The Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights legislation designed to integrate people with disabilities into the mainstream of life. It provides people with disabilities equal access to employment, places of public accommodations, transportation and telephone services.
Under this law, the VTA must accommodate individuals with physical, mental, visual and hearing impairments on fixed route buses, as well as on our paratransit vehicles that operate a specialized, curb-to curb or door-to-door service.
The ADA’s Transportation Requirements
Under the ADA, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requires that all public transportation providers:
- Purchase only lift-equipped vehicles.
- Assist customers who cannot secure their own tie-down straps, and offer assistance upon request.
- Train operators on the safe use of lift related equipment and on the sensitivity of customers with disabilities.
- Ensure that customers using a mobility device are not required to transfer to a seat.
- Give adequate time for customers with disabilities to board and disembark the vehicle.
- Make announcements at predetermined intervals, such as major intersections, transfer points, and route destinations. Also, announce all stops as listed.
- Permit service animals, such as, (but not limited to) seeing-eye dogs to accompany customers with disabilities on the vehicles, without requiring a harness or certification for the animal.
- Permit customers with disabilities to travel on the vehicle with a respirator or personal oxygen supply.
- Allow personal attendants on board for those customers who need them, but not require them to ride with attendants.
- Cycle the lift daily, inspect all ADA required features, and provide regular and frequent maintenance.
- Report ADA equipment failures immediately.
- Provide alternative transportation when a lift on a vehicle breaks while in service and the time until the next accessible vehicle exceeds 30 minutes.
- Assure that mobility device/wheelchair securement locations are available to customers with disabilities, unless occupied by other customers with disabilities.
- Allow those customers with disabilities to board while standing on the lift, if they are unable to board the vehicle otherwise.
- Allow customers with disabilities to ride without seatbelt restraints if other customers are allowed to ride without seatbelts.
- Make system brochures, application forms, rider handbooks, and occasional bulletins available in alternative formats upon request, including large print, audio, online and others upon request.
- Provide a process for requesting reasonable modification to policies and practices to accommodate a person with a disability.
- Maintain procedures for addressing ADA complaints that incorporate appropriate due process standards and provide for prompt and equitable resolution.