The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 forbids discrimination against disabled people. The ADA also ensures equal opportunities for every American who has a mobility problem. Providers of public transport must therefore provide access and a secure area on their vehicles to wheelchair and mobility scooter users. This law applies to all buses and trains that have fixed routes. Private transit companies under contract with local government may also supply paratransit buses designed to take wheelchair and mobility scooters.
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Things you need
- Schedules of bus and train services
- Local details of paratransit services
Contact the bus company and ask if there are lifts or ramps on their vehicles. Some lifts may not be large enough to take a mobility scooter. Other lifts may not have a sufficient load-bearing capacity.
Enter the bus using the lift or ramp, as appropriate. Ask the bus operator to help secure the mobility scooter.
Position the mobility scooter facing forward in the area designated for mobility scooters and wheelchairs. The operator will secure the mobility scooter with a tie-down/belt system or a wheel lock system. There is no universal standard for wheel lock systems. Although a bus may have such a system, the operator may instead need to use a tie-down/belt system on the scooter.
Assist the operator with the occupant restraint system. This is a belt that holds a user of a mobility scooter securely in place.
Use paratransit buses if they are available. Private companies provide paratransit buses in many metropolitan areas and cities.
Contact the local city hall. Ask for the web address of the company that runs the paratransit service.
Book a paratransit bus using the company's website. The website should have full details of the service.
Enter the paratransit bus by using the ramp or lift. The bus operator will then secure the mobility scooter with a tie-down/belt system or a wheel lock system.
Help the operator to attach the mobility scooter occupant restraint system.
Let the train company know that you want to travel with a mobility scooter when booking the tickets.
Use the ramp that the train company supplies. Park the mobility scooter in the designated area of the train.
Ensure that the train staff secure the mobility scooter in position and provide a safety belt for you.
Tips and warnings
- Contact the ADA Assistance Line for further guidance about securing and transporting a mobility scooter on public transport. The number is 1-888-446-4511 and is toll-free.
- Some mobility scooter users prefer not to secure their vehicles on public transport. However, failing to allow a transport operator to secure a mobility scooter is potentially dangerous.
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