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How to Apply for The RIDE

More from The RIDE

Learn more about The RIDE, MBTA’s door-to-door, shared-ride paratransit service.

Who’s Eligible?

People who have a disability that prevents them from using MBTA buses, subways, or trolleys all or some of the time are eligible for The RIDE.

Keep in mind, your eligibility for The RIDE doesn't depend on the nature of your disability—it has to do with whether or not you can use public transit.

If you’ve had a medical emergency, your licensed healthcare provider can request 30 days of The RIDE for you that starts immediately. To continue to use The RIDE after the first 30 days, you need to apply.

How to Apply

To apply for The RIDE, you need to have an in-person interview at The RIDE Eligibility Center:

         1000 Massachusetts Avenue
         2nd Floor
         Boston, MA 02118

1. Call 617-337-2727 to set up an appointment.

All applicants (and 1 guest) can take The RIDE for free to their interview. Ask about arranging transportation when you call. 

Free parking is also available.

2. Have an interview with a Mobility Coordinator.

What to bring to your interview

RequiredYour contact information: Phone numbers, addressesOptionalList of current medications
RequiredLicensed healthcare provider’s contact information: Name, phone number, fax numberOptionalStatement from your healthcare provider about your disability
RequiredYour mobility devices: Wheelchair, scooter, cane, walker, etc.OptionalVisual Acuity or Field of Vision statement from a vision care provider if your vision is impaired
Required OptionalDiagnosis statement from your mental health care provider if you have a psychiatric condition

What to expect at your interview

You’ll tell the Mobility Coordinator about yourself and your circumstances.

Your interviewer will verify your disability.

Your interviewer may test your balance, strength, coordination, or range of motion.

After your interview

THE RIDE may contact your health care provider(s).

3. Get a decision.

Most applicants hear back in 2 to 3 business days. If your application needs follow-up, it may take longer.

You should receive written notification of The RIDE’s decision based on your completed application process within 21 days. 

If your eligibility determination is not made within 21 days of completing the application process, you will be able to use THE RIDE until a determination is made. You can contact the Eligibility Center with any questions.

If you disagree with the decision you receive, you can appeal. Instructions on how to appeal are included in your decision letter.

After You're Approved

If you’re approved, you can start scheduling trips as soon as you’ve added funds to your RIDE account. Read what to expect on The RIDE for more information.

You will also receive a certification of paratransit eligibility from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) after you’re approved. You can use it to take paratransit services when you travel outside the Boston area.

RIDE customers have to recertify their ADA status occasionally. You’ll get a reminder in the mail before your eligibility is set to expire.