Passenger Assistance Policy
Sampson Area Transportation (SAT) is committed to providing safe, efficient, and effective transportation services to all residents of Sampson County.   The drivers will assist all passengers on and off the vehicle when requested.  However, no employee shall go inside a rider’s home or on any outside structure connected to the home (porch or deck).  There are two exceptions. First, a wheelchair-bound individual can be pushed up or down a wheelchair ramp.  This still does not allow the driver to enter the home.  The individual is responsible for going in and out of their residence.  The second exception is in a life-or-death emergency.  At that time, the driver must use their judgment and report to the office as soon as possible.  The driver will complete a report by the end of the business day.

Passenger Rules
The following rules for passengers shall be observed by all persons riding SAT vehicles.  Passengers must also observe any additional rules of SAT.  Failure to abide by passenger rules may restrict ridership.

  1. Always wait for the van at a safe distance from the road.
  2. Take your seat promptly (there are no reserved seats unless there is a medical reason).
  3. All passengers must wear seatbelts; wheelchair passengers are to be buckled and shoulder/waist straps in place.
  4. Please do not talk loudly, disturb the driver, use profanity, extend any part of the body out of the van, move or stand up when the vehicle is in motion, eat, drink, chew tobacco, spit, smoke, or solicit fellow passengers to purchase goods or services.
  5. Passengers will not be allowed to board if in the opinion of the driver they are suffering from some alcohol or drug impairment.
  6. Individuals must maintain personal hygiene and cleanliness.  Failure to do so could lead to denial of transportation.
  7. Van drivers have the authority to refuse transportation to a rider if, in their judgment, the rider jeopardizes safety or sanitation standards.
  8. It is the rider’s responsibility to contact Sampson Area Transportation to inform them of any changes to their schedule.  Any rider who fails to notify SAT of cancellations they are considered a “no-show”. When the van is dispatched to a location on 3 consecutive trips and they are “no-shows,” the rider will have their riding privileges suspended for 30 days. 
  9. Rider wait time:  Wait time is defined as the time a van waits for a client either at the home or pickup destination.  SAT wait time is five (5) minutes from arrival.  The driver will use the vehicle’s horn in an effort to get the rider’s attention.  After 5 minutes, the vehicle will continue on its route.
Children and Passenger Assistants
One child can ride free per adult.  A passenger assistant may ride free, if they are riding to help with the mobility needs of the passenger.

Children riding alone
SAT will not transport a child under the age of 15 unsupervised.

Child safety seats
All children under the age of 8 years old and weighing less than 80 pounds must use an approved, age-appropriate child safety seat. Parents or guardians are responsible for providing and securing the child safety seat. Children who are 8 or over 80 pounds can be restrained in a properly fitted seat belt.  If there is any doubt to the child’s age, weight, or restraint system needed, the driver is instructed to contact Transportation Supervisor or Office Manager.  All children and passengers will follow North Carolina laws concerning seatbelt usage.

Routes shall be established to insure maximum utilization of transportation staff and vehicles. Routes are established and modified according to participation patterns and requests for service.  All routes will be established by SAT within their limits of service.  New requests for service will be based on availability of transportation resources within SAT.                   

Transportation services operate Monday through Friday between the hours of 5 am to 5 pm and routing must work within these parameters. Clients are to call into the administrative office and request transportation at least two (2) business days in advance to schedule a trip. This allows the schedule to be completed and printed in time for drivers to go over it and ask any questions. Occasionally, trips can be added on after the deadline or first thing in the morning, depending on any cancellations of service.

Veterans Transportation Out of County
Appointments for VA trips should be made between 9 am and 1 pm. Veterans who require assistance in scheduling medical appointments may contact the Sampson County Veteran's Office at (910) 592-2862. 

Out of County Medical Schedule

(Those who are elderly, disabled, or military veterans may quality for a reduced fare)
 Please schedule appointments between 9am and 1pm *****
One attendant per general public rider, if space allows *****

Complaint Policy
If any employee should receive a complaint from a passenger or anyone else regarding the transportation system, the employee will report the complaint to Transportation Services Supervisor immediately.  The information necessary to provide a response is the person’s name, address, telephone number, and the specifics of the complaint.  Or the complainant can call the Transportation Supervisor at 910-299-0127.

Suggestions are also welcome from anyone and will be treated with the same consideration as a complaint.
Service Animals Policy
Service animals accompanying a passenger with a disability will be allowed to ride on SAT vehicles.  If the driver is in doubt about an animal, they have the right to question the passenger as to the authenticity of the animal being a service animal. Any passenger traveling with an accompanying service animal, must ahve complete control of the service animal at all times. 
Reasonable Modifications

Sampson Area Transportation is committed to providing equal access and opportunity to qualified individuals with disabilities in all programs, services and activities. Sampson Area Transportation recognizes that in order to have equally effective opportunities and benefits, individuals with disabilities may need reasonable modifications to policies and procedures. Sampson Area Transportation will adhere to all applicable federal and state laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable modifications, as necessary, to afford equal access to programs for persons with disabilities. Sampson Area Transportation does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission to, participation in, or receipt of services and benefits under any transit program or activity. Sampson Area Transportation will take appropriate steps to ensure that persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate.

No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from. participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of Sampson Area Transportation, or be subject to discrimination by Sampson Area Transportation.

Wheelchair Transportation

  1. Wheelchair Transportation is limited to a “wheelchair” and must be secured according to ADA regulations and SAT policies. Wheelchair means a mobility aid belonging to any class of three- or more-wheeled devices, usable indoors, designed or modified for and used by individuals with mobility impairments, whether operated manually or powered. The definition does not include devices not intended for indoor use or devices not primarily designed to assist individuals with mobility impairments.
  2. All wheelchairs and mobility aids are required to be secured while on an SAT vehicle.
  3. SAT drivers will provide a level of assistance that is reasonable and that won’t constitute a direct threat to their health or safety. Situations that arise will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  4. SAT lift equipped fleet can safely accommodate a 800-pound wheelchair/passenger combination, but not a combination exceeding 800 pounds.
  5. Passengers who use wheelchairs are required to ride in the designated securement area.
  6. SAT’s designated securement area is 30” x 48”. Wheelchairs and other mobility aids and attachments exceeding the securement area may still be transported as long as the device does not block the aisle.
  7. Seatbelt and shoulder harness attached to the vehicle must be worn at all times.
  8. Passengers in wheelchairs must be secured in the wheelchair before boarding the vehicle. SAT will not transport anyone in a wheelchair that is deemed unsafe.
  9. All wheelchair passengers must have safe wheelchair access. This includes a ramp. No wheelchairs will be taken up or down steps by a driver. The access from the house to the vehicle must be clear of debris and the wheelchair must be able to travel without any resistance (i.e., no mud, holes, etc.).
  10. For safety purposes, SAT maintains the right to refuse transportation for anyone who does not follow the above-stated policies on wheelchair transportation.