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Section 37.171 Equivalency Requirement for Demand Responsive Service Operated by Private Entities Not Primarily in the Business of Transporting People

This provision is a service requirement closely related to the private entity requirements for $$37.101–37.105 of this part. Entities in this category are always required to provide equivalent service, regardless of what they are doing with respect to the acquisition of vehicles. The effect of this provision may be to require some entities to arrange, either through acquiring their own accessible vehicles or coordinating with other providers, to have accessible vehicles available to meet the equivalency Standards of $37.105 or otherwise to comply with those standards.

Section 37.173 Training

A well-trained workforce is essential in ensuring that the accessibility-related equipment and accommodations required by the ADA actually result in the delivery of good transportation service to individuals with disabilities. The utility of training was recognized by Congress as well. (See S. Rept. 100–116 at 48.) At the same time, we believe that training should be conducted in an efflcient and effective manner, with appropriate flexibility allowed to the organizations that must carry it out. Each transportation prowider is to design a training program which suits the needs of its particular Operation. While we are confident of this approach, we are mindful that the apparent lack of training has been a source of Complaint to FTA and transit providers. Good training is difficult and it is essential. Several points of this section deserve emphasis. First, the requirements for training apply to private as well as to public providers, of demand responsive as well as of fixed route Service. Training is just as necessary for the driver of a taxicab, a hotel Shuttle, or a tour bus as it is for a driver in an FTAfunded city buS System. Second, training must be to proficiency. The Department is not requiring a Specific course of training or the Submission of a training plan for DOT approval. However, every employee of a transportation provider who is involved with Service to perSonS with disabilities must have been trained so that he or she knows what needs to be done to provide the service in the right way. When it comes to providing service to individuals with disabilities, ignorance is no excuse for failure. While there is no specific requirement for recurrent or refresher training, there is an obligation to ensure that, at any given time, employees are trained to proficiency. An employee who has forgotten what he was told in past training Sessions, So that he or she does not know what needs to be done to serve in

dividuals with disabilities, does not meet the standard of being trained to proficiency. Third, training must be appropriate to the duties of each employee. A paratransit dispatcher probably must know how to use a TDD and enough about various disabilities to know what sort of vehicle to dispatch. A bus driver must know how to operate lifts and Securement devices properly. A mechanic who works on lifts must know how to maintain them. Cross-training, while useful in Some instances, is not required, So long as each employee is trained to proficiency in what he or She does with respect to Service to individuals with disabilities. Fourth, the training requirement goes both to technical tasks and human relations. Employees obviously need to know how to run equipment, the right way. If an employee will be assisting wheelchair users in transferring from a wheelchair to a vehicle seat, the employee needs training in how to do this safely. But every public contact employee also has to understand the necessity of treating individuals with disabilities courteously and respectfully, and the details of what that involves. One of the best Sources of information. On how best to train personnel to interact appropriately with individuals with disabilities is the disability community itself. ConSequently, the Department urges entities to Consult with disability Organizations Concerning how to train their personnel. Involving these groups in the process of establishing training programs, in addition to providing useful information, should help to establish or improve working relationships annong transit providers and disability groups that, necessarily, will be of long duration. We note that Several transit providers use persons with disabilities to provide the actual training. Others have reported that role playing is an effective method to instill an appreciation of the particular perspective of one traveling with a disability. Finally, one of the important points in training concerns differences annong individuals with disabilities. All individuals with disabilities, of Course, are not alike. The appropriate ways one deals with persons with various kinds of disabilities (e.g., mobility, vision, hearing, or mental impairments) are likely to differ and, while no one expects bus drivers to be trained as disability SpecialistS, recognizing relevant differences and responding to them appropriately is extremely significant. Public entities who contract with private entities to have service provided— above all, complementary paratransit—are responsible for enSuring that Contractor perSonnel receive the appropriate training.

[56 FR 45621, Sept. 6, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 25416, May 21, 1996]

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under procedures set forth in $37.7 of this title.

$38.3 Definitions. See §37.3 of this title.

$38.4 Miscellaneous instructions.

(a) Dimensional conventions. Dimensions that are not noted as minimum or maximum are absolute. (b) Dimensional tolerances. All dimensions are subject to conventional engineering tolerances for material properties and field conditions, including normal anticipated wear not exceeding accepted industry-wide standards and practices. (c) Notes. The text of these guidelines does not contain notes or footnotes. Additional information, explanations, and advisory materials are located in the Appendix. (d) General terminology. (1) Comply with means meet one or more specification of these guidelines. (2) If or if * * * then denotes a specification that applies only when the conditions described are present. (3) May denotes an option or alternative. (4) Shall denotes a mandatory Specification Or requirement. (5) Should denotes an advisory specification or recommendation.

Subport B–Buses, Vons dnd Systems

$38.21 General.

