CODI: Cornucopia of Disability Information

Subpart B -- Buses, Vans and Systems

Subpart B -- Buses, Vans and Systems

Section 1192.21 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 issued by the Department of Transportation in 49 CFR part 37,
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.

Section 1192.23 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) Exception.  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 1-1/2 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
platform 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 supplementary system is engaged.

      (6) Platform surface.  The platform surface shall be free of any
protrusions over 1/4 inch high and shall be slip resistant. The platform shall
have a minimum clear width of 28-1/2 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 5/8 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 1/2 inch horizontally and 5/8 inch vertically. Platforms on
semi-automatic lifts may have a hand hold not exceeding 1-1/2 inches by 4-1/2
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
1/4 inch and 1/2 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 users.

      (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 1-1/4 inches and 1-1/2
inches or shall provide an equivalent grasping surface, and have eased edges
with corner radii of not less than 1/8 inch. Handrails shall be placed to
provide a minimum 1-1/2 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 1/4 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 1/4 inch. Changes in level between 1/4 inch and 1/2 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 5/8 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
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 1-1/4 inches and 1-1/2 inches or shall provide an equivalent grasping
surface, and have eased edges with corner radii of not less than 1/8 inch.
Handrails shall not interfere with wheelchair or mobility aid maneuverability
when entering or leaving the vehicle.

      (d) Securement devices. - (1) Design load. Securement systems on
vehicles with GVWRs of 30,000 pounds or above, and their attachments to such
vehicles, shall restrain a force in the forward longitudinal direction of up
to 2,000 pounds per securement leg or clamping mechanism and a minimum of
4,000 pounds for each mobility aid.  Securement systems on vehicles with GVWRs
of up to 30,000 pounds, and their attachments to such vehicles, shall restrain
a force in the forward longitudinal direction of up to 2,500 pounds per
securement leg or clamping mechanism and a minimum of 5,000 pounds for each
mobility aid.

      (2) Location and size.  The securement system shall be placed as near to
the accessible entrance as practicable and shall have a clear floor area of 30
inches by 48 inches. Such space shall adjoin, and may overlap, an access path.
Not more than 6 inches of the required clear floor space may be accommodated
for footrests under another seat provided there is a minimum of 9 inches from
the floor to the lowest part of the seat overhanging the space. Securement
areas may have fold-down seats to accommodate other passengers when a
wheelchair or mobility aid is not occupying the area, provided the seats, when
folded up, do not obstruct the clear floor space required. (See Fig.  2)

      (3) Mobility aids accommodated.  The securement system shall secure
common wheelchairs and mobility aids and shall either be automatic or easily
attached by a person familiar with the system and mobility aid and having
average dexterity.

      (4) Orientation.  In vehicles in excess of 22 feet in length, at least
one securement device or system required by paragraph (a) of this section
shall secure the wheelchair or mobility aid facing toward the front of the
vehicle.  In vehicles 22 feet in length or less, the required securement
device may secure the wheelchair or mobility aid either facing toward the
front of the vehicle or rearward.  Additional securement devices or systems
shall secure the wheelchair or mobility aid facing forward or rearward.  Where
the wheelchair or mobility aid is secured facing the rear of the vehicle, a
padded barrier shall be provided The padded barrier shall extend from a height
of 38 inches from the vehicle floor to a height of 56 inches from the vehicle
floor with a width of 18 inches, laterally centered immediately in back of the
seated individual.  Such barriers need not be solid provided equivalent
protection is afforded.

      (5) Movement.  When the wheelchair or mobility aid is secured in
accordance with manufacturer's instructions, the securement system shall limit
the movement of an occupied wheelchair or mobility aid to no more than 2
inches in any direction under normal vehicle operating conditions.

      (6) Stowage.  When not being used for securement, or when the securement
area can be used by standees, the securement system shall not interfere with
passenger movement, shall not present any hazardous condition, shall be
reasonably protected from vandalism, and shall be readily accessed when needed
for use.

      (7) Seat belt and shoulder harness. For each wheelchair or mobility aid
securement device provided, a passenger seat belt and shoulder harness,
complying with all applicable provisions of 49 CFR part 571, shall also be
provided for use by wheelchair or mobility aid users. Such seat belts and
shoulder harnesses shall not be used in lieu of a device which secures the
wheelchair or mobility aid itself.

Section 1192.25 Doors, steps and thresholds.
      (a) Slip resistance.  All aisles, steps, floor areas where people walk
and floors in securement locations shall have slip-resistant surfaces.

      (b) Contrast. All step edges, thresholds, and the boarding edge of ramps
or lift platforms shall have a band of color(s) running the full width of the
step or edge which contrasts from the step tread and riser, or lift or ramp
surface, either light-on-dark or dark-on-light.

      (c) Door height. For vehicles in excess of 22 feet in length, the
overhead clearance between the top of the door opening and the raised lift
platform, or highest point of a ramp, shall be a minimum of 68 inches. For
vehicles of 22 feet in length or less, the overhead clearance between the top
of the door opening and the raised lift platform, or highest point of a ramp,
shall be a minimum of 56 inches.
 
Section 1192.27 Priority seating signs.
      (a) Each vehicle shall contain sign(s) which indicate that seats in the
front of the vehicle are priority seats for persons with disabilities, and
that other passengers should make such seats available to those who wish to
use them. At least one set of forward- facing seats shall be so designated.

