LINK Rules and Procedures – County Connection

LINK Rules and Procedures

What Can I Expect a County Connection LINK Driver To Do?

LINK drivers are required to:

  • Get out of the vehicle and let you know they have arrived.
  • Offer assistance such as pushing your wheelchair, offering a steadying armto help you walk safely and assisting you to get in and out of the vehiclesafely.
  • Carry a small load of packages to and from the vehicle (see package limitations).
  • Operate the vehicle and lift in a safe manner and safely secure yourwheelchair or other mobility device.
  • Remind you to wear your seatbelt.
  • Keep within sight of their vehicles when passengers are on board.
  • Collect the fare listed on their manifest.
  • Carry only the riders assigned to them along with their attendants andapproved companions.
  • Go only to the destinations listed on the manifest or as notified by thedispatcher.
  • Wear a uniform and a name tag.
  • Be courteous at all times.

Drivers are not allowed to:

  • Enter a rider’s residence or go past the main lobby of a public building.
  • Leave riders in the vehicle unattended.
  • Perform any personal care assistance such as assisting riders to dress orgo to the bathroom.
  • Smoke, eat or drink in the vehicle.
  • Use a cell phone while driving, play loud music or wear headphones.
  • Take information from the rider such as cancellations, changes inreservations, or taking a different route other than the one provided on thedriver’s tablet.
  • Accept tips.
  • Lift or carry riders or carry wheelchairs up and down stairs.
  • Administer medication

All drivers are familiar with basic first aid but are not medical professionals. If there is a medical or health emergency on-board such as a rider having a seizure or experiencing excessive bleeding after a dialysis treatment, the driver will pull over, call 911 and wait for trained help.

What is expected of me as a County Connection LINK rider?

Riders, their companions, and their personal care attendants must be responsible in their use of County Connection LINK service and follow all of its rules and expectations (detailed in Section 6).
Riders, companions, and personal care attendants should expect to:

  • Be ready at the start of their pick-up window. (This is a curb-to-curb service, with door–to-door service provided upon request only. Drivers must remain within eyesight of their vehicles.)
  • Always pay a fare when applicable.
  • Avoid no-shows and late or excessive cancellation of reservations.
  • Refrain from carrying fireworks, flammable liquids, or weapons thatthreaten the safety of the driver and other passengers.
  • Refrain from using abusive, threatening, obscene and/or racially offensivelanguage.
  • Not litter on or soil the vehicles during their ride.
  • Refrain from using the service fraudulently (e.g., intentionally allowingsomeone else to use LINK under your name).

To ensure the safety of the riders and the driver, we ask that riders adhere to a set of minimum required Rider Behavior Rules which include the following:

  • Enter and exit the vehicle voluntarily. This means the rider should not require an inordinate amount of coaxing from the driver. This could cause delays.
  • The rider must be able to follow the driver’s instructions.
  • Stay buckled in the seat or wheelchair while the vehicle is moving. Therider must not attempt to get up out of their seat while the vehicle is inmotion. This is unsafe.
  • Not attempt to exit the vehicle while it is in motion, at stop signs, stop lights,while in traffic or while picking up other passengers.
  • Refrain from hitting or touching other riders or the driver.
  • Not invite/engage sexual attention from other riders or the driver.
  • Refrain from abusing, physically and/or verbally, the driver and/or other passengers.

If you do not follow the Rider Behavior Rules, LINK will work with you, or your caregiver, to change the behavior. If the violations continue or if they are threatening to others, you may be suspended from LINK service. A first suspension will be for no more than 30 days. If a rider has had a prior suspension within the last year or is being suspended for severe misconduct, the suspension may be longer than 30 days. In case of extremely unsafe behavior, a rider may be suspended indefinitely.

Caregiver Responsibility

LINK drivers cannot act as attendants for Paratransit riders. Cognitively impaired riders may ride without attendants as long as they exhibit safe behaviors in the vehicle. It may be necessary for the caregiver to accompany an individual with a cognitive impairment or to provide a personal care attendant.

