Low-Cost Transportation in Miami-Dade (STS) and Broward (TOPS Paratransit)
My elder law practice is mostly devoted to assisting the elderly or disabled to qualify for Medicaid long-term care benefits despite having too much income and/or assets. I take great pride in having developed a website that has become a resource for those looking for help. While Elder Needs Law, PLLC serves all of Florida, the majority of my elder law practice draws from South Florida (Key West, Miami, Kendall, North Miami Beach, North Miami, Hallandale, Hollywood, Ft. Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Davie, Plantation, Cooper City and surrounding areas)
As a result, this article will be focused on transportation options for the elderly and disabled in the Miami-Dade and Broward County areas. For those of you who are disabled, and in need of ultra-low-cost transportation, let this serve as a primer for how STS (Special Transportation Services) works in Miami and how TOPS (Transportation Options) works in Broward.
STS - Special Transportation Services - Serving Miami-Dade County
STS Contact Info
- Customer Service: 786-469-5000 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Reservations / Cancellations / Ride Status: 305-871-1111 or stsconnect.miamidade.gov
- TTY: 800-955-8771 or 711
STS covers most of Miami-Dade county.
Who is Eligible for STS in Miami-Dade?
Residents of Miami-Dade county with temporary or permanent (physical or mental) disabilities that prevents them from using available public transportation. STS charges $3.50 each way (a personal care attendant need not pay the fare, but they must be precertified by the STS certification office). STS riders may purchase pre-paid vouchers. STS is available for those with disabilities visiting from out-of-town and trips can be scheduled up to seven days in advance. In addition STS offers subscription service if you make the same trip at least once per week for more than a month (once a subscription is set up, you wont need to call before every trip).
STS drivers must provide assistance in and out of the vehicle - but this does not include carrying wheelchairs up and down stairs, entering buildings or homes to search for riders, or waiting with the rider at a drop-off location.
STS Application: To be filled out prior to an appointment, which can be scheduled by calling: 786-469-5000. A florida-licensed physician must complete and sign the medical verification portion of the STS application (Part III), certifying you as ADA paratransit eligible.
To be deemed “ADA paratransit eligible” - your doctor must certify that the STS applicant is unable (due to moderate to severe physical, vision or mental impairment) to board, ride or disembark from an accessible bus or rail vehicle without the assistance of another. Your doctor will also attach objective medical evidence to substantiate disabilities (e.g. EEG, neuropsychological evaluation, MRI/CT scan findings, etc…)
Those with temporary disabilities are eligible for STS for the duration of their disability.
BCT / TOPS Paratransit - Broward County Transit’s Transportation Options for the Disabled in Broward County
TOPS! Contact Info
- Call Center 866-682-2258. For Ride Reservations, Complaints, Compliments and “Where’s My Ride?”
- Customer Service: 954-357-8400
- TTY: 800-648-6084, 800-955-9771, or 711
- Reservations online: (click Make a Reservation and My TOPS!)
TOPS Paratransit in Broward provides ride transportation services to almost all of Broward county and as far northeast as Mizner Park, as far west as Sawgrass Mills, and as far south as Aventura Mall and Young Circle.
Reservations can be made three days prior to travel date and next day rides can be reserved before 5:00pm the day before.
Subscriptions are for those who go to and from the same locations, at the same day and time, at least twice per week (e.g. work, school, dialysis, physical therapy, etc…) Each leg of the trip is $3.50 (so, a full trip, going somewhere and returning will cost $7.00). Companions pay full fare, a certified / preapproved personal care attendant does not pay a fare.
Riders are given a 30 minute window of time when their ride will arrive and must be waiting for their driver.
If I qualify for the STS or Paratransit programs, what other benefits might I be entitled to?
If you are seeking this low-cost transportation option in Miami-Dade or Broward Counties (or anywhere else in Florida), you are likely a good candidate to discuss Medicaid long-term care planning with an experienced elder care lawyer. Elder law attorneys assist both the elderly and disabled to qualify for needs-based public benefits - even if their assets or income currently exceed applicable threshold. This can provide other valuable benefits that can be obtained without having to wait five years, without having to sell your house and without having to go broke first.