Home Page About Us Contribute




Escort, Inc.



Tweets by @CrittendenAuto






By accessing/using The Crittenden Automotive Library/CarsAndRacingStuff.com, you signify your agreement with the Terms of Use on our Legal Information page. Our Privacy Policy is also available there.

Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles; Over-the-Road Buses

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Buses

Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles; Over-the-Road Buses

Rodney E. Slater
U.S. Department of Transportation
March 25, 1998

[Federal Register: March 25, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 57)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 14571-14578]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr25mr98-45]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ARCHITECTURAL AND TRANSPORTATION BARRIERS COMPLIANCE BOARD

36 CFR Part 1192

[Docket No. 98-1]
RIN 3014-AA23

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Office of the Secretary

49 CFR Part 38

 
Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for 
Transportation Vehicles; Over-the-Road Buses

AGENCIES: Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board 
and Department of Transportation.

ACTION: Joint notice of proposed rulemaking.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board 
and the Department of Transportation propose to amend the accessibility 
guidelines and standards for over-the-road buses (OTRBs) to include 
technical specifications for lifts, ramps, wheelchair securement 
devices, and accessible restrooms, under the Americans with 
Disabilities Act. Revisions to the specifications for doors, steps, and 
lighting are also proposed. The specifications describe the design 
features that an OTRB must have to be readily accessible to and usable 
by persons who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids. The Department 
of Transportation has published a separate notice of proposed 
rulemaking elsewhere in today's Federal Register which addresses when 
OTRB operators are required to comply with the specifications.

DATES: Comments should be received by May 26, 1998. Late comments will 
be considered to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be sent to the Office of Technical and 
Information Services, Architectural and Transportation Barriers 
Compliance Board, 1331 F Street NW., suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004-
1111. Comments will be available for inspection at the above address 
from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on regular business days. The Access Board 
will provide copies of all comments received to the Department of 
Transportation.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Access Board: Dennis Cannon, Office of 
Technical and Information Services, Architectural and Transportation 
Barriers Compliance Board, 1331 F Street, NW., suite 1000, Washington, 
DC 20004-1111. Telephone number (202) 272-5434 extension 35 (voice); 
(202) 272-5449 (TTY). Electronic mail address: cannon@access-board.gov.
    Department of Transportation: Robert C. Ashby, Deputy Assistant 
General Counsel for Regulation and Enforcement, Department of 
Transportation, 400 7th Street SW., room 10424, Washington, DC 20590. 
Telephone (202) 366-9306 (voice) or (202) 755-7687 (TTY).
    The telephone numbers listed above are not toll-free numbers.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Availability of Copies and Electronic Access

    Single copies of this publication may be obtained at no cost by 
calling the Access Board's automated publications order line (202) 272-
5434, by pressing 1 on the telephone keypad, then 1 again, and 
requesting publication S-21 (Over-the-Road Buses Proposed Rule). 
Persons using a TTY should call (202) 272-5449. Please record a name, 
address, telephone number and request publication S-21. This document 
is available in alternate formats upon request. Persons who want a copy 
in an alternate format should specify the type of format (cassette 
tape, Braille, large print, or computer disk). This document is also 
available on the Board's Internet site (http://www.access-board.gov/
rules/otrbnprm.htm).

