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The RIDE Policies

More from The RIDE

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

Traveling with Guests

Personal Care Attendants (PCAs)

You can always bring a personal care attendant with you on your trip. There’s no charge for PCAs on The RIDE.

Other Guests and Service Animals

  • You are guaranteed space for 1 guest other than a PCA, and you may have other guests ride with you if space is available. RIDE fares apply per person.
  • Children need to ride in a car seat that is appropriate for their age and weight. School transportation is not provided.
  • Only service animals, as defined by the ADA, will be transported. They must ride tethered, leashed, or harnessed at their owner’s feet, not on the seat. Carriers are not allowed. Owners must have control over their service animals at all times. Riders with a service animal will only be transported in a van due to space constraints and for the safety and comfort of the service animal.
  • Other animals, including pets, comfort animals or therapy animals, are not allowed. Transportation will not be provided to those who do not follow this policy at time of pick-up.

Let The RIDE know if you’ll be traveling with anyone else, including a service animal, when you book your trip.

Guests must travel with you, to and from the same destination.

Keep in mind that your guests’ fares will be deducted from your RIDE account when you board.

Personal Items

Please limit bulky, heavy items whenever possible. Your driver must be able to carry them in one trip to or from the vehicle while at the same time safely assisting you.

Transportation will not be provided to those who do not follow this policy at the time of pick-up.

Rider Etiquette

Please remember that The RIDE is a shared space, and respect your fellow passengers, drivers, and transportation equipment. Follow these rider rules:

Do

  • Wear a seatbelt (including if you’re a wheelchair or scooter user).
  • Use headphones with personal audio devices.
  • Note that personal hygiene and perfumes can be objectionable to other passengers or cause allergic reactions.
  • Ask the driver to adjust the radio, including turning it on/off, changing the station, and turning up or down the volume. (The 2-way radio for dispatch can’t be turned off.)

Don’t

  • Stand while the vehicle is moving.
  • Eat or drink unless you need to for medical/dietary reasons. Let the driver know if this is the case.
  • Have loud conversations on your cellphone.
  • Bring hoverboards on RIDE vehicles.
  • Smoke, including e-cigarettes.
  • Tip your driver or give other gratuities.

Inappropriate or illegal behavior will not be tolerated, and may result in service suspension, police investigation, or other consequences.

Late Cancellation/No-show Policy

  • Late cancellation: Any trip canceled less than 1 hour before the scheduled pick-up time is a late cancellation violation. Changing the time of your trip is not considered a late cancellation, but please provide advance notice of changes to minimize disruptions in service.
  • No-show: If you are not at the pick-up location within 5 minutes of the driver’s arrival and they are unable to contact you it is a no-show violation. 

If you are delayed, call TRAC as soon as possible to request a new pickup time. This will trigger the premium non-ADA fare. TRAC will do its best to incorporate your modified trip request into the day’s schedule.

You may be issued a violation for excessive late cancellations or no-shows if:

  • You book more than 7 trips in a month and late cancel or no-show for at least 20% of them OR
  • You late cancel or no-show more than 7 trips in a month

You won’t be penalized for no-shows or cancellations that happen for reasons beyond your control (this includes, but is not limited to, trips missed due to operator error).

If you violate this policy, The RIDE will send you a written notice that includes a list of every late cancellation or no-show trip. After repeat violations, the notice may also include suspension start and end dates.

The consequences for violations in the same 12-month rolling period are:

  • First time: Written warning
  • 2 times: 1-week suspension
  • 3 times: 2-week suspension
  • 4 or more times: 4-week suspension

If you are suspended after 2 violations, any future scheduled trips will be canceled, including Subscription Service. 

Download the full No-show/Late Cancellation Policy

Visit our support page to learn how to appeal a warning or suspension.

Coming Soon: Routematch

In the coming months, we're implementing a new software system called Routematch to improve reservations, scheduling, and dispatch operations for The RIDE.

Learn more about The RIDE's software transition

If you are a Subscription Service customer, there will be a few changes for how you make reservations once we move to the new software.

No-shows

If you are not at the pick-up location within 5 minutes of the driver’s arrival and they are unable to contact you it is a no-show violation. Your vehicle arrival time will be announced during the third of 3 notification calls you’ll receive through Routematch.

To ensure customers are still using their subscriptions, the new software will cancel your subscription if you do not show up for 2 consecutive round-trip rides.

You will receive an automated phone call notifying you that your subscription has been canceled.

Please note: Your subscription service can easily be reinstated by calling 844-427-7433.

Lack of Funds in Your RIDE Account

Lack of funds in your RIDE account may cause your subscription to be canceled. Each day the software will compare your account balance with your subscription rides for the coming week. Your balance needs to be enough to cover all rides for the next 7 days.

If you do not have enough funds to cover the subscription trips for the week, you will receive multiple phone messages to alert you to add funds. If you do not add funds, your subscription will be canceled, and your upcoming trips will not be scheduled.

Please note: Your subscription service can easily be reinstated by calling 844-427-7433.

You can check your account balance through The RIDE web portal and add funds as noted above.

Keeping Rider Information Up to Date

Riders’ personal information must be kept up to date. There are several ways to update information for The RIDE depending on the type of change needed:

ADA Compliance

The RIDE is public transportation. The MBTA may change or update policies and still be ADA-compliant. Visit the ADA’s website or call 888-446-4511 (voice) or 800-877-8339 (TTY) for more information.