The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that individuals with disabilities are entitled to the same availability of public transportation options as individuals without disabilities. All major fixed-route busing transit operations must offer accessibility for disabled passengers at terminals and on buses.
Buses offer restraints for wheelchairs, ramps and lifts for assisting people during boarding and disembarkation, and buses must allow oxygen tanks, respirators and service animals to accompany passengers when needed. Bus operators are trained to know how to operate lifts and ramps on demand and are educated to assist disabled travelers.
While these accommodations and equipment are in place, there are still some important considerations for a disabled individual when using public transit services. Safety is the first priority — the following are some tips to use when traveling.
Safety Tips for Bus Travel
To ensure safety while using public transit services, follow these important steps:
- Ask for the safety of a ramp or lift whenever you feel you need it. Even if you are not in a wheelchair and can walk with assistance, there may be times when climbing the steps of a bus is not safe. You can ask the operator for use of the ramp or lift as necessary, and you are entitled to those accommodations.
- Use the bus’ priority seating area. Buses are required to reserve seating for disabled passengers in the front of the bus. Be sure to ask the operator of the bus if you don’t see the seating marked or are unsure of where it is located.
- Take your time when embarking or disembarking from the bus. The operator should be trained to understand that it is required by law to allow you adequate time to enter the bus and find your seat safely or to leave your seat and safely exit the bus. If you feel pressured, gently remind the operator of your rights.
- Wheelchair restraints are available on all buses to hold your wheelchair in place. Be sure that your wheelchair is properly secured by the restraints before the operator departs from your stop. You should have a seat belt with shoulder harness available for use in the wheelchair restraint space of the bus. Do not use your wheelchair’s belt as a seat belt. Ask the operator for the bus’ wheelchair seat belt if you can’t immediately find it.
What if my rights were violated?
If you feel you have been overlooked or your right to a safe bus trip was infringed upon, or you were injured in a bus accident, Cordisco & Saile LLC can help. Call us today to set up a consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.