Background

    Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the 
Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access 
Board) is responsible for developing guidelines to ensure that the 
various kinds of transportation vehicles covered by the law are readily 
accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.1 
42 U.S.C. 12204. The Department of Transportation (DOT), which is 
responsible for issuing regulations to implement the transportation 
provisions of the ADA, is required to include in its regulations 
accessibility standards for vehicles that are consistent with the 
Access Board's guidelines. 42 U.S.C. 12186.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The Access Board is an independent Federal agency 
established by section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as 
amended, whose primary mission is to promote accessibility for 
individuals with disabilities. The Access Board consists of 25 
members. Thirteen are appointed by the President from among the 
public, a majority of whom are required to be individuals with 
disabilities. The other twelve are heads of the following Federal 
agencies or their designees whose positions are Executive Level IV 
or above: The Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, 
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, Interior, 
Defense, Justice, Veterans Affairs, and Commerce; General Services 
Administration; and United States Postal Service.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For purposes of the ADA, an over-the-road bus is ``a bus 
characterized by an elevated passenger deck located over a baggage 
compartment.'' 42 U.S.C. 12181(5). The ADA provides for rulemaking to 
establish accessibility requirements for OTRBs operated by private 
entities to be conducted in two stages: interim requirements and final 
requirements. 42 U.S.C. 12186.2
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ OTRBs purchased by public entities or by a contractor to a 
public entity must currently meet the same accessibility 
requirements as do other buses, including requirements for lifts or 
ramps and wheelchair securement devices. 49 CFR 37.7(c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The interim requirements were established in 1991 and do not 
require any structural changes to OTRBs. The Access Board issued 
accessibility guidelines for OTRBs that provide technical 
specifications for non-structural design features such as floor 
surfaces, lighting, and handrails and stanchions. 36 CFR 1192.151 to 
1192.157. The DOT adopted these guidelines as its standards and also 
established interim requirements for providing boarding assistance and 
accommodating wheelchairs and other mobility aids. 49 CFR 37.169 and 49 
CFR 38.151 to 38.157.
    Prior to establishing the final requirements, the Office of 
Technology Assessment was to study issues related to OTRB 
accessibility. 42 U.S.C. 12185. The Office of Technology Assessment 
published its study on May 16, 1993. Requirements for accessibility 
were to have taken effect by July 26, 1996, for large transportation 
providers, and one year later for small entities. 42 U.S.C. 12186. The 
National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-59), 
amended section 306(a)(2)(B)(iii) of the ADA by removing the specific 
compliance dates and instead requiring large transportation providers 
to comply two years after the issuance of the DOT regulation, and small 
providers to comply three years after issuance.
    As a preliminary step to issuing requirements, the Access Board and 
the DOT held a workshop in Washington,

[[Page 14572]]

D.C. on October 21 and 22, 1993, to discuss issues related to OTRB 
accessibility. About 30 representatives of the OTRB industry and 
disability organizations attended the workshop. At the workshop, it was 
announced that the Access Board and the DOT were considering amending 
the accessibility guidelines and standards for OTRBs to include 
technical specifications for:
     Lifts, ramps, and wheelchair securement devices based on 
existing requirements for other buses in 36 CFR 1192.23 and 49 CFR 
38.23;
     Accessible restrooms based on existing requirements for 
commuter and intercity rail cars in 36 CFR 1192.107 and 1192.123, and 
49 CFR 38.107 and 38.123; and
     Front door width, overhead clearance for doors with lifts 
or ramps, and step riser height and tread depth.
    This notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) is issued jointly by the 
Access Board and the DOT to amend the accessibility guidelines and 
standards for OTRBs, as discussed at the workshop. The NPRM also 
proposes to revise the exterior lighting specification for OTRBs and 
other buses based on an equivalent facilitation determination made by 
the DOT.
    The DOT is publishing a separate NPRM elsewhere in today's Federal 
Register which addresses when OTRB operators are required to comply 
with the specifications.

Section-by-Section Analysis

Section____.31  Lighting

    The NPRM proposes to amend paragraph (c) of this section for 
standard urban transit buses to conform to the proposal for OTRBs. See 
the discussion under Section____.157

