C-VAN Rider's Handbook
(Download a PDF of the C-VAN Rider's Handbook.)
Making a Reservation
Please provide information in the following order:
- Passenger name;
- Let us know if you need assistance from your door to the bus, or if a personal care attendant is riding with you;
- Street address of pick up;
- Street address of destination;
- Pick up time (for medical/dental transportation, please provide your appointment time);
- Pick up date;
- Guest/companions/personal care attendant;
- Mobility equipment and type;
- Name and telephone number of destination;
- Return trip or new destination address; and
- Pick up time for return trip or new destination.
Important: Your bus will arrive within a 30-minute pick up time period. C-VAN will tell you when your 30-minute pick up time begins and ends. Please be ready to ride. You are not obligated to board the bus if it is early.
Negotiating a Ride
Please be flexible when planning your ride. Passenger capacity may require that you select a different time and day for your trip. C-VAN will do everything possible to accommodate your first request, but have an alternative ready, just in case.
Faxing Ride Requests
Ride requests can be faxed to C-VAN, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Faxed requests need 2 days' advance notice to process. Ride confirmation will be faxed back to the customer. Please use C-VAN's fax request form when making a request. Forms are available by calling (360) 695-8918. C-VAN's fax number is: (360) 906-7495.
Scheduling Standing Rides
Regular trips that begin/end at the same location, time and continue for at least 3 or more months are Standing Rides. To request a Standing Ride:
- Follow the ride reservation process;
- Ask for a Standing Ride arrangement;
- Continue to ask for each ride until your Standing Ride request is confirmed;
- Standing Ride requests may take up to 3 months to process;
- Cancellations are possible;
- Permanent changes or cancellations will result in a new ride request; and
- Too many cancellations and no-shows (missed rides) may end your Standing Ride arrangement.
Changing Ride Times
If it is absolutely necessary to change your ride, please use the following guidelines:
- Only the passenger or person who scheduled the ride can change the appointment;
- Provide at least 1 day's notice;
- Time changes must be at least 1 hour different from your original request; and
- If your appointment is delayed, arrangements may be possible.
Canceling your ride is easy. Simply call 695-8918 at least 1 hour before your scheduled pick up. For example, if your pick up time was 9:30 to 10:00, you must call C-VAN by 8:30 to avoid a no-show.
- A no-show occurs when you cancel a scheduled trip at the door or when you do not cancel your trip at least 60 minutes before pick-up. For example, if your pick-up time was 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. and you call after 8:30 a.m., the cancellation will result in a "no-show" point; or
- A no-show occurs when you are not ready to ride within five minutes of the arrival of the bus.
No-show points are accumulated over a six-month period (January 1-June 30, and July 1-December 31). At the beginning of the half year, all previous points are eliminated, and you start the new half year with zero points.
- Three no-shows in a six month period may result in a one week suspension of service;
- Six no-shows in a six month period may result in a one month suspension of service;
- Nine no-shows in a six month period may result in a two month suspension of service;
- Twelve no-shows in a six month period may result in a three month suspension of service;
- Fifteen no-shows in a six month period may result in a four month suspension of service;
- Eighteen no-shows in a six month period may result in a six month suspension of service.
Appealing No-Show Penalties
You will receive a letter notifying you of a no-show point. Call C-VAN at (360) 695-8918 as soon as possible to discuss your no-show. If you wish to appeal your no-show, contact the Passenger Service Manager and request consideration. To receive the complete no-show appeal process, ask a C-VAN representative. If your appeal is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may write to:
C-TRAN Director of Operations
PO Box 2529
Vancouver, WA 98668
Please be sure to include your full name, phone number and address.p
C-VAN and C-TRAN promise to:
- Make customer safety our #1 priority.
- Treat all individuals with respect; and dignity, regardless of race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, age or disability;
- Listen to our customers;
- Make changes that will positively impact service quality and efficiency;
- Provide information in accessible formats.
- Inform customers of alternative transportation options;
- Keep customer information confidential;
- Provide transportation services within a reasonable time period;
- Minimize ride times as much as possible; and
- Work hard to provide polite, courteous and timely answers to questions and requests.
