Paratransit Taxi & Ramp Taxi
SF Paratransit Taxi services are a great alternative to the ADA-compliant SF Access van program, because you get:
- the convenience of a direct route to your destination.
- the flexibility of prompt, same-day scheduling. Generally, taxis arrive in less than 30 minutes of your request.
- subsidized fares via the SF Paratransit Debit Card, so that you’ll contribute only a small portion of the total cost of a taxi ride.
Interested in improving your mobility by using SF Paratransit taxi services? Continue reading to learn more:
Eligibility for Paratransit Taxi Services
To be offered paratransit taxi services, individuals must first be determined ADA-eligible for SF Access services. Click here to learn more about SF Access and how to apply. SF Access riders who want to begin taking advantage of SF Paratransit Taxi services should contact the Mobility Management Center to learn more.
SF Paratransit Debit Card
Activating and Adding Value to your Debit Card
Upon approval of your eligibility for SF Paratransit taxi service, the SF Paratransit Office will issue you a SF Paratransit Debit Card and assign a monthly purchase allotment. You must activate your debit card and purchase value before using it in a cab. For every $6 you contribute into your debit card account SF Paratransit will load a $30 value to your debit card, up to the maximum purchase allotment you’ve been assigned. You may also elect to add funds to a personal reserve account so that your debit card can automatically be loaded each month, up to your monthly allotment.
Money may be added to your SF Paratransit Debit Card in any of the following ways:
In person- Visit the SF Paratransit Brokers Office to add value to your SF Paratransit Debit Card (68 12th Street, 1st Floor San Francisco, CA 94103).
By phone- Call the SF Paratransit Brokers Office at 415.351.7000.
Online- Create an account on SF Paratransit Taxi Online. With SF Paratransit Taxi Online, you can:
Check your card balance and the amount in your reserve account
Make a purchase
Review your purchase history
View your recent taxi trips
Find out when your next purchase date is (or when your next allotment will be added to your card)
Report a lost or stolen card
View our SF Paratransit Taxi & Ramp Taxi Services Guide or contact the Mobility Management Center for more information about activating and adding value to your SF Paratransit Debit Card.
Please contact the Mobility Management Center (415.351.7000) if you feel that your assigned monthly purchase allotment is not sufficient to meet your travel needs. You may request an increased allotment by submitting a Request for Additional Paratransit Taxi Service.
Planning Your Paratransit Taxi Trip
Know which taxis can serve your mobility needs:
The majority of taxis within San Francisco are hybrid-powered sedans or SUVs. These taxis have enough storage space for the driver to fold up and stow your walker or mobility device after you board. In addition, “ramp taxis” equipped with wheelchair accessible ramps operate within the City and County. If you are traveling using a wheelchair or similar mobility device and are unable to transfer out of your mobility device, be sure to request a Ramp-Taxi. See our Taxi Directory for a list of taxi companies that operate Ramp-Taxis.
Know how to hail a taxi:
On the Street. In busier areas of the city, you’re likely to spot available taxis on the street. Available taxis will have an illuminated top light on the roof of the vehicle. Unlike many other private transportation services, taxis can be hailed on the street.
By Phone- All San Francisco taxi companies are affiliated with a telephone dispatch service, available 24 hours a day, that you can call to request an immediate pickup or to schedule a taxi in advance. See our Taxi Directory for a list of taxi companies and their dispatch phone numbers. We also maintain a list of Ramp Taxi Drivers that you may choose to call directly to schedule a ride.
Electronic Hailing- Flywheel, the SFMTA’s preferred e-hail app, allows you to request your taxi ride using your smartphone. It also gives live views of taxis nearby and arrival times to map your route with ease. You can even request a Ramp Taxi through the app. The Flywheel app lets you use your SF Paratransit Debit Card, instead of a credit card, to sign up and hail rides. Download Flywheel here.
Riding in a Taxi
You may ask the driver for assistance if you need help getting in or out of the vehicle. If you are using a wheelchair, ramp taxi drivers will secure your wheelchair for you.
Once onboard, tell the driver where you want to go, and ask the driver to check the balance on your SF Paratransit Debit Card to ensure you have enough funds to pay for the trip. The driver will start the meter and give you a direct route to your destination.
Attendants & Companions: An attendant and at least one companion may accompany you. The San Francisco Transportation Code allows you to ride with the maximum number that can be safely secured and transported (usually four adults). No extra fares will be required for the additional passengers. An attendant or companion must start and end their ride with you. Only the ADA-certified rider may possess and use the SF Paratransit Debit Card. An attendant or companion cannot under any circumstances use your SF Paratransit Debit Card.
Exiting a Taxi
The driver will stop the meter once at your destination. Give the driver your SF Paratransit Debit Card. The driver will swipe your debit card to charge the metered fare. You are welcomed, but not required, to tip the driver with funds from your debit card. If you choose to provide a tip, the system will automatically calculate and deduct the tip at 10% of the ride, up to a maximum of $2, from your debit card.
If you had a positive or negative experience in a taxi, we’d love to hear about it! Contact the Mobility Management Center or call (415) 351-7000 to share your questions or feedback.
Left something in your taxi? Find your lost item here.