Huron Transit Corporation d.b.a. Thumb Area Transit (“HTC/TAT”) is an open-door, general public transportation provider, serving Huron County, Michigan. Any and all persons in the HTC/TAT service area shall receive service so long as they adhere to HTC/TAT’s policies, terms, schedules, and conditions.
All passengers are expected to comply with the following standards:
- Fares must be paid upon boarding, unless other suitable arrangements have been made in advance. Have exact fare, pass, ticket, or transfer ready when boarding. Operators do not carry change or handle cash.
- Passengers must remain seated and use a seat belt, or stand quietly holding onto handrail or seat isle handle (if conditions require standing) while the bus is in motion. Do not take more than one (1) seat if the bus is crowded.
- Parents must keep their children seated for the entire trip. Infants should be held on the passenger’s lap for safety purposes. Strollers must be folded and kept out of the way of other passengers.
- Passengers may not carry hazardous materials, fireworks, or weapons on board the bus.
- Do not engage in any unnecessary conversations with the driver.
- Carry-on items are limited to only what a passenger can personally manage. Large items must be secured in designated locations in the vehicle.
- Radios may be used with headphones, at low volume, so as not to disturb other passengers.
- Causing disturbances, or harassment of other passengers or the bus driver, is strictly prohibited. Fighting, throwing objects, pushing, shouting, rough behavior, and vulgar language are forbidden.
- Eating, drinking, smoking, and littering are not permitted in buses. Vandalism/graffiti to seats or other parts of the bus are prohibited.
- Shirts and shoes must be worn in the vehicle. All passengers should be reasonably clean and free of extreme or unpleasant odors.
- Service animals must be on a leash or in a container; be under their owner’s physical control; and behave appropriately. They may not sit on vehicle seats.
- Animals which are typically or reasonably domesticated pets will be allowed on HTC/TAT vehicles only if they are transported in a suitable container. Pet and container together must not weigh more than 25 pounds.
The above rules are not intended to be all inclusive of proper standards of conduct or other obligations of passengers. Passengers who do not conduct themselves in accordance with HTC/TAT standards are subject to removal, suspension, or termination of services, at the sole discretion of HTC/TAT.
Agency Authorized Transportation
HTC/TAT will work closely with other agencies, schools, and private business interests, to provide quality transportation. In the event that a third party sponsors transportation or HTC/TAT services:
- It is the responsibility of the third party to pay the established cost for the passengers’ travel.
- HTC/TAT will expect and receive payments from the third party.
- The third party is directly responsible to HTC/TAT for additional costs incurred in the transport of their client, even if a fourth or fifth party is responsible for the additional service/cost overruns.
- Failure of the third party to pay for additional services may result in administrative measures up to, and including, termination of services to the third party and its clients.
HTC/TAT’s goal is to provide transportation services on a timely basis with regard to both passenger pick-up and drop-off. HTC/TAT’s policy is to arrive at passenger origins and destinations as close to scheduled times as possible. “NO SHOWS” cause schedule disruptions, and create unnecessary burdens and expense. Therefore:
- HTC/TAT drivers will wait three (3) minutes at the passenger origin, periodically sounding the horn, or in other ways signaling vehicle arrival. Note: Buses that are running behind schedule may not wait a full three (3) minutes, as it is expected that passengers will already be at the pick-up point.
- If, after three (3) minutes, no passenger appears, the ride request will be deemed a “NO SHOW”, and the vehicle will proceed with its route.
- “NO SHOW” passengers will receive no further service, unless and until the “NO SHOW” passenger (or the third-party provider) pays the cash fare for a previous “NO SHOW” the next time service is requested and received.
HTC/TAT is committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities have availability to vehicles that safely meet their basic mobility needs. In this regard:
- While individuals in wheel chairs will be provided with transportation, operators will not reserve, board, or transport passengers who must remain in their mobility devices if the device cannot be safely and adequately secured by existing wheelchair locks or straps at the appropriate passenger stations.
- Such passengers will be transported if they are able, and willing, to transfer from an inappropriate mobility device to a regular passenger seat.
On occasion, HTC/TAT services may be utilized to the point that all seating is occupied. In such an event, the following is acceptable:
- Passengers on vehicles equipped with overhead handrails or handgrips which are part of the seat backing, will be permitted to stand.
- The maximum number of passengers permitted to stand is equal to one-half (½) of total seating capacity (i.e. a 22 passenger vehicle may stand 11 persons, for a total capacity of 33).
- HTC/TAT, in its sole discretion, will determine whether passengers are permitted to stand. Agencies or individuals who refuse to accept HTC/TAT’s determination must either:
- delay their trip until sufficient seating is readily and reasonably available (per HTC/TAT’s schedules, modes, and service priorities);
- fund the additional vehicles necessary to ensure seating for themselves and their clients.
