Eligibility For STAR



Applying for Certification

Applying for Certification:

STAR is public transportation for people who because of a disability or impairment are unable to use the regular fixed route (city) buses for some or all of their transportation needs. It is not based on income or age.  The decisions are based on the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) regarding a person’s use of public transportation.  Disability alone does not determine paratransit eligibility: the decision is based on your functional ability to use the fixed route and is not a medical decision.  What is decided is a determination of whether, as a practical matter, if you are prevented from using the fixed route bus system.

The Eligibility Process

Once a completed application is received, CDTA must review it and make a decision within 21 calendar days.  A letter with the explanation of the decision as well as a guide on how to use the service will be mailed to the applicant.


Applicants must meet one or more of the following criteria to become eligible for paratransit service.

A) The individual is unable, as a result of a physical, mental, visual or cognitive disability, to board, ride or disembark from buses in the fixed route system.

B) The individual can use (has the ability to use) an accessible vehicle but such a vehicle does not operate on the route that he/she wishes to travel. All CDTA buses are accessible for individuals with disabilities as well as individuals using wheelchairs.

C) The individual with a disability has a specific impairment related condition that prevents travel to a boarding location or from a disembarking location on the fixed route system.

Within 21 days of completing the functional assessment all applicants will be notified in writing of the decision. If a determination has not been made within 21 days of completing the functional assessment an applicant will get presumptive eligibility until a final decision is made.

Categories of Eligibility

People who are determined to be eligible for Paratransit Service are assigned an eligibility category that is consistent with their ability to use CDTA’s fixed route bus. Categories are:

Unconditional, if the applicant is determined to be unable to ever independently use the fixed route bus service, even with training. A rider will receive unconditional eligibility.

Temporary, if the applicant is unable to use the fixed route bus service for a limited period of time.

Transitional, if the applicant is determined to be able to learn to use the fixed route bus service with training.

Conditional, if the applicant can use the fixed route bus service sometimes, but may require Paratransit Service in special circumstances when the interaction of the individual's disability and the environment or a special circumstance creates a barrier for safe, independent use of the fixed route bus service for a particular trip. Examples of conditional eligibility includes people with extreme fatigue after dialysis, or a bus stop that requires a person who is blind to negotiate a dangerous pedestrian area, like a large open parking lot with no reference points.

Applicants who are approved will receive a letter outlining the type of service he or she will be entitled to and will receive a “How to Ride Guide”.

Applicants whose eligibility is denied will receive a letter that will explain the reasons for the denial and what their rights are.

If applicants disagree with the reasons for the denial or limitations of their eligibility, they have a right to appeal such a decision and the appeal process will be explained in the paperwork they receive.

For more information and any questions please contact the:

STAR Cerfication Department at (518) 482-2022 Option 4. Fax:518-437-8391

To apply for the STAR Program, click here.


Last Updated: 07/11/2022