA eligible visitors from outside the Bay Area may also use paratransit service. Visitors will be eligible for any combination of 21 days of service during any 365-day period beginning with the visitor’s first use of Bay Area paratransit service.
How Do I Become Certified for Paratransit Service?
If your local public paratransit provider finds you ADA eligible, you will receive a letter informing you of this determination and outlining any conditions of eligibility. This information will be entered into the regional ADA paratransit database and you will then be certified eligible to use Sonoma County paratransit services and other public paratransit services throughout the Bay Area (subject to any conditions). Recertification of eligibility is currently required every three years (less with a temporary disability). If you are found ineligible or you object to the conditions of your eligibility, each local Bay Area paratransit provider has an appeals process.
I am a Veteran, how can I get to medical appointments?
Veterans Services Office
Here to provide Veteran benefit information, claims assistance and referral to other pertinent community services to veterans and their families.
Phone: (707) 565-5960
How Can I Obtain a DMV Handicap Placard?
Click HERE for the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Language Taken from the DMV Site: “You may qualify for a Disabled Persons (DP) placard or license plates if you have impaired mobility due to having lost use of one or more lower extremities, or both hands, or have a diagnosed disease that substantially impairs or interferes with mobility, or one who is severely disable to be unable to move without the aid of an assistive device. You may also qualify if you have specific, documented visual problems, including lower-vision or partial sightedness.”