The Handi-Van Rider's Guide

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Welcome to TheHandi-Van!

TheHandi-Van is the City and County of Honolulu's paratransit service for persons with disabilities who are unable to ride TheBus.

TheHandi-Van provides comfortable, safe, and reliable transportation services throughout the island of Oahu. It is a CURB to CURB service operated by the City and County of Honolulu under contract with Oahu Transit Services, Inc.(OTS).

TheHandi-Van is driven by highly trained and dedicated Operators driving quality vehicles. Operations is coordinated by a top notch reservations and dispatch crew.

This Rider's Guide provides you with answers to questions you may have about riding TheHandi-Van and has been designed to provide you with basic step-by-step information on "how-to" use TheHandi-Van service.

Please use this Rider's Guide to help you better use TheHandi-Van. We hope that you will find the system both convenient and reliable for your basic public transportation needs.


Jeremy Harris, Mayor
City and County of Honolulu

Quick Reference

TheHandi-Van is not an emergency service. TheHandi-Van is public transit for persons with disabilities who are unable to use TheBus.


    Eligibility and Registration

Persons interested in using TheHandi-Van must be certified as being ADA paratransit eligible before using the service. Simply call TheBus Pass Office or the Eligibility and Registration office and an application and information packet will be sent to you. Applications and information packets are also available at Satellite City Halls and at the Social Services Department of major hospitals. The application and information packet explain the eligibility and registration procedure.

In order to be certified as ADA paratransit eligible for TheHandi-Van service, an individual must meet one of the following criteria:

1.   Unable, because of a disability, to independently board, ride and/or get off a lift or ramp equipped bus. This includes persons who are unable to "navigate" TheBus system without assistance of another person.
2.   Able to independently board, ride and exit an accessible lift-equipped TheBus, but an accessible lift-equipped bus has not been assigned to your route or TheBus lift cannot be deployed at your stop;

3.  Unable to travel to or from a bus stop because of your disability;
4.   ADA paratransit eligible visitors from outside Oahu. After registering with DTS, visitors will be eligible for paratransit trips during a maximum period of 21 days commencing on the day of their first trip.

NOTE: Age is not a qualifying factor for receiving paratransit eligibility.


contact us at: accesstrans@co.honolulu.hi.us or call 523-4083

Hours of Operations and Service Area

TheHandi-Van service area, days and hours are the same as the fixed-route bus service, TheBus, in your area of the island of Oahu.

If service is needed for a holiday, you MUST schedule it. Regularly scheduled rides that fall on a holiday are automatically canceled.

Our holidays are: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President's Day, Prince Kuhio Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, King Kamehameha Day, Independence Day, Admissions Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, General Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day.


Every ADA paratransit eligible cardholder and companion riding TheHandi-Van shall pay a fare of $2.00 per person for each boarding (excluding required transfers). TheHandiVan Cardholders may ride TheBus fare FREE.

A personal care attendant (PCA) registered with the Department of Transportation Services shall pay no fare at any time when accompanying an ADA paratransit eligible cardholder.

Be prepared to pay the exact fare. Operators do not carry change, and are not allowed to search purses, pockets, or backpacks for a customer's fare.

No fare is required for a service animal.

If a rider wishes to use fare coupons, they may be purchased from TheBus Pass Office at 811 Middle Street Honolulu, HI 96819. Coupons are sold for $2.00 each. Customers may purchase directly from TheBus Pass Office or by mail. The Bus Pass Office accepts cash, checks, official purchase orders, or money orders payable to TheBus. Credit cards are not accepted.

ADA paratransit eligible cardholders may ride TheBus FARE FREE when they show their TheHandiVan card

Note: TheHandi-Van Operators and staff are not allowed to accept tips or gratuities. If a rider wishes to thank a particular person, please send a letter to:

Vice President OTS Paratransit
811 Middle Street
Honolulu, HI 96819

For your convenience, comment cards can be found in information racks on the van or ask your Operator for one. Your complaints, suggestions, commendations are all welcome.

Return the comment card to your Operator or mail it to the address above. You may also call Customer Services at 454-5050 voice, or 454-5045 TTY.

Making a Reservation

Contact a reservationist at 456-5555 voice, or 454-5045 TTY. These are the only numbers to call when you wish to arrange a ride with our -service.

If you need information instead of a ride, please call Customer Service at 454-5050 voice or 454-5045 TTY. Office hours are Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Reservations should be made at least one day in advance or up to 14 days in advance, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. daily.

Please be patient. If you hear a recorded message, stay on the line. Do Not Hang Up! Your call will be answered in the order it was received. If you hear a busy signal, please call back in a few minutes. We receive over 400 calls per day, and at times, the number of incoming calls exceed our phone line capacity.

