The Access Board is reopening the comment period on proposed updates to its
ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles to collect additional
information on bus ramps. As part of this effort, the Board will hold public
meetings in September and October to discuss the usability and impacts of
certain bus ramp designs that have been implemented more recently. This
information will be used to finalize proposed updates to sections of the
guidelines covering buses and vans.
In 2010, the Board released for public comment a proposal to update sections of the vehicle guidelines covering
buses and vans. The proposed rule included revisions to technical specifications
for vehicle ramps, onboard circulation routes, wheelchair spaces, and securement
systems. To improve accessibility, the Board proposed reducing the maximum slope
of vehicle ramps.
The Board, which is finalizing the updated guidelines according to the public
comments received, recently has been made aware of a specific bus ramp design
that is responsive to the proposed slope reduction but that may impact
usability. This design allows a portion of deployed ramps to remain inside the
vehicle to minimize their exterior projection. Questions have arisen about this
type of design, including grade breaks that occur on ramp runs, reduced
maneuvering space at the top of ramps, and access to fare collection devices.
This information and correspondence received by the Board have been placed in
the rulemaking docket which is available online at regulations.gov.
To further examine this ramp design and to collect additional information and
feedback from the public, the Board is re-opening the docket, as indicated in a
published notice. The Board will hold a public meeting on the subject on
September 19 from 9:30 to 1:30 at its conference center at 1331 F Street, N.W.,
Suite 800 in Washington, D.C. The Board plans to hold a second meeting the first
week of October at the annual meeting of the American Public Transportation
Association (APTA) in Seattle and will release further details at a later date.
Bus and ramp manufacturers, transit operators, disability organizations,
researchers, and interested individuals are encouraged to attend these meetings
and to submit comment. Written comments will be accepted until October 31 and
can be submitted through regulations.gov.
For further information, visit the Board’s website
or contact Scott Windley at firstname.lastname@example.org, (202)
272-0025 (voice), or (202) 272-0028 (TTY).