The Department of Transportation’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations require all over-the-road bus (OTRB) operators to provide timely service for passengers with disabilities, including wheelchair users, using accessible buses or equivalent service, described below. OTRB operators are required to keep accessible features maintained and operational.
An accessible bus includes a lift for helping passengers who cannot climb steps to board the bus, specific locations to secure a wheelchair to prevent it from sliding, and other features to ease travel for passengers with disabilities.
Equivalent service is transportation service for passengers with disabilities that is as accessible as the type of service provided to passengers without disabilities. Passsengers must also be allowed to travel in their own wheelchairs, if requested.
It is considered discrimination for a bus company to:
- Deny transportation to an individual with disabilities, based on the disability. As with any passnger, an individual engaged in violent, seriously disruptive, or illegal conduct may be denied service. Service may not be denied, however, if disability results in appearance or involuntary behavior that may offend, annoy, or inconvenience employees or others.
- Use or request use of persons other than bus company employees (such as family members or travel companies) to provide boarding or other assistance to passengers with disabilities – unless the passenger requests or consents to assistance from such persons.
- Require or request a passenger with a disability to reschedule a trip, or travel at a time other than the time the passenger has requested; or
- Fail to provide reservations services to passengers with disabilities equivalent to those provided other passengers.
Advance Notice for Service to Passengers with Disabilities
Travel planners and passengers should be aware that charter and tour bus operators, and small fixed-route bus companies may require 48 hours advance notice to provide service to passengers with disabilities.
Travel planners or passengers who believe that a bus company is not complying with ADA requirements should file a complaint online through the National Consumer Complaint Database any time, or by phone toll-free at 1-88-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST.
More Accessibility Information: