Making a Reservation – County Connection

Making a Reservation

When and where can I go?

LINK can pick you up and drop you off almost anywhere a County Connection bus or BART station operates at that time and on that day of the week.

LINK riders go grocery shopping, to work and school, to get their hair cut or check in with their doctor, meet up with friends, or to enjoy a local park. You can go anyplace – as long as the bus goes there or there is BART station nearby.

LINK service is specifically available within 1.5 miles of a County Connection fixed route bus or within 3⁄4 of a mile of a BART station when County Connection fixed route buses are not in operation. Both the origin and destination addresses must meet these standards. (When County Connection fixed route buses are not in operation, then the LINK service is strictly limited to trips with pick-up and drop-off locations that are both within 3⁄4 miles of an operating BART station.)

Approximate hours of operation for County Connection service area:

  • Weekdays: 4:30 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Weekends: 7:00 AM – 10:30 PM

Hours of operation for BART service area

In addition, LINK provides ADA service on behalf of BART during the following hours:

  • Weekdays: 5:00 AM – midnight
  • Saturdays: 6:00 AM – midnight
  • Sundays: 7:00 AM – midnight

Saturday and Sunday service, and weekend service provided on behalf of BART, is provided in very limited areas and in strict compliance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This service is provided within 3/4 of a mile of regular bus service or a BART station. Monday-Friday service is provided within 1.5 miles of regular fixed-route bus service.

Holidays

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas

LINK service is limited to pick-ups and drop-offs within 3⁄4 of a mile of an operating BART station on such holidays. Please note that all subscription rides are cancelled on these days.

Things To Know Before You Schedule a Ride…

You must call between one and seven days in advance to book your trips. Please bear in mind that ADA paratransit is a “shared-ride” service, and that trips on LINK take about the same amount of time as similar trips taken using County Connection bus service, including transfers and the time to walk to and from the bus stop. Same-day reservations are extremely limited and based on driver availability only.

Types of Reservations

You have the option of requesting a reservation based on either a specific pick- up time or an appointment time to arrive at your destination.

Pickup times are subject to negotiation – the reservationist will offer you one or more options within one hour (before or after) of your requested pickup time.

You can also schedule trips by appointment time. If you are traveling to an appointment (for example, a doctor’s appointment), please tell the reservationist what time you need to arrive at your destination. They will tell you what time you need to be picked up to ensure that you arrive on time at your destination.

The reservationist will attempt to give you the best time possible but cannot make more than two attempts to schedule a specific time.

How Do I Make a Reservation?

Reservations may be made over the phone. Reservation calls are accepted from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm every day including weekends and holidays. You may call our reservations department at (925) 938-7433 one (1) to seven (7) days in advance.

When booking your trip, please provide the following information:

  • Your Client Number- provided in your determination letter.
  • Your name, home address and phone number.
  • The address where we will pick you up from.
  • The address where we will take you to.
  • Any special instructions that the driver may need, such as gate codes,directions to hard-to-find places, specific areas in a mall or shoppingcenter, etc.
  • The date you want to travel.
  • The time you want to be picked up or the time you want to be dropped off atyour destination.
  • Whether you will be travelling with an attendant, companion, or serviceanimal.
  • The type of mobility aids you and your companion will be using, like awheelchair, walker, cane, or scooter.

Pick-up Window

When you make your reservation, you will be given a 30-minute range of time in which to expect the driver. This range of time is called a pick-up window. Your driver may arrive anytime within this pick-up window. You are asked to be ready at the beginning of this 30-minute window of time. If you are not visible when the driver arrives, the driver will attempt to contact you as a courtesy. If you fail to board the vehicle after 5 minutes of its arrival, the driver will have to leave to pick-up other passengers. **This is called the 5-minute rule!**

Shared rides

County Connection LINK is a shared ride service. This means, just like public transportation, LINK picks up other riders going to similar destinations as you. The direction of your trip may not be linear. Your ride may take a similar amount of time as the same trip would take on regular fixed route including transfers and wait times. To see how long a paratransit trip may take, you can compare travel times using fixed-route buses by visiting our website at www.countyconnection.com. Enter the required information, including if you want to be picked up at a specific time or have an appointment time.

Can I change my reservation?

The Dispatch Department is open 7 days a week and during all hours of operation, roughly from 4:30am to 12-midnight. You may call during those times with questions about your ride. You may not book rides outside of normal reservation hours, but you may cancel and or add instructions to your existing rides.
Requests for changes on the day of your trip most likely cannot be accommodated. Please do not ask the drivers to make changes to your pick-up or drop-off destinations. Call the Dispatch department at (925) 943-7433 if it is an emergency and they will try their best to assist you.

How do I cancel my trip?

Call LINK to cancel as soon as you know you can’t take a trip. You must cancel your trip at least one hour before your pick-up window begins or we will record that you cancelled late or were a ‘no-show’. If you don’t need your trip, we can offer the space to another rider. We schedule your ride with other riders, so canceling your ride the day before gives us more time to change the schedule to make sure the vehicle is not too early or too late for other customers.

What is a No-show?

A no-show is a failure to meet your scheduled ride within 5 minutes of its arrival, failure to cancel a ride with at least 1 hours’ notice, or failure to cancel the ride altogether. A pattern of no-show violations may lead to penalties.