C-VAN's 5 B's for Better Service
- Be ready when your pick up time period begins.
- Be flexible in your travel plans.
- Be there to meet the bus; don't wait for the driver to find you.
- Be courteous. Call 695-8918 if you're running late and ask for a later pick up time.
- Be patient. C-VAN is not a taxi service.
Double-booking Slows Service
Scheduling multiple rides for different times with the intention of using only 1 of them is called double-booking. Double-booking:
- Creates scheduling gaps that cause delays,
- Takes away seats others could use, and
- Wastes time and reduces efficiency.
Items You May Bring on C-VAN
Animals: service animals are allowed on C-VAN; other animals must be in secure pet carriers or travel carriers. Please let us know if you will be bringing an animal onboard.
- Groceries: please bring only 4 grocery-sized bags. C-VAN drivers may help passengers carry parcels to their doorstep. Carry-on items other than grocery bags must be small
enough to fit under the seat or on your lap; this includes luggage.
- Oxygen: oxygen may be transported on C-VAN. The C-VAN driver will secure the tank on the bus, but cannot operate the tank mechanism. Customers are responsible for supplying an ample amount of oxygen for their trip.
- Items you or your companion are able to carry to and from the vehicle.
- Items small enough (including luggage) to fit on your lap, under your seat, or elsewhere clear of the aisles, seats and securement areas in the bus.
- Items you or someone else traveling with you can hold or stow so they do not present a hazard to other passengers or the C-VAN driver during the trip.
All personal belongings such as medicine, lunch boxes, purses etc., that do not need to be secured, must be kept in the passenger's possession at all times. These items are not C-VAN's responsibility.
Please provide the following:
- Make sure the pick up and destination addresses are clearly visible from the street;
- Call C-VAN (360) 695-8918 if you change your address, telephone number or emergency contact name and number;
- Update information on your mobility device, type and style;
- Let us know if you need a personal care attendant and if that person needs any special accommodations;
- If you need assistance from your door to the bus, please let us know when requesting your ride;
- Have the address of your destination before you call;
- Have a pen or pencil ready to write down your appointment time when reserving a ride; and
- If you do not have your ride times by 4 p.m. the afternoon before you ride, please call us at (360) 695-8918.
Riders are asked to:
- Follow all C-VAN policies;
- Refrain from behavior or language that threatens C-VAN passengers or drivers;
- Keep food and beverages in closed containers;
- Observe the "no smoking" rule on C-VAN buses;
- Maintain good personal hygiene; and
- Use headphones when listening to radios or other audio devices.
Personal Care Attendants
- Personal care attendants who assist the rider with daily life functions may provide assistance during the ride or at the destination.
- Personal care attendants are not required to pay bus fares.
- Personal care attendants must be picked up and dropped off at the same locations as the passenger.
Companions and Guest
- Companions or guests may accompany the passenger in addition to a personal care attendant.
- The companion must be picked up and dropped off at the same location as the passenger.
- The fare is the same as for the C-VAN passenger.
- Please notify us if your guest uses mobility device.
- Mobility devices can be accommodated after an accessibility evaluation has been completed.
- C-VAN drivers use a 4-point belt securement system and an over-center floor-mounted seat belt.
- Passengers who use wheelchairs and scooters must use personal lap belts.
- C-VAN drivers are unable to assist with unoperable electrical equipment. Battery operated equipment must be in good working condition.
- Passengers who are able to transfer to seats are encouraged to do so.
Safety and Hygiene
- All ambulatory passengers must be seated when the bus is in motion, and everyone is required to wear a seat belt.
- Infants and children with disabilities who are not in a wheelchair must be:
- Buckled into a car seat provided by the adult (under age 4 and/or 40 pounds or less); and
- Buckled into the seat next to the accompanying adult.
- Mobility equipment must be in good working order, clean and free of noxious odors.
- Personal hygiene is important for the health and safety of others. Please be considerate of others.
- Secure packages under seat.
Late Cancellation Policy
- At the beginning of each calendar year, all C-VAN passengers receive 6 FREE late cancellations. A late cancellation point will be used if you do not cancel a ride prior to 5:00 p.m. the day before the ride.
