Transit

Lee Whitehead, Driver

81 North Lumpkin Street
Hawkinsville, GA 31036
Phone (478) 783-1013

Transit Documents and Forms

 To schedule a ride, call (478) 783-1013

Pulaski County Commission comprises the local government responsible for setting objectives for the rural public transportation system.  The local governments near-term objectives for the Section 5311 program are to improve the mobility of and quality of life for all county residents, and to best utilize the Section 5311 program by increasing utilization, maximizing revenues, and controlling costs.

Management of Pulaski County transit consists of the Pulaski County Sole Commissioner and the Pulaski County Clerk who share administrative, operational, hiring, & coordination responsibilities.  Pulaski Transit is administered by a third party operator, Middle Ga. Community Action Agency, Inc., which is a non-profit organization, with offices in Eastman, Ga.  Scheduling and dispatching are performed by MGCAA, from an office in Hawkinsville.

Objectives of the transit system are to increase ridership while increasing the passenger per mile ratio, increase the operating efficiency of the program, and increase revenues through public fares.

The rural public transportation service is a part of the county government, and therefore is regarded and treated as other county departments.  Being a county function, the relationship and flow of information to the county commission is direct.

 

Accessible formats of information are available upon request.

Accessible telecommunications  can be obtained by calling 711 for text to voice relay or (TTY) 1-800-5-0056 or (Voice) 1-800-255-0135 711.

Passenger Rules and RegulationsNo Show Suspension Appeal PolicyComplaint ProcedureService Animal PolicyReasonable Modification

  • There will be no transportation for any person without a trip order.
  • DHR Human Service Providers (HSP) must request needed transportation for DHR consumers three days in advance (when possible) by completing client registration forms, trip orders, trip cancellations etc., and faxing the orders to the appropriate dispatch office.
  • All riders must be properly dressed, practice proper hygiene and be ready promptly when the van arrives. The vehicle will wait up to five minutes before leaving and classifying the consumer as a “no show”. Pick up and drop off times will be determined by the dispatcher and/or driver based on the consumer manifest and consumer’s appointment time.
  • In consultation with the DHR regional Transportation Coordinator, we reserve the right to discontinue service to consumers for cause. The same consultation will be required for reinstatement.
  • Consumers cannot change pre-arranged trip appointment times. When necessary, the consumer will contact the HSP which will submit the appropriate change orders to the dispatcher via fax.
  • Consumers who violate transportation rules will be referred to the HSP for correction.
  • There will be no doubling back for forgotten personal items or for consumers who were not ready when the van arrived.
  • Consumers who require adult supervision and cannot be left alone must have an alternate address on file as the second destination in case no one is home at the time of attempted drop off. If no one is at the alternate address, the HSP will be notified and the consumer will be taken back to the HSP.
  • There is no free ride. In the event that an agency/organization will be responsible for the cost of transportation, such arrangements must be made at the time of trip scheduling.
  • All riders must wear seatbelts or other approved restraints.
  • Consumers with children will be responsible for providing a child restraint seat that is operational and appropriate for the size/age of the child. It is the custodial consumer’s responsibility, not the drivers, to supervise the children brought onto the van.
  • Minors (children under the age of 13) must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • Ambulatory consumers must be physically able to enter and exit the vehicle on their own with minimal assistance from the driver. Otherwise, such a consumer must have an escort to assist them.

Rules and Regulations

No Show Policy

No-shows increase Pulaski County’s operational costs, wastes taxpayers’ funds and cause an inconvenience to passengers who are riding the van or who wanted to but were unable to book a trip during the time of the no-show. An unchecked pattern of no-shows encourages waste and mistreatment of the service and passengers. Therefore, it is important to identify those passengers who have developed a pattern and practice of accumulating no-shows, based on their frequency of use.

In order to be subject to a Warning or Suspension, a passenger must have booked five (5) trips or more in a calendar month. Example: If a passenger books five (5) trips and no-shows 20% or more of these trips during the calendar month, they will be in violation of the no-show policy and subject to the progressive corrective action plan.

A passenger will be subject to the progressive corrective action plan only if both the minimum number of trips booked and the minimum number of no-shows are reached during a calendar month.

