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55 Several agencies' policies delineate the roles of passengers cart." LeeTran's policy for paratransit limits "personal and paratransit drivers, and generally these policies place items to four parcels" and specifies that the "driver cannot the responsibility on passengers. One small agency, Pullman assist with personal items." SEPTA's paratransit policy is Transit, noted that it "do[es] not allow items that require the that "parcels are limited to two, weighing no more than 50 driver to load or unload, like TVs, [furniture], large boxes, lbs. each." SEPTA also has specifications for strollers on or anything [weighing] over 20 lbs." Another small agency, paratransit: "Wheelchair strollers are permitted," but "reg- MAX, has a policy that specifies "all items must be capable ular strollers are not permitted, as a car seat is required." of being carried and handled by the passenger." Additionally, Although all but one of the other 24 agencies allow stroll- "passengers with items that require multiple entering/exiting ers, many of the other agencies also define wheelchair of [the] bus to load are considered excessive and not allowed." strollers as equivalent to a wheelchair or mobility device This is the same policy that BART's paratransit provider, East that can be secured and therefore may be brought aboard Bay Paratransit, which also provides paratransit services for paratransit vehicles. Oakland-based AC Transit, uses: "The driver and the rider need to be able to off load the stuff in one trip." OTHER LARGE ITEMS LeeTran's policy is that the "driver cannot assist with per- sonal items," although Capital Metro notes "the customer In addition to policies regarding luggage, grocery carts, and must be able to maintain control of [their] items during parcels, agencies were asked if they had concerns regarding transport and carry items to the door." Many agencies expect passengers bringing other large items (e.g., backpacks, skis, a paratransit passenger to have a personal care assistant or surfboards, pet carriers) on transit (Figure 52). attendant if the passenger needs assistance with carrying items on or off a vehicle. Restrictions on Large Items Figure 51 illustrates that most agencies have no policies in place that prohibit large items from being brought on board paratransit vehicles, with the exception of bicycles. Sixteen of the 24 respondents to this question (67%) indicated that bicycles are prohibited inside paratransit vehicles, a similar share to those that do not allow bicycles aboard regular fixed transit buses (66%, n = 38). Seven of the 24 (29%) responded that all items--including bicycles, strollers, and luggage and grocery carts--are allowed inside paratransit vehicles. FIGURE 52 Indicate whether bringing other large items on your vehicles is considered an issue/concern/challenge for your agency. Only one agency said other large items are very much of concern, but it offered no explanation of its choice. Most agencies noted that other large items are unimportant or not an issue for them. Some agencies located in coastal locations and winter recreation areas noted that surf- boards, boogie boards, and skis are accommodated in spe- cific ways. The specific issue surrounding accommodation of special large items that garnered the highest number of responses for agencies that considered the issue somewhat or very much a FIGURE 51 Does the agency have a policy in place that concern was that of concern for the safety of other passen- restricts or prohibits any of the following from being brought gers (100%) (see Figure 53). Previously common concerns inside paratransit vehicles (n = 24)? of blocking of aisles/egress and crowding followed, with both at nine of 12 agencies (75%). Most responses to this The size of portable items to be brought aboard para- question came from small and large agencies; no agencies transit vehicles is an issue. A medium-sized agency noted were concerned that a vehicle must pass up a rider if their that "personal shopping carts are fine, but not a grocery other large items could not fit in the vehicle.
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56 FIGURE 53 If you indicated that other large items are a very important or somewhat important concern, why is it a concern for your agency? FIGURE 54 Although some agencies have policies that may seem unnecessary regarding bringing large items on transit, agencies report that passengers transport many Agency Policies Regarding Other Large Items things they would not have expected, such as this lawnmower photographed on BART (courtesy : Patrick Tufts http://www. The survey asked whether transit agencies have policies flickr.com/photos/zippy/17426020/). governing bringing other large items on transit vehicles, such as recreational equipment (e.g., skis and surfboards), Some agencies in coastal areas (NCTD and SCAT) pet carriers, or backpacks. have policies that appropriately address recreational items. SCAT's policy prohibits "full size surfboards." NCTD's pol- Fourteen of 38 agencies (37%) have policies of varying icy "allows skis, surfboards, [and] pet carriers," but speci- degrees with regard to any one of several of these miscel- fies that the recreational items are "allowed if standing and laneous large items (Table 29). Some agencies noted that under 6 feet in length." Likewise, Marble Valley Regional their large item policies were very broad, ranging from sim- Transit District (MVRTD), serving ski resorts in Vermont, ply using the term "large items only" in the agency's overall has policies in place that cover skis and snowboards. UTA policy (Brandon) to prohibiting "any item that is dangerous" operates vehicles that include ski storage areas, such as the (Lee County). A few respondents spoke to safety, both storage one shown in Figure 55. on the vehicle (unwieldiness) and potential for harm, as being a major consideration in their general "large item" policy (see Several agencies responded that their large item policy Figure 54). LeeTran listed specific safety hazards: "Large covers pet carriers. A few agencies noted that although there objects that cannot be safely stowed, explosive devices, car are no specific policies, pets are allowed at all times in carri- rims, tires, [or] any item that is dangerous." UTA added other ers. Most of these agencies do not have any specific restric- items to the prohibited list: "No car batteries, no gas powered tions on the size of pet carriers. Only NJ Transit commented motors, no gasoline containers, no bags of dripping recycle that it requires that "pet carriers must be on the lap of the products (aluminum cans)." MARTA summarized the gen- customer." eral concern: "Our policy speaks to oversized items carried by patrons...that can pose a risk of injury to themselves and Generally, most agencies that have policies in place others, and create a hazard or potential obstruction and risk of concerning various large items require that they be stowed injury posed by such items." MARTA added that it "prohibits out of the way of others, placing the responsibility on the non-luggage oversized items" on its system. passenger. One medium-sized agency (MAX) specifically noted, however, that its drivers "consider the safety of all TABLE 29 items being brought on the bus," in addition to requiring that DOES YOUR AGENCY HAVE ANY POLICIES IN PLACE items be "secured in some fashion or held/under the con- REGARDING BRINGING ANY OTHER LARGE ITEMS trol of the passenger." Items that are widely considered to be ABOARD TRANSIT VEHICLES? dangerous (explosives) or too large to properly stow either Yes 37% (14) on a passenger's lap, under seats, or on racks are generally No 63% (24) prohibited from surveyed agencies' vehicles. n = 38.