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48 CHAPTER SEVEN LUGGAGE, CARTS, PARCELS, AND OTHER LARGE ITEMS LITERATURE REVIEW ON LUGGAGE, CARTS, AND OTHER LARGE ITEMS AND ACCOMMODATION POLICIES Although most transit agencies have policies on accommo- dating wheelchairs, and many have policies on accommo- dating strollers, polices on luggage, carts, and other large items are not as widespread. Existing policies range from simple and permissive to very detailed in their restrictions. Besides luggage and carts, some policies cover dogs and backpacks, as well as more unusual items such as skis and skateboards. Carts, Bags, and Backpacks Brandon Transit in Manitoba, Canada, is an example of an agency with very specific guidelines to deal with large items. Brandon Transit specifies the dimensions of grocery carts and strollers that can be boarded without folding and those items that must be folded while in the vehicle. Its brochure describes the dimensions for carts as follows: · Small/Compact Foldable Carts (Grocery/Laundry) will be permitted UNFOLDED within Transit Buses: 16 in. or less width x 14 in. or less front to back depth. · Large Foldable Carts (Grocery/Laundry) will be per- mitted FOLDED within Transit Buses: 16 in. or greater FIGURE 40 Portion of a post by blogger Alan Durning reviews width x 12 in. or greater front to back depth. the various shapes and sizes of modern-day "granny carts," many of which people bring on transit vehicles (courtesy : Durning 2010). The brochure, included in Appendix D, further illustrates the priority area on different types of buses, and, after wheel- · Packages and/or bags must not occupy the bus seat if chairs, gives priority to seniors with carts/walking aids, and the bus is crowded. only then to parents with strollers (Brandon Transit 2006) · Carry-on items are not allowed in the securement area (see Figure 40). (Valley Transit 2009). Of those agencies that state policies about shopping carts, Valley Transit, however, does allow rollerblades, roller Valley Transit in Appleton, Wisconsin, has guidelines simi- skates, and skateboards to be stowed in a bag or held on the lar to those of agencies with more general policies. Shop- passenger's lap. These items are not allowed on the floor ping/utility carts are allowed on the bus under the following where they can roll around while the bus is in motion. conditions: Link Transit in Washington State is another agency with · Items must not block the aisle. specific dimensions of items allowed. Riders may bring the · Items must not restrict passenger movement. equivalent in size to six plastic or two paper grocery bags · All items must be controlled by passenger. or, one piece of luggage not exceeding 24 in. x 17 in. x 10 in. · Passenger must be able to carry the items aboard in in size and 40 lb in weight in addition to a purse, computer, one trip. briefcase or small tote, or one pair of skis/snowboard/fishing
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49 poles (or like-sized recreational equipment). Operators may new express airport rail links. In these cases, large luggage not provide assistance if the combined weight of carry-on and other items are stowed in a separate train car. In this items exceeds 25 lb. Riders boarding the vehicle with car- 2002 report, airlines also provided remote check-in linked ry-on items exceeding the prescribed standards are required to express rail systems in Madrid and Kuala Lumpur. The to pay twice the regular fare but cannot bring carry-ons that report mentions Swiss National Railways as an example of occupy more than one additional seat. However, riders are an off-site check-in by a transit company: allowed to use a wheeled cart for transporting medical and The largest network of baggage check-in services in mobility equipment at no extra charge. The policy also lists operation currently is run by the Swiss National Railways, hazardous materials that may never be brought on the bus providing baggage processing from 116 separate railway and requires articles with an offensive odor to be in a sealed stations, with full check-in (with boarding pass) at 60 rail container (Link Transit 2008). stations in 2002. This is a service of the national railways, and no airline personnel are involved in accepting the baggage. The Swiss National Railway charges about Sioux Area Metro in South Dakota allows only as many U.S.$15.00 per bag checked for the service. It is reported bags as the rider can carry on and off the bus in one trip with- that 270,000 travelers a year use this program. out assistance. According to the policy, "a wheelchair rider is limited in the number of bags and other grocery items they After September 11, 2001, off-site check-in in by air car- can store on their chair. The bags need to be safely attached riers in the United States was discontinued as a security to their wheelchair and not interfere with the proper proce- measure. When the report was issued in 2002, some airlines dure for securing the wheelchair on the bus" (Sioux Area were attempting to seek amendments to security measures to Metro 2008). reestablish the off-site check-in counters. However, to com- ply with regulations, the report notes it would be necessary Handi-Transit, paratransit operated by Winnipeg Transit, to provide 100% positive baggage matching, and the opera- is more specific: Owing to space limitations, passengers are tor (or its designee) would need to install and supervise the permitted only two small bags, which they must be able to operation of explosive detection systems equipment, which carry on themselves and must hold on their laps during the would be operated by Transportation Security Administration ride. Passengers may be denied transportation if they have (TSA) employees. At the time of the report, certified explosive too many parcels. If the passenger brings more than the allow- detection systems equipment cost more than $1 million per able packages, the passenger is given the choice of boarding screening unit (Leigh Fisher Associates et al. 2002). with only two bags and finding alternative transportation for the remaining packages, or declining the trip. Because Security does not appear to be a significant factor in agen- backpacks and other bags attached to mobility devices can cies' policies limiting luggage (or other parcels) on board cause difficulties when securing the mobility device and vehicles. TCRP's Transit Security Update discusses the during transport, if a backpack exceeds the standard length application of random passenger security screenings but of the mobility device it is attached to, the backpack must be does not discuss where security issues have impacted which removed (Victoria Regional Transit Commission 2010). large items may be brought on transit. The report notes that in 2004, when Boston hosted the Democratic National Con- The Copenhagen, Denmark, transit system also addresses vention, MBTA in Boston was the first transit agency in the backpacks, which must be stored in the luggage area, along United States to implement passenger security inspections. with luggage, skateboards, and roller skates. Luggage is According to the report, "the MBTA transit police initiated allowed only at the driver's discretion, when there is space random passenger bag and luggage inspections," which is and other passengers will not be bothered (Movia 2010). In now done on a "systemwide basis for all MBTA modes except Aarhus, Denmark, a passenger may pay a fare to transport paratransit to deter acts of terrorism and enhance passenger luggage or other goods in a baby carriage (Midttrafik 2010). perception of security." Random bag inspections are also carried out by NJ Transit, New York City MTA, WMATA, Luggage and other transit agencies (Nakanishi 2009). Most transit agencies' vehicles serving local communities, In Israel, often noted for its security procedures, the gov- unlike over-the-road coaches, have not been designed to ernment invested in "the protection of public transportation carry bulky luggage. In attempting to address this problem, against suicide bombers" by purchasing special equipment design or operational modifications are used. MTA in New to be used on potentially dangerous bus routes. The govern- York City unveiled a pilot program in 2009 to install luggage ment's strategy is to focus on a "combination of the close racks on 10 buses on the seven routes serving Kennedy and screening of entering passengers and perimeter security" at LaGuardia Airports (MTA 2009). In Strategies for Improv- transit hubs. The government is using magnetometers, pack- ing Public Transportation Access to Large Airports, the age screening equipment, and barriers on vehicle doors on authors report that at some international destinations (e.g., nearly 1,000 bus routes (State of Israel Ministry of Public Hong Kong) remote check-in is being reintroduced as part of Security 2010).