All suspension periods will begin on a Monday. The length of a passenger’s suspension will adhere to the progressive corrective action plan described as followed:

First violation in a rolling 12-month period: Verbal Warning

Second violation in a rolling 12-month period: Final Warning Letter

Third violation in a rolling 12-month period: 7 days

Fourth violation in a rolling 12-month period: 14 days

Fifth violation in a rolling 12-month period: 21 days

Sixth and subsequent violations in a rolling 12-month period: 30 days

A trip cancelled in accordance with this policy, (i.e., more than one hour before the start of the pick-up window) will not be counted in the total number of trips booked, nor included in the Verbal or Final Warning Letter.

The Transit Driver will retain records on passenger compliance regarding this policy. A Verbal Warning and copy of this policy will be issued upon the first violation. A Final Warning and copy of this policy will be issued upon the second violation. Further violation of this policy will result in suspension per the above schedule.

If a passenger no shows or late cancels because of circumstances beyond their control, they are to call  the dispatcher at: 478-783-1013 and explain the circumstance for the infraction. No shows or late cancels must be disputed within fifteen (15) business days after the end of the calendar month in which they occur. At this time, the passenger can request the removal of the no show or late cancel. Any no show or late cancel that is found to be in error will be removed from the client’s account.

 

Right of Appeal

Anyone affected by this policy is entitled to request an appeal. If a passenger disputes a suspension under this policy, they have the right to file an appeal. Appeal requests must be filed in writing per the instructions noted in the appeal section of the policy. If a passenger misses the appeal request deadline, that passenger’s service will be suspended on the date listed on the Suspension of Service Notification. A copy of the appeal process will be sent to the passenger along with the suspension letter.

Pulaski County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, available for review at fta.dot.gov.

 

Contact the County Clerk/ ADA Specialist at 478-783-4154  if you need further assistance.

 

Appeals Process

For customers who choose to appeal a suspension, steps must be followed in order listed below or you will lose the opportunity to appeal the suspension.

To appeal your service suspension, you must make either a verbal or written appeal of suspension to the County Clerk/ ADA Specialist. This must be done within 7 calendar days after the date of the “Letter of Suspension.”

If you disagree with the decision made in Step #1, your appeal is sent for an automatic second review. This review will be made by the Transit Director. You will be notified in writing of the Transit Director’s decision.

If you disagree with the decision made in Step #2, you may appeal the decision in writing to the County’s ADA Compliance Officer/Transportation Department. Your written request for appeal must be received by the Pulaski County within 5 calendar days after the date of the written decision in Step #2, from the Transit Director. The ADA Compliance Officer’s/Transportation Department Designee’s determination is final.

Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of race, color or national origin by Pulaski County Transit System may file a Title VI complaint by completing and submitting the agency’s Title VI Complaint Form (refer to Appendix E). Pulaski County Transit System investigates complaints received no more than 180 days after the alleged incident. Pulaski County Transit System will process complaints that are complete.

Once the complaint is received, Pulaski County Transit System will review it to determine if our office has jurisdiction. The complainant will receive an acknowledgement letter informing him/her whether the complaint will be investigated by our office.

Pulaski County Transit System has ninety (90) days to investigate the complaint. If more information is needed to resolve the case, Pulaski County Transit System may contact the complainant. The complainant has ten (10) business days from the date of the letter to send requested information to the investigator assigned to the case. If the investigator is not contacted by the complainant or does not receive the additional information within ten (10) business days, Pulaski County Transit System can administratively close the case. A case can also be administratively closed if the complainant no longer wishes to pursue their case.

After the investigator reviews the complaint, she/he will issue one of two letters to the complainant: a closure letter or a letter of finding (LOF). A closure letter summarizes the allegations and states that there was not a Title VI violation and that the case will be closed. A LOF summarizes the allegations and the interviews regarding the alleged incident, and explains whether any disciplinary action, additional training of the staff member or other action will occur. If the complainant wishes to appeal the decision, she/he has seven (7) days to do so from the time he/she receives the closure letter or the LOF.

The complaint procedure will be made available to the public by clicking on the links below.

Title VI Complaint Form – English

Formulario ReclamaciÓn – Española

Pulaski County Transit shall permit service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities in vehicles and facilities” pursuant to (§ 37.167(d)).

A service animal is defined as:
“Any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.”

Pulaski County Transit does not and cannot have a policy requiring riders to provide documentation for their service animal before boarding a bus or train or entering a facility; however, personnel may ask riders two questions: (1) is the animal a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

Service animals (e.g., a guide dog) ride at no additional charge but must be properly controlled. They must ride on the floor, or, if appropriate, on the lap of the customer. They may not use vehicle seats. Customers are responsible for the behavior and hygiene needs of their animals. Service can be refused or discontinued if a service animal is seriously disruptive.

