Parallel Transit Services is a personalized door-to-door transportation service for members, who because of limitations are unable to board the fixed route service. 

Questions regarding Parallel Transit Services

Who is eligible to use the service?

Residents of St. Thomas, who because of limitations, are unable to board the regular public transportation system, may use Parallel Transit.  Riders generally fall into these categories:

  1. Permanent (indefinite usage)
  2. Temporary (medical prescribed temporary usage)
  3. Conditional (where environmental or physical barriers limit conventional transit usage during extreme weather; eg during the winter when snow and ice is present)
  4. and Visitors (visiting St. Thomas yet are registered with another Ontario Parallel system).

Some scooters and electric wheelchairs (depending on their size, weight, and type) are permitted aboard Parallel transit vehicles.  Riders are asked to get their devices verified by the transit operator for accommodation.  If they can be accommodated, approved riders will be required to transfer themselves to a fixed seat on the Parallel bus.  Drivers are not permitted to lift persons in wheelchairs for safety reasons.

Anyone interested in using Parallel Transit must complete an application form.  

How much does it cost?

This service costs the same as our conventional transit service. 

Click here to access our Fares page.

What are the hours of operation?
This service provides the same hours of operation as our conventional transit service.

Click here to access our Routes & Schedule page.
How do I apply for the Parallel Transit Service?

The Application form can be found below:

Additional information regarding the application form.

The application form has 3 parts.

Part A of the application form should be filled out by the applicant or any designated individual.

Part B of the application form is optional. If the applicant possesses an Accessible Parking Permit issued by the Province of Ontario and wishes to provide the permit number and expiry date, they will be eligible for Parallel Transit service without having to complete Part C of the application.

If Part B of the application is not completed, the applicant's authorized regulated health care practitioner must complete Part C of the application.

There is no fee associated with the application, and completed applications are typically processed within 14 calendar days. If the decision-making process exceeds 14 calendar days and the applicant requires the use of parallel transit service due to the unavailability of other accessible transportation options, the applicant will be granted Temporary status until a decision is reached.

The qualifications for Parallel Transit service align with the requirements set by the Ministry for the Accessible Parking Permit.

Can I appeal an application decision?
If the applicant disagrees with a City decision regarding eligibility for the Accessible Technical Committee in relation to a parallel transit application, they have the option to file an appeal. The appeal process for eligibility will be completed within 30 calendar days. However, if a final decision is not reached within this timeframe, the requester will be granted temporary status until a final decision is made.


Your approval for the parallel transit service has been confirmed. If you need more details, here are some commonly asked questions along with their corresponding answers.

Information to know as a new Member

What are my obligations as a Rider?

To ensure optimal efficiency and effectiveness of the service, please adhere to the following guidelines when booking and taking a ride:

  • Please be ready two minutes prior to your scheduled time. The driver is not obligated to wait beyond two minutes past the scheduled pick-up time window.
  • If you need to cancel, please do so with as much notice as possible.
  • When arranging a ride, try to remain flexible and allow for a wait time of up to thirty minutes from your scheduled pick-up time window, particularly in inclement weather conditions.
  • All passengers must wear seatbelts for safety reasons.
  • Drivers are not authorized to lift individuals in wheelchairs. This policy is in place to ensure the safety of both the passengers and the drivers.
  • Smoking is strictly prohibited on the bus.
  • The service is exclusively provided from accessible door to accessible door.

Please be aware that certain cancellations may be unavoidable or due to emergencies, and these circumstances will be taken into consideration during any review process.

Passengers will receive notifications about the duration of service delays through the app or telephone, depending on how they booked their trip.

How do I book a ride?

Parallel Transit bookings can be completed by App or by calling Railway City Transit (RCT) during the operating hours.

Bookings are permitted to be 14 days in advance.

Example; if you call on Monday March 1st, you may book trip for any available time up to Monday March 15th, but not March 16th or beyond.

This service is on a first come first served basis.

Please have the following information ready when calling to request a ride:

  • Your name
  • The date of your requested pickup
  • The time of your requested pickup
  • Your registration number
  • Payment Method
  • Address at which you wish to be picked up
  • Your destination address
  • Advise if you will be accompanied by an attendant

Booking by app will provide reminder texts of your upcoming trip and allow riders to follow the bus on a map as it draws near to your pickup. Telephone bookings will confirm your pickup/drop off location, date and a time window when the bus will arrive.

Have your parallel rider card handy to show the driver when boarding the bus.

Be ready for the start of the time window and be on the lookout for the bus as they are only required to wait two minutes once arriving for a pickup. After two minutes the drive may “no show” the rider where the first incident is no charge however subsequent incidents are full fare payable.

Can someone accompany me?

Yes, a companion is allow to travel with persons with disabilities, if space is available and will not result in the denial of service to other persons with disabilities. Frequent Companions can request an attendant card from the transit depot. The attendant is not required to pay. 

Dependents are allowed to travel with a person with a disability who is the parent or guardian of the dependent if appropriate child restraint securement systems and equipment are, if required, available.

Can I book recurring trips?

Individuals who travel regularly to and/or from a specific destination, such as work or post-secondary school, can benefit from a standing arrangement for service. This option can be accessed through the app or by calling to book a trip. It is important to note that recurring trips are valid for a period of 14 days and must be renewed once they expire.

I or someone I know, no longer needs this service, who do I contact?
In order to keep the list of eligible Parallel Transit users current, if you or someone you know no longer needs the service, kindly get in touch with the Environmental & Infrastructure Services Department at 631-1680 ext. 4161. This will help ensure the accuracy of the user records.