Steps to Become a Rider

  1. You must be a resident of Highland, Waterford or White Lake Township or the City of Walled Lake, with proof of residency. If your mailing address is for another community but you pay property taxes to one of the WOTA communities you may register to ride.
  2. You must be either a senior (at least 55 years old) or disabled (18+ years old, with professional verification).
  3. Complete the following forms and email to: info@RideWOTA.org.  If you don’t have internet access you can pick one up at the office at: 205 W. Livingston Rd, Highland, MI 48357; or one can be mailed to you by calling (248) 887-4979.
    1.   WOTA Registration Passenger Information Form
    2.   Proof of residency (driver’s license, current utility bill, etc.) with your name and address on it.
    3.   If disabled, a Professional Verification Form is to be completed by the doctor, counselor, etc. proving  your disability

The process will generally take 2-4 days to be registered once all documents have been received.

Email the above referenced forms to: info@ridewota.org.  If you don’t have internet access, forms are available at the WOTA office or can be mailed to you.

Rules to Follow Once a Rider

  1. WOTA is NOT meant to be your only means of transportation.
  2. NO ride is guaranteed.
  3. There will be times we may not accommodate your schedule.
  4. WOTA is demand response public transportation and schedules change daily based on rides that day, how many people are on the vehicle, traffic, weather, late passengers, issues with passengers, etc. We have no fixed routes.  Please be patient and understand your ride will not be the same every time.  We have different drivers and new routes daily.
  5. Rides are based on a first come, first serve basis, with priority given to:
    1. Work Rides (available from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Monday to Friday)
    2. Medical Appointments (as early as 7:00 am for tests)
    3. Shopping for food
    4. Leisure Activities
    5. Second stop rides (must be pre-scheduled)
    6. Other types of rides are available but may not be able to be guaranteed at time of call. You may be put on a wait list until the day before, if schedule is busy. It is best to give Dispatch a wide time frame to accommodate lower priority rides.
  6. Inclement Weather:  WOTA will consult with local authorities to determine if the roads are safe in each community.  If we must cancel trips for weather, we will leave a message phone system, posted on the website and Facebook page for you to check.  Since WOTA covers a large area, we reserve the right to close specific areas or limit rides to work and medical appointments only.
  7. All driveways, walk-ways and private roads must be cleared. Buses cannot drive under overhangs.
  8. WOTA gladly accepts donations by either:
    1. Sealed envelopes with donations may be given to the drivers.
    2. Checks written out to Ride With Pride sent to: WOTA, 205 W. Livingston Rd., Highland, MI 48357
      A receipt with our 501c3 number will be sent to you for your taxes.
  9.  Hours of Operation:
    Driver:  Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Office:  Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  10. Scheduling Policy – Call (248) 887-4979
    1. Scheduling Hours: Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    2. You may schedule up to 1 year in advance with up to 2 appointments per day.
      Note: second stops are lowest priority and will be permitted when time allows. You must schedule a second stop before your ride if you think you will need one, such as going to the doctor then pharmacy afterwards. You can always cancel that second stop. There is a $2.50 charge for a second stop.
    3. Must call 48 hours ahead of appointment, no later than 3 p.m. (2 days prior. You may schedule up to 12 months in advance.)
    4. Weekends are not included in the 48 hour limit, so appointments made after 3 p.m. on Friday will be for the following Tuesday or later.
    5. Riders must clearly identify:
      1. Destination address.
      2. Specific times: always give appointment time, Dispatcher will determine your pickup time.
      3. Number of passengers (ALL passengers must be 18+ and registered).
      4. Please specify if lift equipped vehicle is required.
      5. Voicemail is not available to schedule rides you must speak to dispatch between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.
      6. Dispatcher will give you a time and day when you schedule your ride and will not call back unless you are on a wait list.
      7. You must remember your time and day of pick up and be ready and waiting 15 minutes in advance of pickup time. We have a 15-minute window of time either before scheduled time or after that you may be picked up. If you are not ready for pickup when the driver arrives, you may be left and it will be counted against you as a no-show.  Continued tardiness or not cancelling will result in warnings and possible loss of service.
      8. Driver will wait up to 5 minutes for rider acknowledgement and a call will be attempted before leaving. If the driver arrives and you must be delayed, call dispatch at (248) 887-4979 and notify them of the delay. If the driver can wait s/he will, if not another driver may/may not be sent.
      9. Standing appointments may be scheduled. Remember to call and cancel if not going.
      10. WOTA will not schedule a return ride from any procedure that involves anesthesia.
      11. All WOTA Vehicles are handicap-accessible with wheelchair lifts.
  11. Cancellation Policy:
    1. You may call (248) 887-4979 to cancel rides 24 hours a day.
    2. Voicemail is available to cancel rides at any time.
    3. You must cancel at least 4 hours ahead of your scheduled time or it will be considered a no-show.
    4. If you have 3 no-shows (or late cancels) in one-month period, this may result in a loss of riding privileges and be put on probationary status for 30 days.
  12. Fare Policy:
    1. The amount charged per ride (one way) is $2.50.
    2. If rider is not ready when the bus arrives, the bus will leave and the rider will be charged $2.50 for a no-show. If Dispatch can send another bus to pick up the rider, they will be charged $2.50 again for that ride. All riders must be ready for their ride 15 minutes AHEAD of scheduled pick up times.
    3. There is a $2.50 charge for each time you get on the vehicle. So, if you are scheduled for two stops you will have to pay two fares, plus your return home.
    4. Late cancellations (less than 4 hours) will not be charged but will count as one of the three late/no-shows allowed in one month. Three no-shows or late cancellations in one month may lose service the following month. The Director will make determinations regarding extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
    5. Aides or companions ride free but MUST be registered.
  13. How to Pay for your ride:
    1. Riders may pay with:
      1. Checks made out to WOTA.
      2. Exact cash fare only.  No change will be given by drivers.
      3. Pre-paid tickets:  Tickets are available for purchase on the bus or by contacting the office.  Tickets may be purchased individually for $2.50 or in packs of 10.  (Packs of 10 include 1 free ticket)  Refunds will not be given for lost tickets once received. There is no cash value for tickets once purchased.
    2. Invoiced Riders: Workers and frequent riders (pre-scheduled, routine appointments) may use invoicing to pay for rides.  WOTA bills monthly; if you are behind more than 2 months, no rides may be scheduled until the balance has been paid.
    3. Pre-Payment: Pre-payment may be paid with cash or check by mail or in-person at our office from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. (Monday through Friday) at 205 W. Livingston Rd., Highland, MI 48357. Payment can be given to the driver in a sealed envelope with the rider’s name on it.

