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705 30th Street
Hoquiam, WA 98550
(360) 532-2770
(800) 562-9730

 

Specialized Van Service (SVS)

Specialized Van Service (SVS) is a public transportation service designed especially for people who are unable to use the regular fixed route bus service due to a disability or condition.  SVS is a shared-ride service that provides trips on a reservation basis to areas where Grays Harbor Transit operates regularly scheduled local bus service in Grays Harbor County only.  SVS service provides door-to-door service, or, in some instances, transportation to transit centers or bus stops to connect with fixed route bus service.  To download a SVS application, click here.

Service Area

SVS service area is 3/4 of a mile from the fixed route bus route in Grays Harbor County and up to 3 miles from the fixed route bus route in Aberdeen, Hoquiam, and South Aberdeen.

Scheduling a Ride

Reservations can be made by calling (360) 532-2770 ext. 2 or (800) 562-9730 ext. 2 Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 4:00 p.m.

Hours of operation mirror the fixed route bus schedule.

Service is not available on these holidays:  New Years Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

Trips can be scheduled up to a week in advance.  You will also need to schedule a return time (if applicable) at the reservation time unless it is for a medical appointment.  To expedite your call, please have available when you call:

  • Pencil and paper
  • Your Name
  • Exact address of where you want to go.
  • Time(s) and date(s) you would like to travel
  • Time(s) of any appointments you have.
  • Whether an attendant or guest will be riding with you.
  • Whether a service animal will accompany you.
  • Whether you will be using a mobility aid (i.e., wheelchair, walker, oxygen).
  • Return trip information.

Carry any needed medication with you in case there is a delay for any length of time.  If you are diabetic or hypoglycemic, please bring a small snack with you in case you travel longer than expected.  If you require oxygen, please make sure you have enough in your tank for the duration of your outing.

Please limit your onboard parcels (bags).  SVS operators can only assist you with the amount of packages or groceries as the operator can carry in one trip.  SVS operators are not permitted to lift or carry objects weighing more than 20 pounds.  If you have purchased a heavy or bulky item, please arrange with the store to have it delivered to your home rather than trying to carry it aboard the van.  SVS operators reserve the right to refuse to transport heavy or bulky items.

It is your responsibility to notify your SVS dispatcher if you move or use a temporary address.

For medical emergencies, call 9-1-1  If your condition is very fragile and you require specialized care during your trip, do not call SVS.  Our operators are not trained as paramedics.

Standing Rides - Repeating Scheduled Rides

A Standing ride is an ongoing, regularly scheduled reservation (for example: work, dialysis, physical therapy, church, etc.).  It is useful to schedule a standing ride if you go to the same place one or more days each week.  Standing rides may be requested once eligibility has been approved.  To avoid no-show penalties, please call the SVS dispatch to place your standing ride on hold during times of vacation, illness or any reason you will not be taking your scheduled trips.  Be sure to let the dispatcher also know when you want your standing ride reactivated. 

Standing rides will be removed or denied due to excessive cancels and/o rchanges.  You will be notified by phone if we cancel your standing ride.

Canceling Your Trip/No Shows

You should cancel your trip if you no longer need it.  It is important to call SVS to cancel your trip as soon as possible.  Last minute cancellations can slow down service and increase costs, Grays Harbor Transit's policy for cancelling SVS reservations:

  • Passengers must provide no less than two hour advance notice when canceling a SVS trip.  Less than two hours notice is counted as a no-show.
  • Because of the high demand of service, same day cancellations will be classified as "late cancellations" and three late cancellations within a continuous 30 day period are treated as one no-show.
  • More than 3 no-shows in a month may result in suspended service.
  • If you need to cancel more than one trip, be sure to tell the SVS dispatcher which trips to cancel.  Be sure to cancel your return trip if you have one scheduled.

SVS operators are not permitted to request, change, or cancel trips for clients

Suspension of SVS Service

There are occasions when customers violate SVS policies.  When this occurs, it may be necessary to suspend service for those individuals.

  • Behavior that presents a danger to the health or safety of our customers or a GHT employee.  Such behavior includes conduct that is violent, seriously disruptive, or illegal.
  • Excessive no-shows and late cancels.  If you have incurred three no-shows in a continuous 30 day period, the suspension process will begin.

Grays Harbor Transit will follow internal written procedures before suspending SVS transportation.  A copy of the Service suspension Procedure is mailed to all qualifying SVS clients.  If you would like to obtain a copy of the Suspension Process, contact the SVS dispatcher.

Specialized Service Responsibilities

Grays Harbor Transit makes every effort to hire, friendly, responsible drivers who have excellent driving records.  SVS operators are thoroughly trained in defensive driving and customer relations; which helps them understand and respond to the special needs of SVS customers.  You can expect from SVS:

  • Safe transportation
  • Courteous, professional operators and staff
  • Clean, well-maintained vehicles
  • Prompt accurate responses to your questions and concerns
  • Operator assistance from the door where your trip originates to the vehicle; and from the vehicle to the door of your destination (under some conditions, our policy of door-to-door service will not be available to passengers.  Alternate pick-up and drop-off locations may be established to address safety concerns.)
  • SVS will pick you up 15 minutes before or 15 minutes after your assigned pickup time.  This period of time is called the on-time window.  If the vehicle arrives anytime during this period, it is considered on time.  You must be ready to go anytime within this 30 minute window.