(a) New, used or remanufactured buses and vans (except over-the-road buses covered by subpart G. Of this part), to be considered accessible by regulations in part 37 of this title shall comply with the applicable provisions of this subpart.

(b) If portions of the vehicle are modified in a way that affects or could affect accessibility, each such portion shall comply, to the extent practicable, with the applicable provisions of this Subpart. This provision does not require that inaccessible buses be retrofitted with lifts, ramps or other boarding devices.

$38.23 Mobility aid accessibility.

(a) General. All vehicles covered by this subpart shall provide a level

change mechanism or boarding device (e.g., lift or ramp) complying with paragraph (b) or (c) of this section and sufficient clearances to permit a wheelchair or other mobility aid user to reach a Securement location. At least two securement locations and devices, complying with paragraph (d) of this section, shall be provided on vehicles in excess of 22 feet in length; at least one securement location and device, complying with paragraph (d) of this section, shall be provided on vehicles 22 feet in length or less. (b) Vehicle lift—(1) Design load. The design load of the lift shall be at least 600 pounds. Working parts, such as cables, pulleys, and shafts, which can be expected to wear, and upon which the lift depends for support of the load, shall have a safety factor of at least six, based on the ultimate strength of the material. Nonworking parts, such as platform, frame, and attachment hardware which would not be expected to wear, shall have a safety factor of at least three, based on the ultimate strength of the material. (2) Controls—(i) Requirements. The controls shall be interlocked with the vehicle brakes, transmission, or door, or shall provide other appropriate mechanisms or Systems, to ensure that the vehicle cannot be moved when the lift is not Stowed and so the lift cannot be deployed unless the interlocks or Systems are engaged. The lift shall deploy to all levels (i.e., ground, curb, and intermediate positions) normally encountered in the Operating environment. Where provided, each control for deploying, lowering, raising, and stowing the lift, and lowering the roll-off barrier shall be of a momentary contact type requiring continuous manual pressure by the operator and shall not allow improper lift sequencing when the lift platform is occupied. The controls shall allow reversal of the lift Operation sequence, such as raising or lowering a platform that is part way down, without allowing an OCCupied platform to fold or retract into the Stowed position. (ii) Eacception. Where the lift is designed to deploy with its long dimension parallel to the vehicle axis and which pivots into or out of the vehicle while occupied (i.e., “rotary lift”), the requirements of this paragraph prohibiting the lift from being stowed while Occupied shall not apply if the stowed position is within the passenger compartment and the lift is intended to be Stowed while occupied. (3) Emergency operation. The lift shall incorporate an emergency method of deploying, lowering to ground level with a lift occupant, and raising and Stowing the empty lift if the power to the lift fails. No emergency method, manual or otherwise, shall be capable of being operated in a manner that Could be hazardous to the lift occupant Or to the operator when Operated acCording to manufacturer’s instructions, and shall not permit the platform to be Stowed or folded when OCCupied, unless the lift is a rotary lift and is intended to be stowed while occupied. (4) Power or equipment failure. Platforms stowed in a vertical position, and deployed platforms when occupied, Shall have provisions to prevent their deploying, falling, or folding any faster than 12 inches/second or their dropping of an occupant in the event of a single failure of any load carrying component. (5) Platform barriers. The lift platform shall be equipped with barriers to prevent any of the wheels of a wheelchair or mobility aid from rolling off the platform during its operation. A movable barrier or inherent design feature shall prevent a wheelchair or mobility aid from rolling off the edge closest to the vehicle until the platform is in its fully raised position. Each side of the lift platform which extends beyond the vehicle in its raised position shall have a barrier a minimum 1% inches high. Such barriers shall not interfere with maneuvering into or Out of the aisle. The loading-edge barrier (outer barrier) which functions as a loading ramp when the lift is at ground level, shall be sufficient when raised or closed, or a supplementary system shall be provided, to prevent a power wheelchair or mobility aid from riding over or defeating it. The outer barrier of the lift shall automatically raise or close, or a supplementary System Shall automatically engage, and remain raised, closed, or engaged at all times that the platform is more than 3 inches above the roadway or Sidewalk and the plat

