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LIFT Eligibility

LIFT Eligibility LIFT Eligibility

LIFT Certification Process

NCTD provides LIFT paratransit service to eligible individuals with disabilities who cannot board, ride, or navigate accessible fixed-route bus or train service because of their disabilities. Eligible individuals are those whose disabilities prevent them from using a NCTD lift-equipped bus or an accessible rail system. Eligibility certification for LIFT paratransit service consists of a completed application and a health care provider form.

Are you Eligible?

An individual is eligible to use LIFT if he/she has a disability and meets one of the following criteria:

  1. He/she is unable to board, ride, or disembark from an accessible vehicle without the assistance of another person (except for the operator of a lift or other boarding device).
  2. He/she is a person with a disability who can use accessible buses on routes that are not fully served by accessible buses, or when the bus stop is not accessible due to physical characteristics of the stop.
  3.  He/she has a specific impairment-related condition that prevents him/her from traveling to or from a boarding and disembarking location.

Under these criteria, NCTD has three categories of eligibility that are in compliance with 49 CFR 37.123(e):

  1. Unconditional Eligibility: This category of eligibility applies to those persons who are unable to use the fixed-route service under any circumstances due to his or her disability or medical condition. Included in this category is “[a]ny individual with a disability who is unable, as a result of a physical or mental impairment (including a vision impairment), and without the assistance of another individual (except the operator of a wheelchair lift or other boarding assistance device), to board, ride, or disembark from any vehicle on the system which is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.”
  2. Conditional Eligibility: In this type of eligibility, the person can be reasonably expected to make some trips on the fixed-route services. For example, a person may be able to reach bus stops that are no more than three blocks away, or a person may need paratransit service if there are paths of travel obstacles such as steep hills, deep snow, ice, or other obstacles. Another person may have a variable health condition; on some days, fixed-route use is possible and other days, it is not.
    Conditional Eligibility consists of a sub-category, trip-by-trip eligibility. Trip-by-Trip eligibility applies where the physical conditions at certain origins and/or destinations make use of the fixed-route system unreasonable. Eligibility is determined each time the eligible customer calls. Included in this category is “[a]ny individual with a disability who has a specific impairment-related condition which prevents such individual from traveling to a boarding location or from a disembarking location on such system.”
  3. Temporary Eligibility: Temporary Eligibility: This category of eligibility applies to those persons with temporary medical conditions or disabilities, which may prevent them from using the fixed-route system for a limited period of time.

Eligibility is NOT based on:

Age, economic condition, or inability to drive an automobile; Having a medical condition or a disability will not automatically qualify applicants for ADA paratransit eligibility.

NCTD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, ancestry, marital status, medical condition, or disability in the level and quality of transportation services and transit-related benefits, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, California Civil Code § 51 (Unruh Civil Rights Act), or California Code § 11135. Additionally, NCTD does not discriminate on the basis of any other protected status under state or federal law in the level and quality of transportation services and transit-related benefits. The NCTD Board has adopted Board Policy No. 26, Discrimination Complaint Procedures, providing prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging discrimination.

The paratransit certification process may take up to twenty-one (21) days. If a determination has not been made within twenty-one (21) days, the applicant will be treated as eligible until a determination is made.

Once the Certification
Process is Completed

Eligibility determination letters will be sent to the applicant, which will document whether the applicant is ADA paratransit eligible. This documentation will include the name of the eligible individual, the name of the transit provider, the telephone number of the paratransit coordinator, and expiration date for eligibility (if applicable), and any conditions or limitations on the individual’s eligibility, including the use of a personal attendant. The eligibility determination letter will also include information about the appeal process.

Renewals, Visitors and Appeals
Renewing Paratransit Eligibility

Customers will be notified by letter ninety (90) days prior to termination of their eligibility by ADARide. For this reason, contact LIFT at (760)726-1111 with any change. Since timely notice of expiration is offered, customers should anticipate that no extensions for eligibility certification will be granted.

Visitor Certification

NCTD provides ADA paratransit service to visitors with disabilities who do not live in the NCTD service area. Contact NCTD’s LIFT Call Center at (760)726-1111, Fax (442)262-3416 or TTY (760)901-5348. Visitors will need to provide NCTD with documentation that they are eligible for paratransit service in the jurisdiction in which they reside. If a visitor is unable to present this documentation, NCTD will require documentation of residency and if a disability is not apparent, proof of the disability. Acceptable proof of disability includes a letter from a doctor or the visitor’s statement of inability to use the fixed-route system. NCTD must receive documentation of eligibility for paratransit service for out-of-town visitors prior to the first desired day of travel. Visiting customers should be prepared to provide:

  1. The dates of travel
  2.  The destination addresses
  3. Contact Information
  4.  Emergency contact information
  5. Mobility devices to be used

NCTD will provide eligible visitors with LIFT service for any combination of twenty-one (21) days during any three hundred sixty-five (365) day period starting with the visitor’s first use of the service during that period. Visitors who wish to receive service beyond this twenty-one (21) day period must apply for paratransit eligibility with NCTD.

Appealing an Eligibility Decision

If you disagree with an eligibility determination, you have the right to appeal the decision. Requests to appeal a denial of eligibility must be received within 60 days of the date on the eligibility denial letter. Requests for an appeal must be sent in writing to NCTD’s Manager of Paratransit and Mobility Services at the following address:

Manager of Paratransit & Mobility Services

Attn: ADA Appeal Request
NCTD – North County Transit District
810 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA 92054


Via email to:

Once the request for an appeal is received it will be reviewed by an Appeals Review Committee of contracted Appeals Specialists whom are disability professionals.  An appeals hearing will be scheduled, and the Appeals Review Committee will issue a final written decision within 30 days of the appeal hearing. The decisions of the Appeals Review Committee shall be final.

Your original certification determination, as it relates to the eligibility decision you are appealing, will remain in effect until the final decision is made and your appeal is closed. However, if the Appeals Review Committee has not made a decision within 30 days after the hearing, temporary service will be provided. This temporary service will continue until a decision on the appeal is reached.

You will be contacted by the contracted Appeals Specialist via phone or email to set up the time and date of your appeal hearing. You are encouraged to attend the appeal hearing, although attendance is not mandatory. If persons requesting appeals cannot attend the hearing in person, they may request to participate via telephone or have another person(s) represent them at the hearing. If the individual or a designated representative is not present at the appeal hearing, the Appeals Review Committee decision will be based on the documentation submitted. All copies of the individual’s application and all supporting materials used in the appeals process shall remain confidential.

Information about NCTD’s BREEZE, FLEX, COASTER, and SPRINTER service(s) is available at For information about bus and train schedules, trip planning assistance, or to request this information in an alternative format, please call the NCTD Customer Service office at (760) 966-6500. If you have questions about this eligibility determination, please call the NCTD Paratransit Eligibility office at (760) 966-6645. Persons with hearing impairment should call 711 for the California Relay Service.