      (b) Each securement location shall have a sign designating it as such.

      (c) Characters on signs required by paragraphs (a) and (b) of this
section shall have a width-to-height ratio between 3:5 and 1:1 and a stroke
width-to-height ratio between 1:5 and 1:10, with a minimum character height
(using an upper case "X") of 5/8 inch, with "wide" spacing (generally, the
space between letters shall be 1/16 the height of upper case letters), and
shall contrast with the background either light-on-dark or dark-on-light.

Section 1192.29 Interior circulation, handrails and stanchions.
      (a) Interior handrails and stanchions shall permit sufficient turning
and maneuvering space for wheelchairs and other mobility aids to reach a
securement location from the lift or ramp.

      (b) Handrails and stanchions shall be provided in the entrance to the
vehicle in a configuration which allows persons with disabilities to grasp
such assists from outside the vehicle while starting to board, and to continue
using such assists throughout the boarding and fare collection process.
Handrails shall have a cross-sectional diameter between 1-1/4 inches and 1-1/2
inches or shall provide an equivalent grasping surface, and have eased edges
with corner radii of not less than 1/8 inch. Handrails shall be placed to
provide a minimum 1-1/2 inches knuckle clearance from the nearest adjacent
surface.  Where on-board fare collection devices are used on vehicles in
excess of 22 feet in length, a horizontal passenger assist shall be located
across the front of the vehicle and shall prevent passengers from sustaining
injuries on the fare collection device or windshield in the event of a sudden
deceleration. Without restricting the vestibule space, the assist shall
provide support for a boarding passenger from the front door through the
boarding procedure. Passengers shall be able to lean against the assist for
security while paying fares.

      (c) For vehicles in excess of 22 feet in length, overhead handrail(s)
shall be provided which shall be continuous except for a gap at the rear
doorway.

      (d) Handrails and stanchions shall be sufficient to permit safe
boarding, on-board circulation, seating and standing assistance, and alighting
by persons with disabilities.

      (e) For vehicles in excess of 22 feet in length with front-door lifts or
ramps, vertical stanchions immediately behind the driver shall either
terminate at the lower edge of the aisle-facing seats, if applicable, or be
"dog-legged" so that the floor attachment does not impede or interfere with
wheelchair footrests. If the driver seat platform must be passed by a
wheelchair or mobility aid user entering the vehicle, the platform, to the
maximum extent practicable, shall not extend into the aisle or vestibule
beyond the wheel housing.

      (f) For vehicles in excess of 22 feet in length, the minimum interior
height along the path from the lift to the securement location shall be 68
inches. For vehicles of 22 feet in length or less, the minimum interior height
from lift to securement location shall be 56 inches.

Section 1192.31 Lighting.
      (a) Any stepwell or doorway immediately adjacent to the driver shall
have, when the door is open, at least 2 foot-candles of illumination measured
on the step tread or lift platform.
      (b) Other stepwells and doorways, including doorways in which lifts or
ramps are installed, shall have, at all times, at least 2 foot-candles of
illumination measured on the step tread, or lift or ramp, when deployed at the
vehicle floor level.

      (c) The vehicle doorways, including doorways in which lifts or ramps are
installed, shall have outside light(s) which, when the door is open, provide
at least 1 foot-candle of illumination on the street surface for a distance of
3 feet perpendicular to all points on the bottom step tread outer edge. Such
light(s) shall be located below window level and shielded to protect the eyes
of entering and exiting passengers.

Section 1192.33 Fare box.
      Where provided, the farebox shall be located as far forward as
practicable and shall not obstruct traffic in the vestibule, especially
wheelchairs or mobility aids.

Section 1192.35 Public information system.
      (a) Vehicles in excess of 22 feet in length, used in multiple- stop,
fixed-route service, shall be equipped with a public address system permitting
the driver, or recorded or digitized human speech messages, to announce stops
and provide other passenger information within the vehicle.

      (b) [Reserved]

Section 1192.37 Stop request.
      (a) Where passengers may board or alight at multiple stops at their
option, vehicles in excess of 22 feet in length shall provide controls
adjacent to the securement location for requesting stops and which alerts the
driver that a mobility aid user wishes to disembark.  Such a system shall
provide auditory and visual indications that the request has been made.

      (b) Controls required by paragraph (a) of this section shall be mounted
no higher than 48 inches and no lower than 15 inches above the floor, shall be
operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching, or
twisting of the wrist. The force required to activate controls shall be no
greater than 5 lbf (22.2 N).

Section 1192.39 Destination and route signs.
      (a) Where destination or route information is displayed on the exterior
of a vehicle, each vehicle shall have illuminated signs on the front and
boarding side of the vehicle.

      (b) Characters on signs required by paragraph (a) of this section shall
have a width-to-height ratio between 3:5 and 1:1 and a stroke width-to-height
ratio between 1:5 and 1:10, with a minimum character height (using an upper
case "X") of 1 inch for signs on the boarding side and a minimum character
height of 2 inches for front "headsigns", with "wide" spacing (generally, the
space between letters shall be 1/16 the height of upper case letters), and
shall contrast with the background, either dark-on-light or light-on-dark.