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24 the device as an electric personal assistive mobility device [Helsinki, Finland] (EPAMD), rather than a Segway. Anyone wishing to use an Mobility scooters with separate handlebars are not EPAMD must apply and receive a free permit and carry it transported on buses, trams or the metro because they do with them. EPAMD riders must dismount at the fare gates not fit in the space designated for wheelchairs (Helsinki and push or pull the device. However, people with disabilities Region Transport 2010). can ride the device within the station after an in-person dem- [Valley Transit, Appleton, WI] onstration of their ability to ride. Neither group of riders can ride the device on the platform or in the trains, and all must Walkers may be brought aboard but should be folded use the elevator to access the platform. Although people with whenever possible and must not block the aisle of the bus. Bicycles, tricycles, wagons, scooters and other wheeled disabilities can use their EPAMD anytime on BART, oth- devices that do not qualify as ADA mobility devices, are ers may use it only under the same rules as bicycles, that is, not allowed inside the bus (Valley Transit 2009). generally during off-peak times or in the reverse commute [Link Transit, serving Chelan and Douglas Counties, direction (Cabanatuan 2008). Washington] A Segway user of the Washington Metropolitan Area Riders may also bring on board necessary medical Transit Authority (WMATA) system had an accident equipment, which is or may be needed when the rider is traveling on Link Transit. Riders are allowed to use a wherein she lost control of the device, sending it onto the wheeled cart for transporting carry-on items. Additional track. BART's Segway policy is very similar to WMATA's, examples include mobility devices, walkers, canes, as well which adopted its policy first in 2005. WMATA's policy pro- as oxygen and monitors. There will be no additional charge hibits Segways, which it calls automatic balancing wheeled for necessary medical equipment (Link Transit 2008). conveyances (ABWCs), on its trains during weekday hours [Denver RTD] of 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. However, ABWC users with disabilities are allowed expanded access with a Disabled passengers may board with mobility devices, such as wheelchairs, electric scooters, Segways, walkers, permit. ABWCs are never allowed on WMATA Metrobuses and crutches, although such devices should be properly (Layton 2003). stored, as necessary, outside of the aisle and in the securement area of the vehicle (RTD: Americans with County Connection in Contra Costa County, California, Disabilities Act 2010). is an example of a suburban bus operator that allows Seg- ways on its vehicles. In its policy the device is referred to as a two-wheeled automatic balancing device (ABD), which SURVEY RESULTS is defined as "any upright battery powered self-balancing wheeled personal transportation device." Riders who are not Challenges and Concerns disabled may not bring the device on board unless it can be folded and stowed under the seat. Persons using the devices Respondents were asked to rate to what extent bringing a as mobility aids owing to disability, upon medical verifica- mobility device--including scooters and Segways--on board tion, must go through an in-person orientation at the transit a transit vehicle was an issue, concern, or challenge (Figure administrative offices, consisting of using the lift or ramp, 12). One major clarification elicited by the responses was that securement of the device, and safety rules such as turning of a distinction between Segways and other mobility aids. off power. They will then be issued a blue placard with a Most of the agencies that added comments noted that they wheelchair icon to affix to the ABD, which must be secured had either limited or no direct experience with Segways on in the wheelchair space of the bus (Policy for the Transport their vehicles. Most scooter and other mobility aid-users are of Two-Wheeled Automatic Balancing Devices 2009). persons with disabilities; Segways can function as mobility aids, but are also familiar as transport or pleasure devices. Both King County Metro in Seattle and Denver Regional Transit District (RTD) also allow people with disabilities Overall, 36% of all agencies noted that Segways, scoot- to bring Segways on their buses but require that they be ers, and other mobility aids were somewhat of an issue. After secured in the wheelchair area of the vehicle because of their that, the other responses were roughly equally distributed, weight and size (King County Metro 2009). In Denver, the with each hovering around 20%. bus driver must visually check that the Segway is secured properly (RTD: Americans with Disabilities Act 2010). Figure 13 illustrates potential reasons why Segways, scooters, and other large mobility aids were regarded as Other Mobility Devices somewhat or very much an issue or concern. The top response in this case was concern for the safety of the passenger with The literature is scarce on policies dealing with other types the mobility aid. Comments helped clarify the frequency of of mobility devices. The following are some specific state- this response: four agencies noted that, owing to either "non- ments on scooters, walkers, and medical equipment: traditional" scooter designs or inadequate vehicle facilities,
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25 there is a lack of effective securement techniques for larger way was first introduced. Not all of these policies address the mobility items, which compromises passenger safety. The Segway: many of them recognize that all mobility devices next most frequent response was boarding/alighting delay, that conform to size guidelines may be accommodated. after which were three vehicle capacity-related concerns of equal weight (12 of 25, or 48%). TABLE 11 POLICIES: SEGWAYS, SCOOTERS, AND OTHER MOBILITY AIDS ABOARD REGULAR TRANSIT VEHICLES (REGULAR BUSES AND TRAINS) Yes 63% (25) No 37% (15) n = 40. Four of the surveyed agencies have never encountered a Segway and indicated that they have not developed a policy for that reason. According to a survey respondent from one agency, the agency does "not have a Segway policy at this time. However, if it is a mobility aid device, we would make FIGURE 12 Indicate whether bringing Segways, scooters, and arrangements, providing that it doesn't affect safety, to assist other mobility aids on your vehicles is considered an issue/ the customer as best as possible." concern/challenge for your agency. Accommodating Scooters When agencies that operate buses indicated having a policy covering mobility devices, they were asked whether scoot- ers were allowed on buses. Twenty-one of 22 agencies (95%) allow scooters unconditionally on buses if they meet size standards. The remaining agency, SunTran, requires four- point securement for scooters on buses, and the passenger must transfer to a seat. Most agency respondents commented that their agency would allow any manual or battery-pow- ered mobility device that fits on a bus. Nine of 21 agencies require the scooter to be no larger FIGURE 13 If you indicated that Segways, scooters, and other than 30 in. by 48 in., the size of a "common wheelchair." mobility aids are a very important or somewhat important None of the other agencies have specific size limitations or concern, why is it a concern for your agency? requirements for buses. All of the rail agencies allow scoot- ers, and one agency indicated that the only size limitation Overview of Agency Policies is that scooters must be able to fit in elevators to access rail platforms in the train station. Weight limits generally reflect People with disabilities have been using scooters, walkers, ADA standards of 600 lb. and other mobility devices for decades. As a result, a major- ity of the transit agencies sampled (25 of 40, or 63%) have Accommodating Segways developed policies and guidelines for their accommodation on board transit vehicles (Table 11). Newer to the mobility Although scooters are universally accepted on board buses, scene, the Segway has led some transit agencies to develop Segways are not. Thirteen of 23 agencies (57%) have policies comprehensive policies regarding the accommodation of that allow Segways on buses; the other 10 agencies (43%) pro- these gyro-stabilized two-wheeled devices, whereas some hibit Segways (Table 12). All of the agencies that operate rail agencies have never encountered Segways, and other agen- allow Segways aboard trains, subject to some limitations. cies have developed policies specifically prohibiting them. Agencies that allow Segways on board buses generally Most agencies with policies regarding mobility devices allow them only for people who use them as a mobility that have not faced the issue of accommodating a Segway device. Of the 13 agencies with policies to accommodate have not updated their guidelines since the 1980s and 1990s. Segways on buses, only three allow anyone to bring a Seg- Twelve of the surveyed agencies updated their policies for way on board; the others allow them only for people who use accommodating mobility devices after 2002, when the Seg- them as a mobility device.