Section____.153  Doors, Steps and Thresholds

    The NPRM proposes to amend paragraph (b) of this section by adding 
a requirement for a maximum step riser height (8 inches) and minimum 
step tread depth (11 inches) based on accessibility standards for 
buildings and facilities. The DOT's regulations currently require that 
standees be permitted to use lifts. 49 CFR 37.165(g). However, the rise 
of a lift for an OTRB is much higher than for a typical urban transit 
bus. The higher rise may make some persons with disabilities, 
especially those with poor balance, feel uncomfortable and insecure 
about using the lift, even though it is required to have handrails.
    Provisions for step riser height and tread depth were originally 
proposed for other buses in 1991 but not adopted at the time because 
lifts were required to accommodate standees and because there were 
structural difficulties in achieving the proposed provisions. 
Subsequently, new vehicle designs such as several models of low-floor 
buses, have made the reduction of step risers practical for urban 
transit buses. Designs for OTRBs also may have changed since 1991.
    Question 1: Should minimum requirements for step riser height and 
tread depth be established for OTRBs? Are the proposed requirements 
achievable within the constraints imposed by vehicle structure? Are 
other requirements more appropriate? Alternatively, are there current 
lift designs (e.g., folding seats) which would reduce the feeling of 
insecurity a standee using the lift might experience?
    The NPRM proposes to amend paragraph (c) of this section to specify 
a minimum front door width (30 inches) consistent with other vehicles. 
This door width is intended to partially accommodate persons using 
crutches or leg braces or having gait problems who may wish to use the 
steps instead of the lift. Doors in accessible buildings and facilities 
are required to provide a 32 inch clear opening based on the crutchtip-
to-crutchtip stance of a crutch user. The narrower dimension proposed 
in the NPRM will provide better access than current OTRB designs for 
persons who must swing their legs to climb steps. Since a wider opening 
is needed primarily at the bottom of the door and current designs 
frequently slope the windshield inward, the proposed requirement would 
permit the door to taper from a point 48 inches above the first step. 
It would also limit the intrusion into the required clear width by 
hinges or other operating mechanisms.
    Question 2: Some OTRB designs have doors which are wider than 30 
inches. Is a 32 inch width achievable? What would be the cost if 
engineering changes are needed?
    The NPRM proposes to add a new paragraph (d) to this section which 
specifies a minimum overhead clearance (68 inches) between the top of 
the door opening and the raised lift platform or highest point of a 
ramp. A similar provision currently applies to other buses over 22 feet 
in length. 36 CFR 1192.25(c) and 49 CFR 38.25(c). This clearance is 
intended to minimize the likelihood that standees using a lift would 
hit their heads when passing through the door. A lower clearance is 
required for vehicles of 22 feet or less in length to avoid having to 
add a large raised roof to a minivan which could make the vehicle 
unstable. This is not a problem for large buses.
    Unlike urban transit buses, lifts for OTRBs have been placed in a 
dedicated door near the rear of the vehicle. Typical lift doors for 
OTRBs have a vertical clearance of 61 inches. Some OTRBs have been 
designed with a 68 inch clearance at the lift door.
    Question 3: What OTRB models can meet a 68 inch clearance at the 
lift door? What are the structural and cost implications of achieving 
this height? Should requirements be established for both step riser 
height and tread depths at the front door and overhead clearance at the 
lift door, or should these requirements be considered alternatives to 
one another?
    The DOT has previously determined for other buses that an 
``elevator'' type lift provides equivalent facilitation to the door 
height provision. The platform of an ``elevator'' type lift moves 
completely within the vehicle envelope. A standee would board the lift 
from ground level by passing through the doorway with a clearance 
greater than 68 inches and be raised within the bus. Thus, a standee 
would never need to pass through the doorway when the lift is raised 
and would not encounter the door lintel. There is at least one 
``elevator'' type lift for OTRBs.
    Question 4: Should ``elevator'' type lifts be specifically 
addressed in the guidelines and standards? Information is requested on 
these lift designs, their cost, and how much baggage space is occupied 
when the device is stowed.
    Some information has recently come to the Board's attention 
regarding the effect of providing a lift door in the side of a 
monocoque construction bus. The Board seeks data, including the results 
of any engineering studies, which document any structural problems and 
effect on bus life-cycle costs. In some accessible OTRB designs, the 
lift door is placed toward the rear, close to the rear wheels, while in 
others it is placed at the bus mid-point, at the maximum bending moment 
of the vehicle.
    Question 5: What effect does door placement have on the structural 
integrity of a monocoque construction OTRB? Also, urban transit buses 
have had rear doors for years, some wider than others and some with 
lifts. What are the comparisons between urban transit buses and OTRBs 
in terms of life-cycles? Some transit buses no longer employ monocoque 
construction. Are there OTRBs which also no longer employ monocoque 
construction?

