Subscription service is a form of paratransit that may be provided under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is designed for customers who travel from the same location to the same destination at the same time of day for each trip, at least 1 day a week. The trips are automatically scheduled, which eliminates the need for customers to call in advance for each trip. This policy provides guidelines for Access-A-Ride (AAR) subscription service. The policy is effective as of November 1, 2021.

Application for Subscription Service

After being certified to use AAR, customers may call the Subscription Unit at 877-337-2017 or 718-393-4999 to request subscription service. When the recorded message begins, customers should press “1” for English (and then press “6” to speak to a subscription service representative) or press “2” for Spanish. For all other languages, press “3.” Customers who are deaf call through the relay. Staff answer calls daily between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. At other times, messages may be left on the voice message system.

Customers whose trip needs meet the subscription definition will be granted subscription service based on route and vehicle availability. If a subscription cannot be accommodated when the request is received, AAR will continue to consider the request for a period of 30 days. Customers whose subscription requests cannot be accommodated within the 30-day period will be notified of its unavailability and asked whether the subscription is still needed. If so, this process will continue in 30-day intervals as needed. New York City Transit (NYCT) may periodically change pick-up times but appointment times will always be honored.

Excessive Cancellation of Subscription Trips

NYC Transit may suspend any subscription when the customer cancels 30% of their Subscription trips and/or no shows/late cancellations exceed 7 trips in that month. This will be considered a consistent pattern of cancellations of any part of a subscription. The decision to suspend a subscription because of excessive cancellations is final.

Subscription service customers who are suspended due to violations of the No-Show/Late Cancellation Policy will be subject to a 30-day suspension from subscription service for each applicable suspension. The suspended subscription service customer must reapply. However, the request will not be considered until 30 days after the last date of the suspension, e.g., if the suspension ends on May 26, 2021, then the request will not be considered until June 25, 2021.

Holidays Observed

Subscription trips will be canceled automatically on the following holidays: New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Customers requiring AAR service on these holidays must call to reserve their trips 1-2 days in advance of the trip date.

Restrictions and Penalties

Suspended subscription customers must submit another request for Subscription Service. However, the request will not be considered until 30 days after the suspension end date. For example, if a customer’s subscription is suspended on October 15, the customer’s request for subscription service will not be considered until November 15.

Customers who have multiple suspensions due to violation of the No Show/Late Cancellation Policy will face a 30-day suspension from subscription service for each applicable suspension. Customers whose subscription service is suspended due to excessive cancellations still have the right to request advanced reservation trips.

Changes to Existing Subscription Service

Changes in travel needs may affect or result in the loss of subscription service. Customers requesting a change in equipment, days of travel, time of travel, appointment time, return pick-up time, and/or trip location or destination must submit another subscription service request by calling the Subscription Unit.

Customers may also call the Subscription Unit to confirm that the requests were received. Every effort will be made to accommodate the requested change(s). Until the subscription is accommodated, customers must call to reserve their trips 1-2 days in advance of the trip date.

Cancellation of Subscription Service for Failure to Recertify on Time

If a customer does not recertify their AAR eligibility at least 30 days before the expiration date noted on their AAR ID card, it may result in a lapse or termination of subscription service. When recertifying for AAR service, customers who wish to maintain the same subscription trips must note it on their application.

Putting Future Subscription Trips on Hold

Customers who do not require subscription service for one day or more must call the Subscription Unit at least 3 days in advance of the trip date to put the subscription on hold. For example, a subscription customer must call on Monday to put a Thursday trip on hold, Tuesday to put a Friday trip on hold, etc.  Staff answer calls daily between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. At other times messages may be left on the voice message system. Subscription staff will put the trips on hold and call the customer back to confirm that the subscription trips were put on hold.

When calling the Subscription Unit to put subscription trips on hold, customers (or representatives) must be prepared to say the following:

  • Customer’s full name (please spell name)
  • Customer’s Access-A-Ride ID Number
  • Whether the customer wants all or some daily rides put on hold (e.g., every Monday in July and August)
  • The first date the vehicles should not pick up the customer
  • The first date the vehicles should resume picking up the customer

Customers who do not know the return date can say the hold is indefinite.  When they do this, NYC Transit will hold the subscription until further notice from the customer. No subscription will be held for longer than 90 consecutive days. After the 90 days, the customer will lose the subscription and must submit a new request for subscription service. 

Customers who resume using a subscription that was put on hold for 90 days cannot request another 90-day hold on the same subscription until at least 30 days have passed since the last 90-day hold. Requests made prior to the 30 days will cause the subscription to be terminated. For example, if a customer puts a subscription on hold for a 90-day period during January, February and March and then resumes the subscription, the customer cannot request to put the same subscription on hold at the beginning of April. 

Canceling Current Subscription Trips

Customers who need to cancel any of their subscription trips that are scheduled to take place within the next 2 calendar days must call the Reservation Unit (not the Subscription Service Unit) at 877-337-2017 or 718-393-4999. When the recorded message begins, customers should press “1” for English (and then press “4”) or press “2” for Spanish. For all other languages, press “3.” Customers who are deaf call through the relay. Customers with rotary phones must hold for a reservationist. Once connected to the Reservation Unit, customers must tell the reservationist which trips to cancel. Customers are responsible for canceling subscription trips no later than 2 hours before their scheduled pick-up times. 

Customers canceling subscription trips on the same day the trip is scheduled to take place must call 877-337-2017 or 718-393-4999.  When the recorded message begins, customers should press “1” for English (and then press “5”) or press “2” for Spanish. For all other languages, press “3.” Customers who cancel a trip less than 2 hours before the scheduled pick-up time will be assessed a no-show or late cancellation violation. Customers who are deaf call through the relay.