Operators can only wait five minutes for you, after arriving within the on time window, before being directed to move on and pick-up passengers who are waiting.  To avoid delays, missed appointments, and no-show penalties, please be ready to go when the van arrives to pick you up.  If the van has not arrived within 10 minutes of your scheduled pick-up time, please call SVS dispatch to inquire about your ride.

It is Grays Harbor Transit's policy and responsibility to ensure safe and timely transportation for all SVS customers.  You have a responsibility to use the system appropriately for the benefit of your fellow customers.  When one customer disrupts service due to inappropriate use or unrealistic expectations, service to others is affected. You are expected to follow the guidelines to ensure that everyone, including yourself, has the safest and most convenient ride possible.

Customer Responsibilities

The following is a partial list of the more significant customer responsibilities.  Grays Harbor Transit reserves the right to deny service to customers who do not comply with their responsibilities.

  • All customers are required to pay the appropriate fares
  • Customers are not allowed to request a SVS operator make an unscheduled stop for any purpose.  All scheduled stops are to go through the SVS dispatch.
  • Medical procedures of any kind are not allowed on board the vehicles.
  • If you are boarding or de-boarding at a large building or shopping mall, a designated outside entrance will be used.  You will be dropped off and picked up at the same entrance.
  • For your safety and security, you will be required to use the safety belt while riding on SVS.  Customers must remain seated and secured until the van has come to a complete stop.  Remain seated until the operator is ready to assist you out of the van.
  • Passengers are not to exit the van while operators are assisting other passengers.
  • SVS operators will not approach a house where there is a risk of encountering an unfriendly animal.  When the SVS operator arrives, make sure your pet is contained or on a leash.
  • All customers are expected to use appropriate social behavior while riding on GHT vehicles and when interacting with other customers or employees.  Fighting, throwing objects, pushing, shouting, spitting, rough behavior, and vulgar language are all prohibited.
  • For the comfort of health of all customers, personal hygiene should be maintained within acceptable standards.
  • All customers must comply with safety rules, which include not smoking, eating or drinking in service vans, (with approved exceptions), and not playing radios or other noise generating equipment.  Firearms or weapons of any type, hazardous chemicals, flammable liquids, explosives, acid, or any other articles or materials likely to cause harm to others are also prohibited.  Any article that could spill or has an offensive odor must be effectively sealed to prevent odor from escaping, or the contents from spilling.  Any unlawful bus conduct defined by Title 9.91.025 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW).
  • Under Washington State Law, RCW 46.61.687, any child less than three years of age must be placed in an approved and property secured child safety seat provided by the accompanying adult.  SVS does not provide child safety seats.  You will be denied travel if you do not have an approved safety seat for each child traveling with you who is under three years of age.
  • If you use a mobility aid (i.e., wheelchair or walker) it is your responsibility to keep it in good working condition.  Chairs and chair handles must be clean.  Tires on wheelchairs must be properly inflated, brakes must be in good working order.  If an operator believes that you cannot be safely assisted to or from the van, you will be refused transportation and a supervisor will be sent to investigate the problem.
  • Your wheelchair may be considered unsafe if the wheels or other parts are loose, if any parts of the wheelchair are broken, or if an electric wheelchair has a dead battery and cannot be moved without extreme effort the by SVS operator.  Wheelchair lifts make it possible to load wheelchairs and passengers with a combined weight of 600 lbs. in an efficient and safe manner.

Approved Equipment

Passengers will be transported provided the lift and vehicle can physically accommodate them, unless doing so is inconsistent with legitimate safety requirements.  Additionally, our agency can accommodate mobility devices that meet the following minimum standards.

  • Wheelchair base equipment has 3 or more wheels.
  • Walkers must be collapsible and able to be stored between seats.
  • The mobility device must be in good working order, with batteries charged, tires inflated and working brakes, footrests attached, and all parts secure (49 CFR 37.3)  Service may be denied until you have taken care of any equipment problem.  Wheelchair lifts make it possible to load wheelchairs and passengers with a combined 800 lbs. in an efficient and safe manner.

Eligibility Process

To qualify for SVS you must meet one or more of the following conditions, as set by the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act:

  • You are functionally unable to get on or off a transit bus, even with use of a wheelchair lift.  (Note:  All Transit vehicles are lift equipped)
  • You are physically unable to get to or from a regular GHT bus stop using your regular mobility device.
  • You are unable to understand and follow transit directions or understand information signs for reasons other than language.  Assistance with schedule and route information is available be calling the GHT office or online.
  • Disability certification from your health care professional does not automatically qualify you for SVS.  The information received from your doctor will be considered by GHT when processing your application.

Lack of personal transportation or convenience are not reasons for certification to ride our service.

Eligibility Process

Your eligibility is based on the information provided in the SVS application, personal interview and any information gathered through the eligibility process.  Grays Harbor Transit often seeks information from treatment or health care providers to help us define the functional abilities of applicants.

By law, Grays Harbor Transit must:

  • Make an eligibility determination within 21 days of receiving the completed application.
  • Provide written notification with reasons for our decision.
  • Provide the applicant the ability to appeal an eligibility denial or conditions of service.
  • Provide materials in accessible formats upon request.

To obtain a SVS application, Click here to download the SVS application,  complete the application and return by mail or fax (360) 532-2784