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26 TABLE 12 Agency Limitations and Requirements for Mobility Devices SEGWAYS ALLOWED ON SOME OR ALL OF BUSES Yes 57% (13) Five agencies require an inspection of at least some mobil- No 43% (10) ity aids, including Segways and scooters, before they can be n = 23. used on transit. These include the three agencies that require Segway permits--SunTran, CCCTA, and BART--as well as Six of the agencies that operate rail allow Segways on Greater Glens Falls Transit and UTA, if mobility devices are the trains, and they all allow them to be brought on trains to be used on paratransit. by anyone, although some agencies such as WMATA and BART have restrictions regarding the times that Segways Vehicle capacity is the primary contributing factor to can be used on trains by people who do not require them as whether or not an agency specifically includes a limitation a mobility device. in its policy on the number of mobility devices allowed on a vehicle. Eighteen of 23 agencies (78%) have a policy that Most agencies do not require a permit to use a Segway, but limits the number of mobility devices allowed on vehicles, three of the 15 agencies (20%) that allow Segways require primarily on their buses (Table 15). In most cases, these a permit (Table 13). SunTran riders must have a note from limits match those of wheelchairs, with most bus operators a doctor that says the device must be used so a permit can indicating vehicles have two, sometimes three, wheelchair be issued. CCCTA requires Segway users to go the agency's securement areas that are also to be used for other mobility office to demonstrate their ability to maneuver the Segway on devices (see Figure 14). Two of the 23 agencies commented ramps and lifts, and in securement areas. BART offers two that a limit on the number of mobility devices is at the driv- types of permits: one for people who use a Segway as a mobil- er's discretion. ity device and one for users who do not have disabilities. TABLE 15 TABLE 13 THE POLICY LIMITS THE NUMBER OF MOBILITY DEVICES SEGWAY PERMIT ISSUANCE ALLOWED ON VEHICLES Yes 20% (3) Yes 78% (18) No 80% (12) No 22% (5) n = 15. n = 23. Accommodating Other Mobility Devices Twenty-four of the agencies surveyed have policies for mobil- ity aids other than scooters and Segways, and 18 of them (82%) allow other mobility aids on transit (Table 14). Almost all agencies that allow for other mobility aids indicated that walkers are the most common on board vehicles, but canes and crutches were also noted. Some agencies, such as Com- munity Transit, require walkers to be folded or secured with straps. A few agencies specifically noted in the survey com- ments that any mobility device is accommodated except those powered by gasoline or other combustible fuels. TABLE 14 THE POLICY ALLOWS OTHER TYPES OF MOBILITY FIGURE 14 Passenger uses a motorized wheelchair on the AIDS (OTHER THAN SEGWAYS, SCOOTERS, AND bus lift (courtesy : H. Cherin, Nelson\Nygaard Associates). WHEELCHAIRS) Yes 82% (18) Passengers with scooters and other mobility devices must secure these devices in the wheelchair spaces (18 of 24 agen- No 18% (4) cies, or 75%). On trains, where securement is not generally n = 22. required (or available), the only limitation in most cases is
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27 space on the train for mobility aids (see Table 15). None of policy is "ineffective." That respondent commented that "sig- the agencies operating rail services identified a specific limit nificant variance in mobility device design makes securement to the number of scooters, Segways, or other mobility aids on difficult and time consuming" and noted that many mobility trains. Among the agencies surveyed, only TriMet's policy devices "are not designed for transport securement." specifically requires that two-wheeled mobility devices be stored underneath a seat if they cannot be otherwise secured. Driver Assistance Eleven of 21 agencies (52%) require drivers to assist passen- gers with Segways, scooters, and other mobility devices (see Figure 15). The other 10 agencies that responded noted that drivers may assist passengers with these mobility devices. As shown in Figure 16, of the agencies that operate buses, almost all of them expect operators to offer ramp or lift access and to secure their mobility aid. Only six of the 21 FIGURE 16 Segways, scooters, and other mobility devices: agencies (29%) encourage or allow operators to assist with Which of the following types of assistance may operators passengers' belongings. provide (buses) (n =31)? FIGURE 17 How effective do you think the agency's policy governing Segways, scooters, and other mobility devices is (n = 23)? Some of the concerns raised by survey respondents were with scooters: that they can be large and difficult to secure on buses. Four of the respondents with policies cov- ering mobility devices commented that their agency had not yet addressed Segways or other two-wheel mobility aids because they had not yet been raised as an issue. Three of these respondents noted that they expect the issue to arise in the future and that their agency will need to amend its poli- cies when the time comes. FIGURE 15 Driver assists a passenger using a walker with wheels off a fixed-route vehicle operated by TheBus (courtesy : All agency representatives--whether their agency has a J. Goldman, Nelson\Nygaard Associates). policy in place or not--were asked if their agency had ever considered implementing restrictions on Segways, scooters, Effectiveness of Policy for Segways, Scooters, and or other mobility devices but had not done so. Nine of the 38 Other Mobility Devices respondents (24%) replied that their agencies had considered restrictions (Table 16). Survey respondents were asked to rate the effectiveness of agency policies regarding Segways, scooters, and other One agency--Metro Transit in Madison, Wisconsin-- mobility aids (Figure 17). Seventeen of 23 respondents (74%) had prohibited Segways on all vehicles, but after an on-site indicated that the agency's policy was "effective" or "very demonstration by an individual who uses one as a mobility effective." Five rated the agency's policy a "3" ("neither effec- aid and getting input from the individual on securement rec- tive nor ineffective"), and one indicated that the agency's ommendations, the agency changed its policy (see the brief