On January 10, 2007, the Board held an industry roundtable discussion on issues to address in the update of its accessibility guidelines for transportation vehicles issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These guidelines, which were first published in 1991, cover access to buses, vans, rail cars, and other modes of public transportation. The Board plans to update these guidelines to address new or variant forms of service, such as bus rapid transit.
The recent meeting brought together industry representatives, including bus operators and the manufacturers of buses, vehicle ramps and lifts, and securement devices. Discussion focused on trends in the design of buses, boarding devices, and mobility aids, such as the increasing variety of wheelchairs and powered mobility aids on the market, the prevalence of low floor buses, and other innovations in the design of vehicles and boarding devices. Issues raised in pubic forums the Board held last year in Washington, D.C. and Las Vegas were explored as they pertain to boarding access and securement devices.
Based on the input of this latest meeting, as well as the previous forums, the Board plans to prepare draft revisions to the bus guidelines that will be made available for public comment. A follow-up draft will be prepared to cover other parts of the guidelines, including specifications for rail cars. The Board is scheduled to hold a forum on this update at New Jersey’s TransAction 2007 Transportation Conference and Expo, in Atlantic City on April 12th. For more information, contact Dennis Cannon at firstname.lastname@example.org (email), (202) 272-0015 (v), or (202) 272-0081 (TTY).