No other animals are permitted.

Other service animal conditions described below:

Pulaski County Transit may refuse to transport service animals that are deemed to pose a direct threat to the health or safety of drivers or other riders, create a seriously disruptive atmosphere, or are otherwise not under the rider’s control. For example, a rider with a service dog is responsible for ensuring the dog does not bite the driver or other riders. Conversely, a dog that barks occasionally would likely not be considered out of the owner’s control.

A passenger’s request that the Pulaski County driver take charge of a service animal may be denied. Caring for a service animal is the responsibility of the passenger or a PCA.

Pulaski County Transit does not prescribe limits on the number of service animals that accompany riders on a single trip. Different service animals may provide different services to a rider during trips or at the rider’s destination.

Pulaski County Transit may ask riders for notification of their intent to ride with a service animal in order to help ensure adequate space is available for the animal. Pulaski County Transit will maintain such information in riders’ files.)

Other riders’ or agency personnel’s allergies to dogs or other animals are not grounds for denying service to a person accompanied by a service animal. Federal regulations explicitly state that service animals must be allowed to accompany individuals on vehicles and in facilities. Encountering a service animal in the transit or other environment is an expected part of being in public.

  1. Purpose

The purpose of the reasonable modification policy is to ensure that  Pulaski County Transit offers equal and effective opportunities and access to public transportation services for persons with disabilities and full compliance with the provisions of the Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

 

  1. Policy

Pulaski County Transit  is committed to providing equal access and opportunity to qualified individuals with disabilities in all programs, services and activities. Pulaski County Transit recognizes that in order to have equally effective opportunities and benefits, individuals with disabilities may need reasonable modifications to policies and procedures. Pulaski County Transit will adhere to all applicable federal and state laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable modifications, as necessary, to afford equal access to programs for persons with disabilities. Pulaski County Transit  does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission to, participation in, or receipt of services and benefits under any transit program or activity. Pulaski County Transit will take appropriate steps to ensure that persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate.

No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of Pulaski County Transit, or be subject to discrimination by Pulaski County Transit.

 

  1. Reasonable Modifications

A reasonable modification is a change or exception to a policy, practice, or procedure that allows disabled individuals to have equal access to programs, services, and activities. Pulaski County Transit will make reasonable modifications to policies, practices and procedures when necessary, to ensure access to transit services for qualified individuals with disabilities, unless:

 

  • Making the accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of the public transportation service.
  • Making the accommodation would create a direct threat to the health or safety of other passengers.
  • The individual with a disability is able to fully use Pulaski County Transit’s service without the accommodation being made.

For the purposes of this section, the term reasonable accommodation shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the term ‘‘reasonable modifications’’ as set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act Title II regulations at 28 CFR 35.130(b)(7), and not as it is defined or interpreted for the purposes of employment discrimination under Title I of the ADA (42 U.S.C. 12111–12112) and its implementing regulations at 29 CFR part 1630.

 

  1. Eligibility Criteria

An individual is eligible to be considered to receive a reasonable modification if that individual has: a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; a record of such impairment; or been regarded as having such impairment.

 

  1. Requests for Reasonable Modifications

 

Pulaski County Transit shall make information about how to contact Pulaski County Transit to make requests for reasonable modifications readily available to the public through its website and rider policy guidelines. Pulaski County Transit shall follow these procedures in taking requests:

  1. Individuals requesting modifications shall describe what they need in order to use the service.
  1. Individuals requesting modifications are not required to use the term ‘‘reasonable modification’’ when making a request. Personnel at Pulaski County Transit will determine if the request represents a reasonable modification and proceed in accommodating the request accordingly.
  1. Whenever feasible, Pulaski County Transit requests that individuals make such requests for modifications before Pulaski County Transit is expected to provide the modified service.
  1. Where a request for modification cannot practicably be made and determined in advance (g., because of a condition or barrier at the destination of a paratransit, demand response, or fixed route trip of which the individual with a disability was unaware until arriving), operating personnel shall make a determination of whether the modification should be provided at the time of the request. Operating personnel may consult with Pulaski County Transit’s management before making a determination to grant or deny the request.

 

Requests for accommodation may be made either orally or in writing. The reasonable accommodation process begins as soon as the request for accommodation is made.

