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Spec-Tran “Wait Stop Trips” FAQs

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Categories: General

The Capital Area Transportation Authority offers Spec-Tran eligible riders the ability to arrange for “wait stop trips.”   

Q: What is a “wait stop trip?”   

A: Simply put, a “wait stop trip” involves a scheduled trip from point A to point B, with a brief stop in between. The purpose of a “wait stop” is to give riders the flexibility of making a quick drop-off or pickup during their ride before arriving at their final destination.  Riders who schedule a “wait stop trip” will be able to stay on the same Spec-Tran vehicle for the duration of the trip.   

Examples of “wait stop trips” might include but are not limited to:  

  • Dropping off or picking up a child from school or day care before proceeding to work or home;  

  • Grocery pickup before proceeding home;  

  • Dropping off or picking up a service animal to or from the vet or groomer before proceeding to work or home;  

  • Picking up carryout food from a restaurant or store before continuing to a final drop-off.  

Q: Are there types of “wait stop trips” that are not allowed? 

A: No drive thru wait trips are allowed. The rider must exit the vehicle at the “wait stop” location to conduct necessary business.   

Q: How many wait stops may you arrange per trip?   

A: You may only arrange one "wait stop" per trip. 

Q: How many "wait stop trips" may be arranged per day? 

A: Only two "wait stop trips" may be arranged per day. Exceptions may be permitted on an as-needed basis with paratransit supervisor approval.  

Q: What is the cost of a “wait stop trip?” 

A: The cost is $2.50 for each direction of travel. For example, a pickup from home to the grocery store then back again will cost $2.50 for the pickup at home and another $2.50 for the return trip. The total round-trip cost for this trip would be $5.  

Q: How much time do I have for the “wait stop?” 

A: The time allowed for a “wait stop” shall be kept to a minimum with a maximum time of no more than 15 minutes.   

Q: What happens if the “wait stop” takes more than 15 minutes? 

A: If the rider does not complete the “wait stop” within 15 minutes and misses their next trip, they will be responsible for calling CATA to schedule another ride. 

Note: When preparing for a “wait stop” pickup or drop-off, anticipate and plan for a variety of situations. Consider the following best practices: 

  • Select the best entrance and/or exit that allows for maximum efficiency. Be sure this is clearly communicated when scheduling your trip. 

  • Make arrangements in advance of the “wait stop.” If you are picking up groceries or items from a store or restaurant, call in advance to make sure your items are ready for pickup. 

  • Pay in advance over the phone to avoid a possible line at checkout. 

  • Let the establishment know that you are using Spec-Tran and give the estimated time you will arrive. Let them know that once you arrive your business needs to be completed very quickly as the CATA driver cannot wait long.   

  • Many people do not know much about CATA or Spec-Tran. You may need to explain to the business what Spec-Tran is and that the driver cannot wait long as they are on a schedule. 

The better prepared the rider is in advance of the “wait stop,” the better chance the ride will be completed on time. A ride completed on time not only benefits the rider involved but the driver and other riders who are scheduled for rides thereafter. 

Q: How do I request a "wait stop trip"? 

A: Call CATA’s Paratransit Department to book your "wait stop trip" aboard Spec-Tran at 517-394-2282 (CATA). CATA’s ride reservation line is open between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. seven days a week, year-round, including holidays. You may schedule a ride up to 14 days in advance of your trip. Spec-Tran service is not available on a same-day basis. Next-day ride requests must be received by 5 p.m. 



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