In addition to passengers, HTC/TAT may be asked to transport other items. Although bus transit is not a moving service for miscellaneous purposes, HTC/TAT is pleased to assist persons in the reasonable movement of goods. However, in such cases, the following shall apply:
- HTC/TAT staff shall take no role in carrying, placing, or securing parcels. Package sender shall bring parcel(s) to vehicle and pay Basic Fare at point of origin. Package receiver shall retrieve parcel(s) from bus at destination.
- HTC/TAT assumes no responsibility for damage, breakage, or loss of parcels.
- Parcels exceeding fifty (50) pounds and/or eight (8) cubic feet will not be transported.
- Service may be refused to parcels that may be more appropriately delivered by the postal service or other carriers; or for any other reason as determined by the operating staff.
- HTC/TAT reserves the right to refuse to transport exceptional items such as furniture, bicycles, and other items which are not reasonably or uniformly sized and shaped.
- Absolutely no flammable or explosive goods are to be transported via HTC/TAT vehicles.
In furtherance of its “open-door” transportation policy, in addition to the general public, HTC/TAT has chosen, or is required, to establish definitions, services, and fare structures that pertain to certain passenger categories:
- SENIOR/ELDERLY – a person in this category has attained his/her 60th birthday. Such passengers may ride regularly scheduled HTC/TAT services at one-half (½) the basic one-way fare.
- HANDICAPPED/DISABLED – a person suffering from a temporary or permanent physical, mental, or emotional impairment which interferes with their mobility. They may ride regularly scheduled services at one-half (½) the basic one-way fare.
- YOUTH – a person who is taller than 36”, and is between the ages of 5 and 18 years. They may ride for one-half (½) the basic one-way fare.
- HANDICAPPED/DISABLED AIDES – While HTC/TAT personnel are required to assist any and all passengers when getting On or Off the bus, getting To and From the bus is solely the responsibility of the passenger. If, in the sole opinion of HTC/TAT management, a disabled/handicapped customer requires assistance to safely approach or depart the immediate area of a vehicle, that person shall, solely by means of their own, acquire the services of an aide for delivering the rider to and retrieving the rider from the vehicle. One (1) aide may ride free of fare, when accompanying a wheelchair or other mobility-impaired rider. Additional family, friends, or volunteers accompanying the rider shall pay the established fare.
- FREE – in addition to aides, the following may ride free of fare: 1. HTC/TAT employees and members of their immediate household; 2. Persons under five (5) years of age when accompanied by an adult.
Passengers seeking to pay less than the Basic Adult Fare may be required to substantiate their reasons for requesting a reduced or special fare.
Specialized Service Safety Policy
- Riders from a home or agency shall not be outside, unattended prior to bus arrival. Home or agency staff shall not allow them to approach the bus until the vehicle has come to a complete stop.
- Home or agency staff shall provide all necessary physical assistance, and shall monitor/accompany clients all the way to the bus. Staff shall remain on monitor/assist duty until last rider has boarded, the bus door is closed, and the vehicle is ready to proceed.
- All passengers utilizing wheelchairs shall have an engaged lap/seat belt securing them in chair prior to boarding or de-boarding bus.
- Passengers shall not be permitted to begin de-boarding until home or agency staff arrives at the bus. Staff shall remain at bus door until passengers are off the vehicle. Further, staff shall remain between vehicle and passengers until all are safely and completely away from the bus.
- Children are not allowed to depart from the bus until a parent or guardian has been seen at the drop off location. If a parent/guardian chooses to allow their child to disembark from the bus without a guardian present, prior permission must be given by filling out the following Authorization to Disembark form. The form must be returned to the Dispatch Office.
HTC/TAT recognizes its commitment to provide time-sensitive services to the customers who are truly dependent upon public transit services. By way of honoring that commitment, HTC/TAT has established the following priorities for scheduling, dispatching, and assigning HTC/TAT vehicles and resources:
- PRIORITY ONE – Wheelchairs: any wheelchair-bound person shall have top priority for the first available, lift-equipped vehicle in their area, according to modes and available schedules.
- PRIORITY TWO – Special Reservations: services, established in advance, to serve the same passenger, with the same origin(s) and destination(s) at the same time of every weekday.
- PRIORITY THREE – Normal Reservations: services that are reserved at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of service need.
- PRIORITY FOUR – Demand Response Reservations: passengers who call HTC/TAT at least one (1) hour in advance of their service need.
- PRIORITY FIVE – On Demand: passengers who call less than one (1) hour in advance of their service need. While HTC/TAT recognizes its role of providing demand-actuated, responsive, transit, “last minute” requests for service place additional burdens on resources, flexibility and HTC/TAT’s need to serve transit dependent passengers who place requests as early as possible. Consequently, HTC/TAT will ensure that the needs of Wheelchair and Reserved Ride passengers are fully met before addressing the needs of On Demand passengers.
HTC/TAT does not discriminate, and will not tolerate discrimination, in providing time-sensitive transportation on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, height, weight, veteran or marital status, or membership in any other protected group. HTC/TAT’s methods of allocating service are based upon frequency of need, advance planning, and economic needs. Social status has no part, except as mandated by law, in the timed allocation of resources.