Etowah County Rural Transportation

Passenger Handbook




Safety of our passengers is our number one concern, and these rules must be followed by everyone:

  1. Do not lean or extend the body or articles from the vehicle.
  2. Remain seated at all times.
  3. No smoking, eating or drinking on the van.
  4. Do not consume or possess an open container of any alcoholic beverage while on the van.
  5. Do not possess, use or sell any controlled substance while on the van.
  6. Do not carry or possess any dangerous weapons.
  7. Do not possess or transport any flammable liquid or other hazardous material. This includes, but is not limited to, gasoline, kerosene, propane, industrial chemicals, any other flammable chemical or any toxic substance.
  8. Proper clothing consisting of a top, bottom and shoes must be worn at all times. The top or shirt    must conceal the front side of the torso; the bottom or pants must conceal from the waist down to approximately 18 inches.  If the shoes are of lace style, these laces must be tied.
  9. When de-boarding the van, please wait until the van has pulled away before crossing the street.
  10. Do not engage in disruptive, disturbing behavior including: distracting the driver, disrespecting fellow passengers, loud conversation, profanity or operating any electronic device with sound without earphones.
  11. All passengers must use safety restraint equipment and/or seat belts at all times if such equipment is available on the vehicle. Anyone refusing to use safety restraint equipment will be denied transportation.
  12. Passengers who are either less than five (5) years of age or who weigh less than forty (40) pounds are required to use an appropriately sized child safety seat, and any such seat is required to be properly secured with available restraint equipment at all times. These child safety seats are the sole responsibility of the guardian passenger of the child.  ECRT does not provide child safety seats, and drivers are not allowed to install them.
  13. It is the passenger’s responsibility which is using an oxygen cylinder to make sure each oxygen cylinder is secured to prevent movement and leakage.  Each cylinder should be loaded and secured in an upright position.  “Secured” means that the cylinder is not free to move when the vehicle is in motion.
  14. It is the passenger’s responsibility which is using an oxygen cylinder to make sure oxygen cylinders or other medical support equipment should never be stored or secured in the aisle. Make sure that the seating of the passenger requiring oxygen does not restrict access to exits or use of the aisle.
  15. Since the release of oxygen from a cylinder could accelerate a fire, it is the passenger’s responsibility which is using the oxygen cylinder to make sure each cylinder should be secured away from sources of heat or potential sparks. Securing personal oxygen tanks are the passenger’s responsibility.
  16. Aisles of the van must be clear at all times.
  17. Do not vandalize the vehicle.



Assistance:  Our drivers can perform only ordinary assistance in boarding and de-boarding.  Ordinary assistance is defined as opening of a door, helping with packages and offering of an arm.  Etowah County Rural Transportation (ECRT) offers origin to destination service, meaning we do not enter homes, and there is a limit of three steps.  If you need further assistance, you are to have a friend or family member accompany you as a Personal Care Assistant (PCA).  No additional charge will be made for the PCA to accompany the passenger.  This PCA must be a minimum of 18 years old and must have the ability to assist the passenger with all of their needs.


Parcels:  Parcels are allowed if the passenger can reasonably carry and control the parcel.  The passenger must be able to get the parcel(s) on and off the vehicle in one trip, stabilize it, and control it through the transit trip.  For non-ambulatory passengers or other passengers with disabilities, the parcel should be such that the driver or an accompanying person can carry the parcel(s) on and off the vehicle in one trip, stabilize it, and with the assistance of a cardboard box or likeness, have the parcel(s) under control for the trip.  Any parcel that either directly or indirectly threatens the safe transportation of passengers will not be allowed.  Only the driver or the PCA may assist with passenger parcels.


Number of Stops Allowed Per Trip:  Due to the number of clients that we serve each day, we ask that you limit your number of stops to three per trip (original destination plus two additional stops).  There will be a charge of $2.00 per each additional stop.  Due to the current demand for our service, we ask that you limit your time in locations such as Walmart, grocery stores, etc. to one hour unless doing so conflicts with ECRT’s scheduling.


A No Show is defined as:

  • Any time travel has occurred to pick up a passenger that does not ride.
  • There has been no advance call by the customer or customer’s representative to cancel the scheduled trip.
  • Trip is not canceled one hour prior to scheduled pick up time.
  • Any time a driver waits 5 minutes beyond the scheduled pick up time and the passenger is not present or ready to leave.
  • When a passenger cancels trip once you have arrived at the pick-up location.

Non-canceled rides will be declared a No Show.  If your first pick-up for the day is a No Show, the remaining trips for the day will be canceled unless scheduling has been notified.

Any passenger accumulating three (3) No Shows will be suspended from service for fourteen (14) days.  If a passenger receives more than one suspension within a year, the time period for the second suspension will be thirty (30) days or longer.  It will be determined on a case by case basis and may be a permanent suspension.  Once a passenger receives two (2) No Shows, the passenger will be given a verbal warning.  Prior to any suspension, a written notification will be mailed to the passenger.  Individuals may appeal a suspension.  All appeals must be in writing prior to the suspension date and directed to the Director of Transportation at 800 Forrest Avenue, Room 215, Gadsden, AL 35901.


Service animals such as a guide dog, signal dog or other animals individually trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability are welcome to board the vehicle with the disabled person.  The animal trained to work or perform tasks for an individual is to be under the control of the individual not ECRT.  If an animal has created a prior incident posing a direct threat to the health and safety of others, the service animal will be excluded from service with ECRT.  Pets are allowed in pet carriers for veterinary transport only and are required to follow the same rules as service animals.