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28 summary). One large agency that operates buses and trains had very restrictive policies for Segways initially but relaxed them once it was clear they were not significantly impacting operations. Another agency considered a permit program for Segways but decided against it. TABLE 16 RESTRICTIONS REGARDING SEGWAYS AND OTHER DEVICES WERE CONSIDERED, BUT NOT IMPLEMENTED Yes 24% (9) No 76% (29) FIGURE 18 Are Segways, scooters, and other mobility aids n = 38. accommodated on paratransit vehicles (n = 29)? One agency had sought to limit any mobility device that MARTA encourages riders not to stay on their scooter could not be tied down or secured within the vehicle. The sur- on the vehicle lift, unless necessary. According to the agen- vey respondent from that agency commented that sometimes cy's public information, "Scooters are often unstable on mobility equipment includes notices "placed on it by the man- lift equipment, and they may exceed the ADA allowable ufacturer stating that it is not to be used on transit vehicles." dimensions and weight. Some scooters also come with a warning from the manufacturer that they should not be used as seats on moving vehicles. Customers may ride standard SEGWAYS, SCOOTERS, AND OTHER MOBILITY AIDS scooters on the lift, but it is strongly recommended that our ON PARATRANSIT customers transfer to a Paratransit vehicle seat, whenever possible" (MARTA 2010). Although one might presume that any mobility aid would be accommodated by paratransit vehicles, the survey results Another common theme in the agencies' responses was illustrate this is not the case. The U.S.DOT provides only that of proper securement of mobility aids on paratransit guidance regarding Segways, and many agencies have not vehicles. "Oversize wheelchairs," a small agency noted, considered Segways to be mobility aids that are accommo- "can present a problem as they cannot always be tied down dated on paratransit vehicles. The survey results suggest the with conventional straps." Two agencies mentioned that their disparity among answers (near-universal coverage of scoot- policies include driver assistance in the securement process, ers and other mobility aids versus half accommodation of with one describing the procedure: "Drivers must leave their Segways) is the result of Segways not having been addressed seat to assist and secure [a] mobility device using a 4-point at the federal level in the United States; as a result, some restraint if possible." It added that "passengers cannot be agencies are still developing their Segway policies both on denied ridership if we cannot secure." regular routes as well as on paratransit services. Only two agencies commented that their policy for these ONE AGENCY'S EXPERIENCE: METRO TRANSIT, devices is the same on paratransit as on fixed route services. MADISON, WISCONSIN--LEARNING SAFE OPERATION Many explained, either referencing the act directly or express- OF A SEGWAY FROM A USER ing its requirements directly, that they follow the standard reg- ulations set forth by the ADA. Segways are not yet a universal Staff at Metro Transit first became aware of Segways in device; one midsized agency explained, "we have never been Madison when, in 2005, a local bicycle shop began to rent asked to transport a Segway" on paratransit. In responding them for people to use on the local bike trails. Recogniz- "no" to accommodating Segways, VOTRAN clarified, "We ing that the transit system might encounter passengers at have not [had] requests for Segways. We accommodate other a bus stop expecting to bring them on buses, the agency mobility aids, walkers, scooters, etc., as outlined by ADA." rented two Segways for staff in operations, maintenance, Figure 18 presents information about which mobility aids are and administration to try on the vehicles. Staff boarded and accommodated on paratransit vehicles. alighted on the bus lifts and ramps, tried to navigate them down the narrow aisles of the vehicles, and tried to secure Several agencies also noted the ADA's definition of them with the vehicle tie-downs. Based on their tests, staff "wheelchairs in common use" in reporting their paratransit made recommendations to the Transit and Parking Com- policies. A Canadian agency (not governed by ADA) added mission for establishment of a formal policy that would pro- that "Scooters, wheelchairs (with occupant) must have hibit Segways from being allowed on buses until there was dimensions and weight that can be safely accommodated on a way to secure them. The policy was passed and remains the vehicle lift." in place today.
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29 Three years later, a young man in his 20s with a disability the system turned up questions about allowing the Segway contacted agency staff regarding his need for a Segway as a aboard the vehicle, agency staff invited the insurance com- mobility device and his interest in taking the Segway on the pany to meet with the man who used the Segway. Following bus to attend school. Although the agency's policy prohib- another demonstration of how he boarded and maneuvered iting Segways was in place, staff invited the man to dem- on the bus, the insurance company's attorney agreed that onstrate how he used his Segway. According to the Transit the Segway presented no hazard. The insurance company Service Manager, "He went to Metro Transit's garage and drafted a new Segway policy for use by its transit agency demonstrated agility and excellent control of the device. He clients, supporting Metro Transit's accommodation of the showed he could maneuver quickly and safely up a ramp and Segway-using passenger. within a bus. He pulled a bungee cord out of his backpack and secured the device in the wheelchair securement area" Although nobody else has requested to bring a Segway (Gullickson 4/8/2010). on board Metro Transit buses, the Transit Service Manager notes that Metro Transit will accommodate other persons Impressed by what they saw, staff determined there was with disabilities using Segways as a mobility device. The no reason to deny access to this man. They made an informal agency had hoped to purchase tie-downs designed for Seg- allowance to accommodate him and his Segway on buses. ways but has been unable to find a manufacturer that pro- Later the same year, after an insurance company audit of duces them.