Effective Date: October 8, 2009
A common Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device (EPAMD) is known as a “Segway,” which is a two-wheeled gyroscopically-stabilized, battery powered, personal transportation device. A Segway is not a wheelchair and does not meet the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) definition of a “common wheelchair” (a three or four-wheeled device that does not exceed 30 by 48 inches when measured at two inches above the ground). As such, ADA regulations regarding wheelchair lift use and securement do not apply to Segways. However, some individuals with disabilities may use a Segway as a personal mobility aid instead of a wheelchair or a scooter.
On September 1, 2005, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration issued a Disability Law Guidance which states that when a Segway is being used as a mobility device by a person with a mobility-related disability, then transportation providers must permit the person and his/her device onto a public transit vehicle and must permit the person to use the lift/ramp to board, subject to the transit operator's policies and procedures.
The guidance also notes that a transportation provider is not required to permit anyone, including a person with a disability, to bring onto a vehicle a device that is too big or that is determined to pose a direct threat to the safety of others. With respect to size, a non-wheelchair mobility device that exceeds the size and weight standards for a “common wheelchair” (i.e., 30 by 48 inches, measured two inches above the ground, and not exceeding 600 pounds, including the user) can reasonably be considered too large. The direct threat standard is intentionally stringent (i.e., requiring a determination that there is a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by modification of policies, procedures, practices, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services).
- This Policy establishes guidelines and instructs how Segways and other EPAMDs are to be accommodated on Golden Gate Transit (GGT) buses, including those in operation on both GGT regional and local Marin service.
- Non-disabled persons will not be allowed to bring EPAMDs on GGT buses.
- Nothing in this policy prohibits GGT from taking additional steps to ensure the safety of staff, passengers, and the public.
The following definitions apply to this policy:
- An electric personal assistive mobility device, or EPAMD, as defined by California vehicle code section 313 is a self-balancing, non-tandem, two-wheeled device that is not greater than 20 inches deep, 25 inches wide, and 60 inches high; can turn in place; is designed to transport only one person; and has an electric propulsion system averaging less than 750 watts (1 horsepower), the maximum speed of which, when powered solely by a propulsion system on a paved level surface, is no more than 12.5 miles per hour. A Segway HT is one example of an EPAMD.
- Persons with disabilities are individuals who have been issued and currently possess a valid California Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Disabled Parking Placard, Regional Transit Connection (RTC) Discount I.D. Card, Medicare Card, or identification card for persons with disabilities from another transit service.
IV. POLICY STATEMENT
GGT generally prohibits the transport of EPAMDs using the GGT bus system. An exception is made to permit persons with disabilities who use the device as a mobility aid to access a GGT bus with their EPAMDs, subject to the terms of this Policy.
V. GENERAL RULES FOR USE AND OPERATION OF EPAMDs
GGT allows EPAMDs to be transported on the bus subject to the following requirements:
- EPAMDs may only be transported on the bus by persons with disabilities who use the device as a mobility aid.
- EPAMDs must remain “off” at all times during boarding and transport on the bus. Passengers may not ride an EPAMD onto a bus lift.
- EPAMDs must be secured for transport on the bus.
- A person shall not transport an EPAMD with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
- EPAMDs shall not be transported using the bus by anyone under the influence of intoxicating substances, including alcohol or drugs.
- EPAMD users must leave their device on the bus in case of an emergency that requires vehicle evacuation.
- The wheelchair securement area on GGT buses is open to persons with disabilities, and particularly to individuals using a wheelchair or an EPAMD, on a first come, first serve basis. If both wheelchair securement positions are occupied, the customer will be instructed by the bus operator to wait for the next bus.
VI. EPAMD BOARDING
EPAMDs shall be boarded by persons with disabilities on any GGT bus as follows:
- The bus operator shall not board a customer with an EPAMD unless a wheelchair securement position is vacant.
- The bus operator will deploy the wheelchair lift so a customer may either pull or push the EPAMD onto the wheelchair lift and/or ramp.
- The EPAMD customer must, without assistance from the bus operator, maneuver the EPAMD onto the wheelchair lift and/or ramp with the EPAMD in the “off” mode.
- The customer must accompany the EPAMD on the wheelchair lift but may not ride the EPAMD on the lift. The customer may need to lower his or her head to avoid hitting the top of the door opening when the wheelchair lift and/or ramp is in motion.
- On reaching the bus interior, the customer must maneuver the EPAMD, without assistance from the bus operator, to the wheelchair securement area with the EPAMD in the “off” mode.
VII. EPAMD SECUREMENT
EPAMDs shall be secured on fixed-route buses generally as follows:
- The customer shall position the EPAMD in the wheelchair securement area.
- The straps available on the bus for the securement of a wheelchair are to be used to secure the lower portion of the EPAMD.
- To prevent the upper portion (lean steer frame and handlebar) of the EPAMD from moving, the customer must bring an additional “bungee" type securement strap to secure the upper portion to the handrail of the bus.
VIII. DISEMBARKING THE BUS
- The EPAMD customer shall remove the securement straps from the EPAMD after the bus has stopped at the bus stop or destination.
- The EPAMD customer shall be responsible for pushing or pulling the EPAMD to the wheelchair lift and/or ramp area for handling the EPAMD on the wheelchair lift and/or ramp.
- The EPAMD customer may need to lower his or her head to avoid hitting the top of the door opening when the lift is in motion.
- The EPAMD must remain “off” until after the customer has pushed or pulled the EPAMD from the wheelchair lift and/or ramp.
This Policy and resulting use of an EPAMD shall not impact fares required for use of the bus system.