The Reservationist will guide you through the process of reserving your ride. Please be prepared to provide the following information:

  1. Your name.
  2. The date and day of the week you need a ride.
  3. The address of where you want to be picked up and a phone number where you can be reached.
  4. The address of where you are going and the phone number, if you know it.
  5. The time you wish to be picked up. If your trip is for an appointment, we will need to know your appointment time.
  6. The time you will be ready for your return trip. Sometimes it is difficult to know ahead of time exactly when you will be ready for your return trip, but please schedule the trip time as accurately as possible.
  7. If you cannot return earlier than a certain time, i.e., a return trip from work to home, let the Reservationist know this.
  8. If you will be going to a doctor's office, ask the doctor or a staff member how long your appointment will take. It helps the Reservationist arrange your return ride pick-up time.
  9. The form of payment you will be using (cash or coupon).
  10. If you use a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair, extra large wheelchair, walker, scooter, or if you will need to use the lift.
  11. If a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) or companion (s) will be riding with you.
  12. If a service animal will be riding with you.
  13. If your pick-up location is difficult to find or is on a remote street, be sure to let the Reservationist know this and provide precise directions to your pick-up -location.
  14. Any other information you feel we should know to safely and comfortably transport you.
  15. Trips are not scheduled according to priority. The ADA does not allow trip purpose priorities.
  16. Trip changes after boarding the vehicle are not allowed. Please be considerate of other riders and do not ask the Operator to make any change to your scheduled trip.

TheHandi-Van is a shared-ride CURB-To-CURB service. The van may stop to let other customers on or off before you get to your destination. If you are ordering a ride for a specific appointment time, be sure to allow sufficient time (travel time) to get from your pick-up address to your destination. Also, please be aware of the opening and closing times of the building or office that you're going to so you won't be left outside if you are dropped off early or late for your return.

Other Things to Know When Making a Reservation

Allow enough time for your appointment to be finished so you won't be charged with a "no-show" on the return trip. If you're not sure when your appointment will end, we can put you on "will call." You call when you're ready to be picked up. However, your ride must be worked in when a van is in the area and you may need to wait for up to an hour.

Every attempt will be made to schedule your ride at the time you call to order it. You may call back the following day and ask for your scheduled pick-up time.

The Reservationist may negotiate pick-up time, up to 60 minutes, with you. You can expect the van to pick you up within 30 minutes of your agreed upon scheduled pick-up time. We refer to this 30 minutes as your "pick-up window."

Be ready by the earliest time in the window. If the van has not arrived within 30 minutes (the latest time in the window), please call 454-5055 voice or 454-5045 TTY to report a late van and to find out when your van will arrive.

Example: You request to be picked up at 9 a.m. The Reservationist may tell you that you can be scheduled for a 9:10 a.m. pick-up. If you agree on that time, the Reservationist will then tell you the van will arrive between 9:10 and 9:40 a.m. That is your "pick-up window."

Keep in mind that unexpected delays can happen because of such things as traffic jams, road construction, bad weather, or picking up or dropping off other customers.

The Handi-Van operates close to capacity from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. You'll have the best chance of getting a ride if you schedule appointments between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. or after 6:00 p.m. If you don't have a specific appointment time, try to be flexible about the days and times of your rides. There may be rides available earlier or later than you first requested, or on another day.

Pick up Time

Operators will leave after waiting at least five minutes beyond the scheduled pick up time or five minutes after they arrive if they arrive later than the scheduled pick-up time.

Reserving Multiple Trips

Riders may need to go to several places in one day: from home to the doctor's office, to a hair appointment, to the library, and then back home again all on the same day.

Riders who require multiple trips will need to schedule a separate trip for each pick-up location to each drop-off destination.

Please be ready to provide all information necessary to enable the Reservationist to accommodate your TheHandi-Van needs.

Same Day Reservations

Same day reservations are allowable only on a space available basis.


If you must cancel a trip please call the Cancellation line at 454-5055 voice or 454-5045 TTY as soon as you know that a trip is not needed.

Cancellations should be made at least two (2) hours prior to your scheduled pick-up time.

If the trip is not canceled at least two hours before the scheduled pick-up time, the cardholder will be considered a "no show."

No Shows

When a rider schedules a trip and fails to use TheHandi-Van without proper cancellation, serious transportation and scheduling problems can result for TheHandi-Van and its riders.

TheHandi-Van depends upon the one-day advance reservation scheduling system. It is important that trips are not "wasted" to ensure that all riders can enjoy a convenient and comfortable ride.

Failing to appear for a scheduled trip without proper notification is considered a "No Show."

A "no show" occurs when:

You are not at the requested pick-up address and the Operator cannot locate you; or

You are at the address where you requested to be picked up, but you are not ready to board the van within five (5) minutes of the arrival of an on-time van and the van has to depart; or

You have not called to cancel your trip at least two (2) hours prior to pick-up to allow for rerouting of the van to another location.

Please be responsible and remember to cancel all scheduled trips that you will not be taking. Please call 454-5055 voice or 454-5045 TTY when you need to cancel your trip.

NOTE: If you are a "no show," all of your other trips for that day will automatically be canceled.

Riders who have repeated "no shows' may be subject to suspension of TheHandi-Van service.

This booklet is also available in an audio tape upon request by calling 454-5000 voice or 454-5045 TTY.

This Rider's Guide is intended to provide the eligible rider, parent, guardian, personal care attendant and agencies with a handy reference to using The Handi-Van.

This Rider's Guide does not replace TheHandi-Van Rules and Regulations, city ordinance, state statutes and rules, and federal laws and regulations.

If you wish to obtain a copy of TheHandi-Van Rules and Regulations or city ordinance, please write to the Department of Transportation Services or call 523-4083.

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