Accessibility Requirements

  1. WOTA provides handicap transportation with wheelchair lifts Monday through Friday.
  2. Please specify when scheduling if you have a walker, chair, scooter and/or travel cart AND if you need additional assistance in order to allow enough time between stops. Drivers cannot be at your location for more than 10 minutes.
  3. WOTA drivers are instructed to assist riders from door of pickup (not within door) to door of destination. Drivers are instructed in wheelchair handling and will be responsible to transport the rider into the vehicle with the lift and properly secure the chair and passenger. Passengers must follow WOTA’s lockdown procedures for wheelchairs and scooters or they will NOT be allowed to ride.
  4. Riders in wheelchairs must have their wheelchairs locked down and they MUST have a seat belt on them.  Anyone refusing to be belted will be escorted off the vehicle and their emergency contact will be notified.
  5. Disabled persons who are not wheelchair-bound must be able to board and exit the bus unassisted, and and control behavior to not endanger themselves or others. If this is not possible, an aide must accompany the rider.
  6. Companions ride free.
  7. All pickup and drop off points must be handicapped accessible.
  8. WOTA drivers are not allowed to bring wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, travel carts or similar devices down stairs or over door thresholds.
  9. Riders who cannot provide handicap accessible pick-up or drop-off points must furnish their own assistance to and from the vehicle.

