SweetHART Frequently Asked Questions

When can I call to reserve a SweetHART trip?

      •     For any medical trip: Monday, 2 weeks in advance at the earliest, 4:00 p.m. the weekday prior at the latest.

      •     For any other purpose: Monday of the prior week at the earliest, 4:00 p.m. the weekday prior at the latest.

 

What is the schedule “range”?

Each trip is scheduled within a 30-minute pick-up window, or range. Buses may arrive any time within this range and will wait five minutes for passengers once arriving.

 

Why are some passengers charged $1.00 while others are charged $2.50?

General SweetHART service has a $1.00 fare. Passengers whose trips are classified under specific provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are charged $2.50.

 

What is ADA Eligibility?

Under the ADA, passengers with disabilities that prevent them from using a public bus route are entitled to an equivalent SweetHART-type bus service. ADA-eligible trips may be scheduled up to two weeks in advance regardless of purpose and as late as the day prior, even on weekends and holidays. ADA-eligible trips will also very rarely be denied.

 

ADA service runs during the same times and along the same general route as the public bus service. Eligible trips must have both an origin and destination within ¾-mile of a HARTransit bus route, and the passenger must have previously been determined to be ADA-eligible. Please call (203) 744-4070 with questions regarding ADA eligibility.

 

What is a Standing Booking Request?

A standing booking request is a written form used to reserve regular, ongoing trips (same time, place, and day of the week) on SweetHART. Although a standing booking request does not guarantee service, it allows a regular reservation request to be processed automatically without the need for repeated phone calls.

 

How much advance notice is needed for a Standing Booking Request?

Because the computer processes these trips well in advance, it takes two weeks from submission before your first standing booking request appointment can be made.  For the same reason, let us know if you need to change your request or suspend it for vacations, etc. at least two weeks ahead.

 

What will give me the best chance of getting SweetHART appointments at the times I want?

      • Submit a Standing Booking Request for recurring trips.

      • Call us with as much advance notice as possible.

      • Call before 11:00 a.m. on Monday morning to reserve trips during the following full calendar week. (For example, to book trips for December 10 through 16, 2012, call Monday morning, December 3, between 7:00 and 11:00 a.m.).

 

What is the significance of the 7:00 to 11:00 a.m. booking period on Monday mornings?

Each week, SweetHART begins taking calls at 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning from passengers requesting trips for the following week.  If all these requests were received first-call / first-served, too many passengers would call at once – all trying to get through first. Instead, we set a 4-hour period when all trip requests received are processed equally and there is no need to rush to call early.

 

During this period, requests are processed but not assigned to a particular bus. At 11:00 a.m., our computer scheduling system attempts to schedule all trip requests.  

 

All trip requests made after 11:00 a.m. on Monday for the next week are then processed first-call / first-served on a space-available basis.    

 

What if there are too many requests for a particular time?

After the computer processes the trip requests at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, we evaluate each schedule. If there are too many requests for a particular time, we will determine which of the conflicting passengers have the best and worst histories in completing trips. Passengers with higher cancellation rates are bumped first.

 

Please note that trip requests called in Monday morning for the same week (for example, calling Monday for service the next day) remain subject to first-call / first-served rules.

 

How much notice must I give to cancel a trip?

Please cancel your trip as soon as you know it will not be needed. Sometimes passengers call us on short notice for reasons known well in advance, such as vacations. By the time we receive the call, we may have already spent considerable, and ultimately needless time working to coordinate that trip with other trip requests. Last minute cancellations leave open space on buses that could have been used by others that were denied reservations. 

 

Understandably, last minute problems do arise, and some cancellations are beyond the passenger’s control. If you need to cancel your SweetHART trip same-day, please provide at least 2 hours’ notice if your trip is within ¾ mile of a city bus route. Please provide 12 hours’ notice if your trip is outside the city bus service area.  

 

Passengers with a history of cancelling without adequate notice or no-showing for pickups may be suspended. Six late cancellations and no-shows in a 60 day period (or 3 no-shows alone) are cause for suspension from SweetHART.

 

Can I schedule trips on the same day I need service?

Yes, but only on a very limited basis - save them for when absolutely necessary. Remember, only two same day round trips are allowed per person per month, and they carry a higher fare of $3.00 each way. Same day trips can only be made if there is room in the schedule. Also note that any cancellation of a same day trip will be treated as a late cancel.

 

 

Other Questions…

For more information contact the HARTransit office at 203-744-4070 with any questions or comments.

 

Thank you for using SweetHART and HARTransit.