As part of an effort to update its guidelines for transportation vehicles covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Board has released for public comment draft revisions to sections covering buses and vans. Published in 1991, these guidelines cover a range of vehicles in addition to buses and vans, including various types of rail cars, trams, and other modes of public transportation. Revisions to these other sections will be released as drafts are completed.
The released draft on buses and vans includes updated provisions and additions covering new or variant forms of service, such as bus rapid transit. The revisions are based on the Board's review of the guidelines and input it received at an industry roundtable in January and public meetings held last September and July. These events provided an opportunity for the public, including disability groups, transportation operators, vehicle manufacturers, and other interested stakeholders to identify issues to address and provisions to revisit. As described in a discussion included in the draft, changes are provided that revise or clarify provisions covering:
In addition, the Board has included questions seeking specific comment on minimum space requirements for mobility aids, widths of onboard accessible routes, lift design loads, and specifications for seat belts and shoulder harnesses. The deadline for comment is June 11, 2007. A published notice provides instructions for submitting comments.
Comments received on this draft and upcoming drafts covering other sections of the guidelines will be used to prepare an official proposal to update the guidelines which will also be made available for comment. In its rulemaking, it has become common practice for the Board to release initial drafts of new or updated guidelines in advance of the official proposal. This additional step and round of comment allows the public a greater role in identifying issues and refining the proposed version which, in turn, leads to a better final rule.
For further information, contact Dennis Cannon at firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 272-0015 (v), or (202) 272-0082 (TTY).