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71 CHAPTER TEN CONCLUSIONS Although the information described in the various literature type of stroller is allowed) whereas other policies offer strict reviews and the survey results focuses on policies in place prohibitions (i.e., only folding strollers stowed under a seat and the effectiveness of these policies, this topic has much to are allowed). Generally, rail operations are less restrictive in do with how staff and riders interact with one another. When terms of what types, dimensions, or quantities of large items someone boards a transit vehicle, he or she typically looks for passengers may carry on board, while buses, with limited a place to sit or stand. The process of entering a bus or train capacity and dedicated securement areas for wheelchairs, and finding a place may go unnoticed on most transit vehicles: have more restrictive policies. The data collected and sum- other than a greeting, the operator is not required to do any- marized in this synthesis highlight considerations for many thing special, and other riders may only need to step aside of the large items reviewed. for a new passenger. However, when a passenger boards with a large item or uses a mobility device, operators and other transit riders are impacted. Luggage, carts, or strollers require WHEELCHAIRS AND MOBILITY AIDS other passengers to move away or help make room. Wheel- chairs or scooters require operators to use a ramp or lift and With ADA law in the United States, most agencies have passengers to clear the designated tie-down area. As the sur- significant direction with regard to developing policies to vey responses reveal, large items can cause delays, conflicts accommodate wheelchairs. Because mobility aids include a among passengers, and more responsibility for the operator. large class of assistive devices, some of which are also used as recreational vehicles (e.g., Segways), agencies have had As a result of the complexities surrounding large items difficulties defining what they can safely accommodate on on transit vehicles, many agencies have developed policies to their vehicles. Several agency representatives commented guide what may be taken on board a vehicle, how many items that clearer guidance at the federal level and incorporated may be carried, where items may be stored or used, and the into the ADA would make it easier to develop appropriate agency's role in terms of providing direction and assistance. policies for what passengers could carry on transit vehicles. The information presented in this synthesis covers a broad Safe transport of mobility devices is a priority, but some range of policies and issues as they have been addressed by agencies feel that they are unqualified to make a determina- a selected group of representative North American transit tion about whether certain devices are suitable for transit, agencies. Although the information obtained from the survey as demonstrated by survey responses about the structural cannot be used to generalize policies at all transit providers integrity and transportability of wheelchairs in general. Tie- or how these policies are applied, the findings highlight the downs and securement systems are designed primarily for complications associated with large items on transit vehicles wheelchairs; several agencies struggle trying to secure Seg- and that a human element exists. Many agencies adopt policies ways, as well as certain types of common scooters, because with strict guidelines, but operators are challenged to enforce their vehicles are not equipped properly or securement tech- them and in many cases develop solutions based on the spe- nologies have not caught up with new devices. cific circumstances. Thus, this synthesis presents frequen- cies of responses to survey questions and is supplemented by Based on the survey comments, when agencies collabo- extensive commentary from agency representatives. rate with people with disabilities--either on an individual basis or through their advisory committee(s)--to develop The survey of 42 transit agencies (100% response rate) new policies or refine existing policies, they usually consider evidenced the variation among policies in accommodating their policies to be more effective as a result of this collab- large items on transit vehicles: almost all agencies have regu- orative approach. lations in place regarding wheelchairs on vehicles, but many agencies have never encountered a Segway and therefore have no policies that address them, and nearly one-quarter of STROLLERS the agencies have no policies regarding carrying luggage or carts on board transit vehicles. Even if an agency has a policy Transit agencies are less comfortable with their stroller poli- in place, some policies make allowances for items (i.e., any cies than with wheelchairs and mobility aids. The Ottawa