Other Rules and Guidelines

  1. The driver can only take the passenger to the destination that was scheduled with Dispatch.  Drivers cannot make scheduling adjustments; these must be done ahead of time with Dispatch.
  2. WOTA does not allow transportation for medical emergencies. Call 911.
  3. WOTA drivers are not permitted to handle or deliver any medications of the riders.
  4. Companion riders (18 years or older) may ride on WOTA vehicles free of charge, but they MUST have a registration form on file with the Dispatch office prior to riding.
  5. No guns, knives or weapons of any kind will be permitted on our vehicles.
  6. No hazardous, explosive or corrosive materials will be permitted on our vehicles.
  7. WOTA does not transport any animals (except for service dogs), furniture or appliances.
  8. WOTA drivers will assist passengers on and off the vehicles, as needed. Please report any driver who does not assist you if needed.
  9. A one (1) cart limit of groceries is allowed per person on WOTA vehicles.  Drivers will assist with groceries but cannot do the entire job; if additional assistance is needed we suggest a companion rider.
  10. You must wear your seat belt while on the WOTA vehicle.
  11. No smoking or use of electronic cigarettes is allowed on the WOTA vehicle.
  12. No alcohol or drugs are allowed to be used on the vehicles at any time. Any passenger visibly inebriated will be escorted off the vehicle immediately.
  13. No open containers or consumption of food and drink is allowed on the vehicle.
  14. If a passenger is verbally or physically abusing or harassing any WOTA passenger and/or employee, that passenger is a cause for an unsafe condition and subject to probation and/or a loss of service immediately. Passengers will be immediately returned home or will not have a return ride home from destination.
  15. If a passenger does not use proper hygiene and it affects the driver or other passengers, they will be issued a warning and if it occurs again, they will not be allowed to ride for one week. A third occurrence will result in probation for 30 days with possible permanent loss of service.
  16. Passengers are to refrain from advising, bullying, yelling, harassing or being argumentative with the driver, dispatchers and riders. Such behavior will result in a warning and/or an immediate loss of service if the action is severe.  Drivers, dispatchers and riders are always to be treated with respect.

Customer Complaints

INFORMAL COMPLAINT

  1. A customer who has a complaint may call the Dispatch office to try to resolve the matter.
  2. If the matter is not resolved at this level, the customer may contact the Director via telephone. The Director will investigate and decide how to resolve the matter.

FORMAL COMPLAINT

  1. If the customer has gone through the informal complaint process and is not satisfied, the customer may file a written complaint with the Director within five (5) business days of the conclusion of the informal process.
  2. The Director will, within five (5) business days of receiving the written complaint, conduct a hearing with the complainant, their representative, and any staff involved in the matter in order to seek equitable resolution of the matter. The results of this hearing will be communicated in writing to the complainant within five (5) business days of the hearing.
  3. If the complainant remains unsatisfied, s/he may appeal through a signed, written statement to the WOTA Board within five (5) business days of the receipt of the Director’s response in Step 2. To try and resolve the grievance, the WOTA Board shall meet with the concerned parties and their representative within forty (40) days of the receipt of such an appeal. A copy of the Board’s disposition of the appeal shall be sent to each concerned party within ten (10) business days of this meeting.

WOTA Staff Responsibilities

  1. To pick-up riders within 15 minutes of scheduled time, to notify rider and/or office of anticipated pick-up time if not within a 15-minute window. The driver is not responsible for delays due to weather or traffic but does need to notify the office as soon as s/he suspects s/he will be late.
  2. To provide safety-related assistance for boarding and exiting.
  3. To provide a generally safe and comfortable ride.
  4. To provide excellent and courteous customer service.
  5. To report any unusual or unauthorized activity.
  6. To provide clear communication if changes occur that may impact the rider.
  7. To provide on-time service, if possible, for appointments and work.

NOTE:  If we suspect something is amiss, we reserve the right to call for a non-emergent welfare check to ensure your safety and well-being.