The request can be submitted in any written format. Alternative means of filing a request, such as personal interviews, phone calls, or taped requests, will be made available for persons with disabilities if unable to communicate their request in writing or upon request.

 

  1. Interactive Process

When a request for accommodation is made, Pulaski County Transit and the individual requesting an accommodation must engage in a good faith interactive process to determine what, if any accommodation shall be provided. The individual and the Pulaski County Transit must communicate with each other about the request, the process for determining whether an accommodation will be provided, and the potential accommodations. Communication is a priority throughout the entire process.

 

  1. Time Frame for Processing Requests and Providing Reasonable Modification

Pulaski County Transit will process requests for reasonable accommodation and then provide accommodations, where appropriate, in as short a time frame as reasonably possible. Pulaski County Transit recognizes, however, that the time necessary to process a request will depend on the nature of the accommodation(s) requested and whether it is necessary to obtain supporting information.

 

  1. Granting a Reasonable Modification Request

As soon as Pulaski County Transit determines that a reasonable accommodation will be provided, that decision shall be immediately communicated to the individual. This notice must be in writing in order to maintain the required information for reporting purposes. Upon request, alternative means of response will be provided.

In choosing among alternatives for meeting nondiscrimination and accessibility requirements with respect to new, altered, or existing facilities, or designated or specified transportation services, Pulaski County Transit shall give priority to those methods that offer services, programs, and activities to qualified individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of individuals with disabilities.

 

  1. Denying a Reasonable Modification Request

As soon as Pulaski County Transit determines that a request for reasonable accommodation will be denied, Pulaski County Transit will communicate the basis for the decision in writing to the individual requesting the modification. The explanation for the denial will clearly state:

 

  1. the specific reasons for the denial;
  1. any alternative accommodation that may create the same access to transit services as requested by the individual; and
  1. the opportunity to file a complaint relative to the Pulaski County Transit’s decision on the request.
  1. Complaint Process

Pulaski County Transit has a process for investigating and tracking complaints from qualified individuals. These procedures shall be posted on the Pulaski County Transit’s website and will be provided to any individual where the Pulaski County Transit has denied a request for accommodation. The process and any forms necessary to file a complaint are readily available from the web. Alternative means of filing complaints, such as personal interviews, phone calls, or taped requests, will be made available for persons with disabilities if unable to communicate their request in writing or upon request.

Any person who believes she or he has been discriminated against in obtaining a reasonable modification may file a complaint by completing and submitting a Pulaski County Transit’s Reasonable Modification Complaint Form.  Pulaski County Transit investigates complaints received no more than 30 days after receipt. Pulaski County Transit will process complaints that are complete. Once the complaint is received, the complainant will receive an acknowledgement of receipt. If more information is needed to resolve the complaint, Pulaski County Transit may contact the complainant. The complainant has 30 business days from the date of the letter to send requested information to Pulaski County Transit.

If Pulaski County Transit is not contacted by the complainant or does not receive the additional information within 30 business days, the Pulaski County Transit may administratively close the complaint. In addition, a complaint may be administratively closed if the complainant no longer wishes to pursue their case.

After Pulaski County Transit investigates the complaint, a decision will be rendered in writing to the complainant. Pulaski County Transit will issue either a Letter of Closure or Letter of Finding.

  1. Letter of Finding – This letter will summarize the complaint, any interviews conducted regarding the complaint, and explains what actions will be taken by Pulaski County Transit to address the complaint.
  2. Letter of Closure – This letter will explain why Pulaski County Transit has determined that the complaint does not merit accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act and that the complaint will be closed.

If the complainant disagrees with the decision of Pulaski County Transit, an opportunity to appeal the decision may be pursued provided the complaint files notice of appeal within 21 days of the initial decision of Pulaski County Transit.

In the event of appeal, the complainant will be granted all due process, including the ability to be present additional evidence, present the case in person during an appeal hearing, and to be represented by counsel.

 

  1. Designated Employee

 Pulaski County Transit shall designate one official within the organization responsible for processing reasonable modification requests and handling complaints. This individual is:

 

Laurie Obert-Thorn, County Clerk
Pulaski County Transit
45 S. Lumpkin St.
Hawkinsville, GA 31036
478-783-4154
laurie@pulaskico.com

 

  1. Record Retention

Pulaski County Transit will maintain all records related to reasonable modification requests and denials for at least three (3) years.