form is occupied. Alternatively, a barrier or System may be raised, lowered, opened, closed, engaged, or disengaged by the lift operator, provided an interlock or inherent design feature prevents the lift from rising unless the barrier is raised or closed or the sup— plementary system is engaged. (6) Platform surface. The platform surface shall be free of any protrusions Over ¥4 inch high and shall be slip reSistant. The platform shall have a minimum clear width of 28% inches at the platform, a minimum clear width of 30 inches measured from 2 inches above the platform surface to 30 inches above the platform, and a minimum clear length of 48 inches measured from 2 inches above the surface of the platform to 30 inches above the surface of the platform. (See Fig. 1) (7) Platform gaps. Any openings between the platform surface and the raised barriers shall not exceed 5% inch in width. When the platform is at vehicle floor height with the inner barrier (if applicable) down or retracted, gaps between the forward lift platform edge and the vehicle floor shall not exceed 4% inch horizontally and 5% inch vertically. Platforms on semi-automatic lifts may have a hand hold not exceeding 1% inches by 4% inches located between the edge barriers. (8) Platform entrance ramp. The entrance ramp, or loading-edge barrier used as a ramp, shall not exceed a slope of 1:8, measured on level ground, for a maximum rise of 3 inches, and the transition from roadway or Sidewalk to ramp may be vertical without edge treatment up to 1/4 inch. Thresholds between 4/4 inch and 4% inch high shall be beveled with a slope no greater than 1:2. (9) Platform deflection. The lift platform (not including the entrance ramp) shall not deflect more than 3 degrees (exclusive of vehicle roll or pitch) in any direction between its unloaded poSition and its position when loaded with 600 pounds applied through a 26 inch by 26 inch test pallet at the centroid of the platform. (10) Platform movement. No part of the platform shall move at a rate exceeding 6 inches/second during lowering and lifting an occupant, and shall not exceed 12 inches/second during deploying or stowing. This requirement does not apply to the deployment or stowage cycles of lifts that are manually deployed or stowed. The maximum platform horizontal and vertical acceleration when occupied shall be 0.3g. (11) Boarding direction. The lift shall permit both inboard and outboard facing of wheelchair and mobility aid U1861°S. (12) Use by standees. Lifts shall accommodate persons using walkers, crutches, canes or braces or who otherwise have difficulty using steps. The platform may be marked to indicate a preferred standing position. (13) Handrails. Platforms on lifts shall be equipped with handrails on two sides, which move in tandem with the lift, and which shall be graspable and provide support to standees throughout the entire lift operation. Handrails shall have a usable component at least 8 inches long with the lowest portion a minimum 30 inches above the platform and the highest portion a maximum 38 inches above the platform. The handrails shall be capable of withstanding a force of 100 pounds concentrated at any point on the handrail without permanent deformation of the rail or its Supporting structure. The handrail shall have a cross-sectional diameter between 1% inches and 1% inches or shall provide an equivalent grasping surface, and have eased edges with corner radii of not less than % inch. Handrails shall be placed to provide a minimum 1% inches knuckle clearance from the nearest adjacent surface. Handrails shall not interfere with wheelchair Or mobility aid maneuverability when entering or leaving the vehicle. (c) Vehicle ramp—(1) Design load. Ramps 30 inches or longer shall support a load of 600 pounds, placed at the Centroid of the ramp distributed over an area of 26 inches by 26 inches, with a Safety factor of at least 3 based on the ultimate strength of the material. Ramps shorter than 30 inches shall Support a load of 300 pounds. (2) Ramp surface. The ramp surface shall be continuous and slip resistant; shall not have protrusions from the Surface greater than % inch high; shall have a clear width of 30 inches; and shall accommodate both four-wheel and three-wheel mobility aids.

(3) Ramp threshold. The transition from roadway or sidewalk and the transition from vehicle floor to the ramp may be vertical without edge treatment up to ¥4 inch. Changes in level between 4/4 inch and #2 inch shall be beveled with a slope no greater than 1:2. (4) Ramp barriers. Each side of the ramp shall have barriers at least 2 inches high to prevent mobility aid wheels from slipping off. (5) Slope. Ramps shall have the least slope practicable and shall not exceed 1:4 when deployed to ground level. If the height of the vehicle floor from which the ramp is deployed is 3 inches or less above a 6-inch curb, a maximum slope of 1:4 is permitted; if the height of the vehicle floor from which the ramp is deployed is 6 inches or less, but greater than 3 inches, above a 6-inch Curb, a maximum slope of 1:6 is permitted; if the height of the vehicle floor from which the ramp is deployed is 9 inches or less, but greater than 6 inches, above a 6-inch curb, a maximum slope of 1:8 is permitted; if the height of the vehicle floor from which the ramp is deployed is greater than 9 inches above a 6-inch curb, a slope of 1:12 shall be achieved. Folding or teleSCOping ramps are permitted provided they meet all structural requirements of this section. (6) Attachment. When in use for boarding or alighting, the ramp shall be firmly attached to the vehicle so that it is not subject to displacement when loading or unloading a heavy power mobility aid and that no gap between vehicle and ramp exceeds 5% inch. (7) Stowage. A compartment, Securement System, or other appropriate method shall be provided to ensure that stowed ramps, including portable ramps stowed in the passenger area, do not impinge on a passenger’s wheelchair or mobility aid or pose any hazard to passengers in the event of a Sudden Stop or maneuver. (8) Handrails. If provided, handrails shall allow persons with disabilities to grasp them from outside the vehicle while starting to board, and to continue to use them throughout the boarding process, and shall have the top between 30 inches and 38 inches above the ramp surface. The handrails

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