ADA Rules for Wheelchair-Accessible Shuttles
If your business provides transportation with shuttle buses, you’re required to follow the ADA rules for wheelchair-accessible shuttles. The Americans With Disabilities Act applies to both public and private organizations, and is overseen by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Some businesses add complimentary transportation service as a convenience to their customers. These include:
- Hotels that offer courtesy shuttles to the airport and local destinations
- Tourist attractions and shopping malls that shuttle visitors around the site
- Stadiums that provide shuttle buses to parking lots
- Colleges with on-campus transportation
The ADA’s comprehensive factsheet specifies the regulations in more detail, but these are rules you should know:
Information on transportation services must be accessible in a variety of ways: in Braille, for instance, in large print, and at a lower height for someone who uses a wheelchair.
Shuttle buses must be equipped with these features in good working order:
- Straps for securing wheelchairs
- Communication devices
Adequate Boarding Time
People with disabilities often need more time to get on board and off a shuttle, so they shouldn’t be rushed.
Any guide or signal dog is permitted on a shuttle, as well as any other animal individually trained to assist someone with disabilities. Note: Service animals do not need to be certified or licensed by state or local government.
Shuttle systems that operate along a prescribed route must designate seating for passengers with disabilities. They need to be forward-facing, and marked as priority seating for those with disabilities.
Safety training is required for operators, as well as instruction in how to use all equipment. Drivers should be aware that people with disabilities require different kinds of service, and that they should be assisted with respect and courtesy.
If an organization does not own a shuttle bus that adheres to the ADA’s requirements, it’s expected to offer transportation arrangements that are equivalent to passengers without disabilities. That means that someone in a wheelchair should be able to expect the same
- Schedules or response times
- Hours of operation
- Pick-up and drop-off locations
Many businesses violate this rule every day, inconveniencing customers with disabilities by making them wait an hour or more for a ride. But as awareness of the ADA rules spreads, violations are no longer slipping through the cracks. Travelers in particular are advocating for equal treatment, reporting organizations that aren’t in compliance.
National Bus can help you find a new or used shuttle bus for sale that adheres to all regulations. ADA rules for wheelchair-accessible shuttles aren’t optional, so contact us for more information on how you can comply. We can deliver all kinds of buses wherever you are in the country. We can provide a virtual or video walk-through of any bus.