It is your responsibility to wait where the driver can see you. The driver is not allowed to leave sight of his or her vehicle and can only go in the main lobby of a building. At most they can announce their arrival at the door. Service is curb-to-curb with door-to-door services available only for special circumstances. The driver will attempt to find you but will leave after 5 minutes. To help expedite matters, please provide a good cell phone number where dispatch can reach you. If the driver leaves, and another ride has to be scheduled, there may be significant delays, up to 1 hour.

Early Pick-up

Sometimes the driver will arrive before your pick-up window because of light traffic or a cancellation before your trip. You are not obligated to board before your window, but the driver may inform you of that choice.

Late Pick-ups

If your driver does not arrive by the end of your 30-minute pick-up window, you may call LINK’s Dispatch Department at (925) 943-7433 to find out where your driver is, or you may locate your driver using the MyTransit app (see page 23). If your driver arrives later than your 30-minute pick-up window, you may decline the ride without penalty.

What should I do before the 30-minute window begins?

Before your 30-minute pick-up window begins, take time to prepare for your trip.

  • Check the weather forecast and dress for it. Carry water on hot days and acoat on cold or rainy days. Bring medications and any snacks you need.
  • Take a restroom break before boarding the vehicle. There is no restroomon LINK vehicles and drivers cannot stop.
  • Take important phone numbers with you, including the County ConnectionLINK number for Dispatch.
  • Make sure your mobility device is in good working order and your battery ischarged.
  • If you use oxygen, take a full tank in case your ride is longer than expected.
  • Make sure you have your LINK fare with you if you have not already paid inadvance.

The 30-minute window is starting. What should I do?

Be ready with your coat at the beginning of your 30-minute pick-up window. LINK can come at any time within that window. If possible, wait at a place where you can see the vehicle arrive.

How can I find out if the LINK vehicle is running on time?

LINK currently offers three ways to get information on your rides estimated time of arrival (ETA).

LINK Dispatch Department

LINK’s Dispatch Department is available throughout the day to answer calls including your “where’s my ride” questions. Using all available information, LINK’s Dispatch Department will be able to estimate your driver’s arrival at the pre-specified location.

My Transit App

My Transit App is a mobile application designed to specifically help you and your caregiver stay in touch with County Connection LINK service, by using any mobile device. The application provides you and your caregiver with:

  • Immediate access to real-time information
  • Trip notification such as estimated arrival times
  • Information on future scheduled trips
  • Quick links for direct access to the call center and County Connectionoffices
  • Ability to transmit your current location for assisting the drivers inlocating you more quickly
  • The ability to provide feedback or rate your trip experience once your tripis completed

Facility Transit Manager System

Your dialysis center, adult day center, group workshop and other similar facilities can be issued a web-based login to see all pick-up and drop-offs scheduled to a specific facility and the current estimated time of the vehicle’s arrival. With the Facility Transit Manager system, once the estimated time is within an hour of the current time, the facility can LINK directly to the vehicle location and track where the vehicle is located.

What if I reserve a lot of trips to the same places?

Standing reservations (also known as Subscription Service) are available on a limited basis for trips going to the same places at the same times.
Consider requesting a standing ride if you have a trip that fits all the following requirements:

  • Trip is taken at least once each week on the same day.
  • Trip is between the same locations and at the same time.
  • Trip has been taken consistently over the previous 30-day period.
  • Trip is expected to continue for at least 60 days or more.

You only need to call once to request a Standing Reservation ride. It takes approximately seven days to go into effect if we have space available.

It is important to remember that standing reservations are NOT guaranteed and may be capped at no more than 50% of all rides in any given period. If space is not available for your requested standing trip, you may ask to be placed on a waiting list, which is reviewed regularly. If you are unable to secure a standing ride trip, you may still call the day before, or up to seven days before, for each individual trip.

To avoid no-show associated penalties, it is important to cancel your Standing Order, such as if you are in the hospital or will be away for a certain period of time. We can pause your Standing Order for up to two weeks. After two weeks, we must allow others the opportunity to book Standing Order rides. You may continue to make reservations up to 7 days in advance for each trip. County Connection LINK will review your request again after 30 days.

What if I need to travel outside of Central Contra Costa County?

LINK provides service primarily to Central Costa County. However, we do offer an option to ADA Paratransit riders who need to travel within the Bay Area but outside of Central Contra Costa County.

If you need a ride to Alameda, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Solano, and West and East Contra Costa counties, we will provide a Regional Transfer Trip. This means that you will ride LINK for the Central Contra Costa County part of your trip, and then another paratransit provider(s) will meet you at a transfer location to take you the rest of the way. Although it is possible to schedule a regional trip the day before service, it is much more likely you will get the reservation you want if you call as early as you can. To assure that we can accommodate the coordination of your transfer trip with another agency, please call 5-7 days in advance of the transfer trip. The reservationist will make the arrangements with the other paratransit provider and confirm your trip one or two days before the scheduled trip.

Important Phone Numbers

  • LINK Reservations: 925-938-7433
  • LINK Cancellations: 925-943-1829
  • LINK (after hours): 925-943-1829
  • LINK Applications, Questions, Comments: 925-680-2066 -or- 925-680-2067
  • LINK Account Information: 925-938-7433
  • LINK Lost and Found: 925-938-7433
  • Fixed-Route Bus Service Information: 925-676-7500

AT&T’s California Relay Service is available for individuals with hearing/speech impairments: 1-800-735-2929 (TDD) or 1-800-735-2922 (Voice), or you may dial 711.