Guidelines for Multicare Facilities
Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner R. Jack Cagle is pleased to provide transportation for residents in multicare facilities. This educational and recreational service is provided to encourage senior adults to participate in community and area events.
Precinct 4 buses may be reserved by activity directors or designated staff members of multicare facilities who have attended a trip coordinator training meeting, conducted by the Transportation Division of Precinct 4’s Senior Adult Program. For information on the next trip coordinator training meeting, please contact Precinct 4’s Transportation Division by calling 281-893-3726, or view the schedule online at www.hcp4.net/senioradult/daytrips/coordinator-meetings.htm.
Precinct 4’s wheelchair-accessible buses can accommodate up to three fixed non-folding, standard-size wheelchairs and six folding wheelchairs. Wheelchairs with extended leg/arm devices may reduce the number of fixed wheelchairs.
When reserving a bus, trip coordinators need to indicate if a wheelchair-accessible bus is needed. A wheelchair-accessible bus is not needed for ambulatory passengers that use folding wheelchairs.
Trips are limited to a maximum of six hours within a 75 mile radius with a maximum of two stops. Departure times are not scheduled for any time earlier than 8 a.m. Effective Monday, May 2, 2011: Precinct 4 is not booking day trips on Mondays.
Responsibilities of Multicare Facilities
Precinct 4 bus drivers are unable to provide individual assistance to passengers. The staff of multicare facilities must provide enough staff/volunteers to ensure the safety of passengers. The accompanying staff/volunteers must not be residents of the facility and must be at least 18 years of age. Please refer to the following guidelines to determine the number of staff/volunteers required to accompany passengers:
- One staff member/volunteer is required for each passenger who uses a wheelchair or walker.
- One staff member/volunteer is required for every three ambulatory passengers.
Prior to departure a staff member/volunteer must:
- Conduct a wheelchair brake test. If the brakes fail to hold in place, make plans to secure a properly functioning wheelchair: wheelchairs with faulty brakes will not be loaded onto the bus. Brake failure during transporting is very dangerous!
- Oxygen tanks and spare tanks must be placed/transported in a carry-on bag that will remain with the passenger at all times.
Facilities are responsible for the overall care of passengers’ special needs throughout the duration of a trip while on a Precinct 4 bus. These responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Contacting the destination point to arrange special services required by passengers
- Assisting with the loading and unloading of passengers
- Transferring passengers from wheelchairs to fixed seats on the bus
- Assisting the driver with securing wheelchairs for passengers who do not transfer to fixed seats on the bus
- Assisting passengers on ramps or elevators that may be encountered during the trip
- Placing protective incontinence pads on every passenger’s seat
- Clean and sanitize soiled seats/areas
Wheelchair and Boarding Information
- Precinct 4 drivers reserve the right to determine and refuse any wheelchair that cannot be safely secured and transported.
- Transport wheelchairs are not permitted: the front wheels are too small
- Only Precinct 4 drivers are allowed to operate wheelchair lifts
Trip Planning Guidelines
- Each year, trip coordinators will be required to complete a new Annual Group Reservation Contact Form. A group number will be assigned in the order in which the form is received via U.S. mail at the Transportation Office. Assigned group numbers determine the order in which trip coordinators will be called to make reservations. The number of buses each group can reserve each year is determined by the number of groups that submit an Annual Group Reservation Contact Form.
- Twice a year in March and September, the Senior Adult Program’s Transportation Office will contact each group’s primary trip coordinator to reserve buses for a six-month period. During the first call, trip coordinators will make reservations for the first half of the buses that have been allotted for the six-month period, and the second halfof the buses will be reserved during the second call. Following each round of calls, if buses are still available, a third call to each group will be made to book the remaining buses.
- Precinct 4’s Senior Adult Program Fleet includes:
One, 20-passenger ultra mini bus
Two, 39-passenger buses
Four, 26-passenger mini buses with wheelchair lift
Five, 39-passenger buses with wheelchair lift
Note: Precinct 4’s vehicles are not equipped with rest rooms.
- Detailed itineraries and plans for the trip must be arranged by the facility, and submitted on the Trip Reservation Form (TRF) to the Transportation Office at least 30 days prior to departure.
- Submit the TRF by e-mail, fax, U.S. mail, or online:
- Each stop must be planned prior to the trip by the facility and listed on the TRF.
- Confirm the maximum number of passengers planning to travel and the exact number of wheelchairs by calling the Transportation Office three to five working days before a trip. Please do not exceed the maximum number after you call.
A minimum of 10 passengers is required for the 20 and 26 passenger wheelchair lift buses. Trips with less than 10 passengers at the time of pick up will be canceled. A minimum of 20 passengers is required for the 39 passenger buses. Trips with less than 20 passengers at the time of pick up will be canceled.
- There is no charge for using Precinct 4 buses; however, please treat the driver as your guest by covering the cost of expenses required for the driver/s to participate with the passengers in meals, tickets, entrance fees, and parking fees for the bus.
- Precinct 4 provides two bus drivers for every four wheelchair transfers. Please consider this when planning costs of trip, ticket, meals, etc.
- Precinct 4 bus drivers are Harris County employees. Under the Texas Penal Code, Chapter 36-Bribery and Corrupt Influence section, governmental employees are not allowed to accept tips of any kind no matter how small the amount.
- The pick-up and return point must be at the multicare facility, located within the geographical boundaries of Precinct 4. All passengers, staff, and volunteers must complete the round trip.
- No eating, drinking (except water), chewing of tobacco or gum, nor smoking on the buses.
- Alcohol is not permitted on county vehicles or at county functions. Excessive alcohol consumption during any group's trip/s will not be tolerated.
- Picnic lunches may be taken but not eaten on the buses.
Many senior adult groups ask how they can show their appreciation for the transportation services and other special activities provided by Precinct 4's Senior Adult Program. Here’s how any group can help:
- Donations from groups and individuals to Precinct 4’s Senior Adult Program sponsors events like the annual “Opry in Humble,” concert and theater tickets, senior adult dances, plus a variety of other senior adult activities. Only with continued support and commitment can this fund expand to provide additional special programs for senior adults of Precinct 4.
If your group would like to make a donation, please make a check payable to Fun4Seniors and mail it to 1731 Hugh Road, Houston, Texas 77067. All donations are used exclusively for special activities and events, which benefit the senior adults in Precinct 4. We appreciate your support!