ABOUT SweetHART

What is SweetHART?

SweetHART is a door to door transportation service provided by Housatonic Area Regional Transit (HARTransit).  Seniors age 65 or older or persons of any age with disabilities may access the service in Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield, New Fairfield, Newtown, Ridgefield and Roxbury.  In New Milford, service is limited to those with a qualifying disability.  Service polices and availability varies by town.

Registration

The first step in using SweetHART is completing a certification application.  SweetHART applications are online at www.hartransit.com , or can be obtained by calling HARTransit at 203-744-4070.   If you have a disability, you need to complete the long form application.  Seniors without mobility disabilities can complete a simplified single page form.  Please make sure to give us a working phone number.  We will need to be able to reach you if there is a problem with your trip request.

If you were previously certified to use paratransit bus service at another transit agency, you need only submit a copy of proof of eligibility from that service.

If you are determined ineligible for SweetHART service, you may appeal your denial to the CEO of HARTransit.

ADA Priority Status

If you have a more profound mobility disability, you may qualify for ADA priority service. ADA customers are provided service from point of origination to destination anywhere in the HARTransit service area, provided the trip origin and destination are within 3/4 of a mile of HARTransit fixed route service area and at a time when fixed route service is available. ADA priority service is available in Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield and New Milford.

Booking Trips in Advance

To request a trip, call (203) 748-2511, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.  ADA priority trips can be requested on weekends or holidays for the following day.

You may make advance reservations for the week you’re in, and for any day in the following week, up until 4 PM the day before your trip.  Trips for medical appointments and those with ADA priority status can be scheduled for the current week and any day in the following two calendar weeks. 

When you call, the scheduler will give you a 30 minute window of time for which we will attempt to schedule your trip.  We will call you back if we cannot schedule your trip within that window.  Otherwise, anticipate that your bus will arrive during the time span given you.

Standing Booking Requests

If you have a regular trip, you can set up a standing booking request.  This does not guarantee a ride, but eliminates the need for a weekly phone call to schedule.   Standing requests will be cancelled if the customer fails to make 80% of scheduled trips within a two month period.

Trip Scheduling Priority

Booking requests are considered on a first-call/first-served basis, except during the peak calling period. 

With limited space in the schedule, many riders book trips as soon as they can. The peak calling period for reservations is Monday from 7:00 to 11:00 a.m. , when the earliest bookings can be made for the following week.

To accommodate the large volume of requests during the peak calling period, reservation requests coming in between 7 and 11 a.m. on Monday are considered equally.  This means that there is no advantage to calling at 7 a.m. as opposed to any other time up to 11 a.m., and there is no need to rush to be the first to call.

If there is a conflict between trip requests during the peak calling period, priority is given to the passenger with the more reliable riding history over the last 60 days.   Limiting trip cancellations will improve your chances to get preferred pick-up times.

Please note that the peak calling period will be moved to Tuesday if the scheduling office is closed Monday in observance of a holiday.

Same Day Trips

Same day trips may be made on a limited basis depending on openings in the schedule.  There is a limit of 2 same day trips per month per rider, and same day trips have a higher fare.

Will-Call Trips

If you have a medical appointment and the time of your return trip is uncertain, you may leave your return trip unscheduled and call when ready.  The number to call when ready is (203) 830-4399. 

Will-calls are not available evenings, on Sunday, or for trips from or to New Milford.

The next available bus will pick you up after you call.  You must call at least 45 minutes before the close of service in your town.  Please be aware that unscheduled trips often require waiting time of over 30 minutes.

Canceling Your Trip

To cancel your ride, call the SweetHART cancellation number at (203) 830-4399.  Please cancel your trip with at least 2 hours notice.  Last minute cancellations leave open space on buses that could have been used by passengers denied reservations.  Passengers with a history of same day cancellations or no-shows may have their riding privileges suspended.  Six short cancellations and no-shows in a 60 day period (or 3 no-shows alone) are cause for suspension.  Suspensions may be appealed by writing the Chief Executive Officer of HARtransit.

Cost (exact change required)

  • $1.00 – trips within or between two towns
  • $2.50 – ADA priority trips
  • $3.00 – same day trips

Discount passes are available through the HARTransit office at 62 Federal Road in Danbury.

Riding the Bus

Please watch for your bus.  Drivers will wait 5 minutes for you after their arrival, and then move on.

When requested, drivers will provide assistance to riders when boarding and getting off the bus, as well as going to or from the door of their pick up or drop off location.  Drivers will assist riders that need to use the lift and secure wheelchairs inside the bus.

Drivers will not carry you or your mobility device up or down stairways, and are not allowed to enter buildings.  Please arrange for any assistance you may need beyond the doorway.

Baggage & Groceries

Grocery bags and parcels are permitted on HARTransit vehicles, but passengers must maintain control over these items and carry them on the bus themselves in one trip.  Drivers will assist with groceries and parcels provided this can be done safely and quickly.  HARTransit will make reasonable accommodations to passengers with disabilities that need more assistance.

Items with wheels, such as carts or strollers, must be collapsed during travel.  

The following are not permitted

  • Large items that restrict movement within the bus
  • Items which are dangerous or offensive to other passengers
  • Baggage that requires excessive time to load or unload
  • Items that could not be controlled if the bus braked suddenly

Service Animals and Pets

Service animals are welcome on HARTransit vehicles.  If you travel with a service animal, please let the schedulers know when you book your trip.

Pets up to 20 pounds may be transported in carriers designed for that purpose.  Drivers cannot help passengers carry pets.

Mobility Aids

All HARTransit buses accommodate wheelchairs or scooters, drivers are trained to safely operate wheelchair lifts and secure mobility devices on the bus.

Scooter users are asked to transfer to a seat after boarding.  Most scooters cannot be tied down as securely as a standard wheelchair and are not designed for use on a moving vehicle.

SweetHART buses do not carry stretchers.

Other mobility devices such as walkers and canes are accommodated.  Passengers that have trouble with steps may ride the lift.  Respirators and portable oxygen are also permitted.

Personal Care Attendants and Companions

A Personal Care Attendant (PCA) rides free of charge with any disabled passenger.  PCAs provide assistance to disabled riders beyond that which can be provided by the driver.

Any passenger may ride with a companion that is not SweetHART eligible.  Companions are accepted on a space available basis, have the same origin and destination and pay the same fare as the registered passenger.

Please let the scheduler know if you are traveling with a PCA or companion.

Extreme Weather Policy

HARTransit may curtail SweetHART operations if travel conditions are unsafe.  HARTransit will call any passengers affected by a cancellation of service, and offer early return trips for riders transported prior to the onset of unsafe conditions.  Please listen to WLAD (800AM) or WDAQ (98.3 FM) for service cancellation information or call the HARTransit office.

SweetHART Contact Information

SweetHART reservations
(203) 748 2511

Medical Will-Calls, Cancellations & Confirmations
(203) 830 4399

Certification questions, customer comments and pass sales
(203) 744 4070

Route and schedule information, lost and found
(203) 748 2034

Fax
(203) 744 0764

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