Thanks to The Americans with Disabilities Act, legislation exists to assure that public buildings and transportation are accessible to people with limited mobility. Many public buses, for instance, are able to lower themselves to the ground with a lift device for patients in wheelchairs. Buses also allow service animals aboard for the blind.
Whether one uses a manual wheelchair, scooter or power chair, public subways and buses are required to provide a place where the standard bus seating provides space to park a mobility device. According to the American’s With Disabilities Act (ADA), all forms of public transit must accommodate persons with mobility equipment up to 30 inches wide and 48 inches long, and weighing less than 600 pounds when occupied. All of Aeroflow’s Jazzy powerchairs by Pride Mobility are designed to fit these limits.
However, because many subway systems are older, only some are outfitted with elevator services to and from the platform. However, subways have a minimal gap between the cars and the platform, as well as a seating system designed with designated spaces for wheelchair users. While the ADA provides access for those using mobility equipment to ride public transit independently, when using a subway system, it is advisable to ride with a friend or attendant in case of emergency.
This information is particularly useful if you, or a friend or loved on, are just being introduced to a wheelchair. Knowing your rights under the ADA Act will help ensure that you have a pleasant experience traveling in your chair. Public transportation is an accommodation that is accessible for all people, and as long as your mobility device falls within the ADA’s regulation sizes, you are free to travel your city just like the rest of your community.