Riders with mental or cognitive impairments, or with severe memory loss, which prohibits them from being safely left on their own at the pick-up or drop-off point must have an attendant or caregiver present at both locations. If a responsible attendant or caregiver is not present when the driver attempts to drop-off these riders, dispatch will call the emergency contact person from the individual’s application. If a responsible attendant or caregiver is not located, the individual will be brought to the closest police station and the situation will be reported to adult protective services.

Who can I bring with me?

ADA eligible riders, their personal care attendants and companions are allowed to use County Connection LINK service. Both personal care attendants and companions must travel to and from the same destination as the eligible rider. You must inform the reservationist at the time you book your ride if you will have someone travelling with you.

  • Your personal care attendant (PCA) who will be assisting you during your trip will not have to pay a fare. (If you need assistance during your trips, please provide that information during your application process so a personal care attendant will be added to your file. LINK reserves the right to contact your health care professional to verify your need for an attendant.)
  • A companion, friend or relative (who is not your PCA) may travel withyou but must pay the same fare. Only one companion can be scheduled to ride with you. Additional companions can be added on the day of service based on availability ONLY.

If you use a PCA and are not currently certified to bring a PCA on LINK, call the Eligibility Department at 925-680-2138 and we will mail you the necessary paperwork, which may include a recertification. It is your responsibility to find a PCA for your trip. County Connection LINK does not provide a PCA.

Fraudulently claiming to travel with an attendant to avoid paying a fare for a companion may result in suspension of service.

Can Children travel on County Connection LINK Service?

Yes. All children until the age of 8, or until they reach a height of 4 feet 9 inches, must travel in a car seat. Parents/guardians must provide and install their own car seats. Drivers can help you carry the car seat but are not permitted to carry the children. LINK does not provide car seats and will not transport children without the appropriate car seat.

Children as eligible riders

Children whose disability (as opposed to their age) would prevent them from using the fixed route bus and trains by themselves may be eligible for LINK. Very few children under the age of 5 meet this requirement. Children who are under the age of 6 must travel with a Personal care attendant (like a parent or guardian). If an older child exhibits seriously disruptive behavior and/or poses safety concerns for themselves or others as a result of such behavior, the child must travel with a personal care attendant.

Children as companions

Each eligible rider may bring one child as a companion and may request on the day of service to bring additional children. If space is available, the request will be granted. The eligible rider must be able to manage the child on their own or with the help of a personal care attendant. The drivers cannot assist with managing children.

Children as attendants

Children above the age of 6 may travel as personal care attendants as long as they act in that capacity. The driver cannot perform personal duties for a rider or his/her child.

What Mobility Devices can I use on County Connection LINK?

All County Connection fixed route buses and paratransit vehicles are equipped with rider lifts or ramps that meet ADA accessible vehicle specifications. All ramps will accommodate mobility devices such as wheelchairs and three- wheeled scooters up to 48” long by 30” wide with a combined weight up to 800 pounds (including the passenger). Mobility devices that exceed these specifications may not be able to be accommodated. We do not transport gurneys.

For safety reasons it is suggested that all mobility devices be free of bags, baskets and any other attachments that may interfere with the securement system. Additionally, all passengers are required to wear a seatbelt. Lap belts will be provided to passengers in mobility devices that don’t have their own lap belt. Finally, please be aware that passengers in scooter type mobility devices may be asked to move to a seat. Shopping carts and strollers must fit under the seat or be secured so as to not pose a safety hazard.

Life Support Equipment

You can bring your respirator, portable oxygen or other life support equipment as long as it does not violate laws or rules related to transportation of hazardous materials. Your equipment must be small enough to fit into the paratransit vehicle and be managed by you or your personal care attendant.

Can I bring a service animal or a pet?

You may bring your guide dog or other service animal that has been trained to help you with your disability. The service animal must be under your direct supervision at all times. It must not soil or damage the vehicle, bark, growl or act in an aggressive manner. You may travel with a small pet as long as the animal is fully enclosed in a secure pet carrier that you can manage and hold on your lap or place securely at your feet.

Please tell the Reservationist if you intend to travel with a pet or service animal during your trip and please note no fare is charged for either the service animal or the small pet enclosed in pet carrier.