- Once a customer has used all 6 of their FREE late cancellations, each new late cancellation will be recorded as a point.
- A customer who has accumulated 3 late cancellation points may receive a 1-week suspension of service. Six late cancellation points may result in a 1-month suspension of service; additional late cancellation points could result in more severe suspensions.
- Customers may earn 1 FREE late cancellation for every 4 consecutive months of zero (0) late cancellations.
- All late cancellations may be appealed. Customers or their advocates should call C-VAN at (360) 695-8918 as soon as possible to discuss the late cancellation. Formal appeals may be sent to:
C-TRAN, Director, Transit Services
P.O. Box 2529
Vancouver, WA 98668-2529
- Are not allowed to open and close your house door;
- Are not allowed to assist passengers inside their home; and
- Are not allowed to look for passengers beyond the facility's entrance.
- C-VAN dispatchers attempt to schedule rides on the most efficient and time-sensitive route possible. Please be flexible when requesting a pick up time.
- C-VAN dispatchers cannot guarantee your trip will not be affected by traffic delays, weather conditions or unprepared riders. Please do not schedule your appointments too close together.
- C-VAN drivers are unable to assist with unoperable electrical equipment. Battery operated equipment must be in good working condition.
- C-VAN may limit, suspend or deny service to riders who disregard C-VAN policies, engage in unsafe or threatening behavior or whose residence or destination is not safely accessible.
Connecting Service with TriMet
C-VAN provides service to the closest TriMet transit center. Passengers must make their own reservations with TriMet's LIFT by calling (503) 962-8000 or (503) 962-8058 TTY. Ride reservations on C-VAN are separate from LIFT, and passengers must contact each program for service.
Eligibility and Application Process
To qualify for C-VAN service you must:
- Meet conditions established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); AND
- Be unable to get on, ride or get off an accessible transit bus by yourself; OR
- Be unable to get on a non lift-equipped bus; OR
- Be unable to travel to or from a bus stop or find your way around the transit system by yourself because of a physical or cognitive disability.
To apply for C-VAN service:
- Call (360) 695-8918 and ask for a C-VAN application;
- Complete the application; have your doctor, DVR/DDD case worker, nurse or mental health counselor, the Area Agency on Aging, Medical Transportation Brokerage or Services for the Blind fill in the appropriate sections; return the entire application with verification to C-VAN; and
- Attend C-VAN's Rider Orientation.
Snow and ice
- In severe weather conditions, service will be delayed or canceled.
- Be patient, telephone lines will be busy and buses may be delayed. If you do not wish to travel due to weather conditions, please call and cancel your ride as soon as possible.
- C-VAN will contact you by phone if :
- The bus is unable to reach your residence because of bad road conditions; or
- The driver determines that you cannot be safely transported from your home to bus.
- Life-sustaining medical trips (such as dialysis, radiation and chemotherapy) will have first priority during severe weather conditions for as long as vehicles are allowed on the roads.
Please listen to the radio or watch television for updates.
- Request a NO EARLIER THAN appointment if you cannot start your trip or arrive early at the destination. We will try to accommodate your request, but there are no guarantees.
- C-VAN buses wait 5 minutes when picking up passengers. If the driver does not see you by the end of the 5 minute wait, the driver will go on to the next passenger and give you a no-show point. Too many no-show points may affect your use of C-VAN.
- When traveling to and from large buildings, meet your bus at the location you arranged when you made the reservation. Normally, C-VAN will pick you up at the same place where you were dropped off.
Did you know?
- C-VAN provides 14,000 passenger trips each month in Clark County. And, since 1990 (when the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed), C-VAN has provided almost 1,667,000 total passenger trips.
- As of November 2002, the number of registered, ADA eligible C-VAN passengers totals 2,462.
- Each month, C-VAN travels approximately 92,000 miles, transporting passengers in Battle Ground, Camas, Vancouver and Washougal.
- All C-VAN buses are lift-equipped and, on a monthly basis, there are 3,600 lift activations for passengers.
- C-VAN employs 51 Coach Operators, 7 Dispatchers and 5 Customer Service Representatives—and Customer Service is kept busy by answering 9,000 calls each month.