Section____.157  Lighting

    The NPRM proposes to delete the requirement in paragraph (b) of 
this

[[Page 14573]]

section that exterior lights be mounted below window level. The 
original provision was based on an earlier Federal Transit 
Administration regulation. 49 CFR 609.15(g)(3). Subsequent to the 
issuance of that regulation, the Federal Transit Administration began 
accepting buses which conform to the ``Baseline Specifications for 
Advance Design Buses'' (White Book). The White Book permits exterior 
lights to be mounted in locations other than below the windows. The DOT 
has determined that compliance with the exterior lighting requirements 
of the White Book constitutes equivalent facilitation. The NPRM also 
proposes to delete a similar requirement for other buses in 36 CFR 
1192.31(c) and 49 CFR 38.31(c).

Section____.159  Mobility Aid Accessibility

    This section is based on the current requirements for lifts, ramps, 
and wheelchair securement devices in 36 CFR 1192.23 and 49 CFR 38.23 
which apply to urban transit buses and OTRBs purchased by public 
entities. The section has been modified by eliminating the references 
to vehicles of 22 feet or less in length since all OTRBs exceed this 
length. Paragraph (a)(2), which is taken from the requirements for rail 
vehicles, permits OTRBs to use station-based lifts, ramps, or similar 
boarding devices, provided they meet the technical requirements that 
would have applied to a vehicle-borne device.
    The requirements for securement devices in paragraph (d) are the 
same as those currently required for urban transit buses and OTRBs 
purchased by public entities. Bus seats are required to be attached to 
the bus frame and meet specified forces. The design load established 
for securement devices is based on the need to secure the wheelchair or 
mobility aid with constraints similar to those imposed on all other 
seats.
    Question 6a: Are OTRB seats required to meet force and attachment 
strengths greater than the seats on urban transit buses? If so, what 
are those forces and how do they relate to requirements for mobility 
aid securement devices?
    Considerable speculation has been put forth regarding whether the 
securement force requirements for urban transit buses are adequate for 
OTRBs. The concern is that OTRBs often travel at higher speeds than 
urban transit buses and collisions would be at higher speeds. However, 
it is not the speed per se but the ``g-forces'' experienced that is 
important. Since larger vehicles have their own momentum, the 
deceleration of a mobility aid with respect to the securement device is 
less for heavier vehicles. Thus, the current securement device force 
requirements are greater for small vans than for large buses. 36 CFR 
1191.23(d)(1) and 49 CFR 38.23(d)(1).
    Question 6b: Since OTRBs are generally heavier than urban transit 
buses, how will this weight difference affect securement device forces?
    Several public transit agencies, and some state agencies, currently 
operate OTRBs for commuter service on highways at high speed. These 
vehicles must meet not only the requirements for force, but the 
limitation on motion of the mobility aid and the requirement for 
accommodating all common wheelchairs and mobility aids. These 
securement systems consist of belts or straps that are fastened by the 
vehicle operator. There is no known commercially available system which 
is independently operable by the mobility aid user that can accommodate 
all common wheelchairs and mobility aids, but the common belt systems 
have been used for many years in public transit applications.
    Question 6c: What has been the experience of operators of OTRBs 
meeting the current securement specification?

Section____.161  Restrooms

    Section 306(a)(2)(C) of the ADA specifies that the DOT regulation 
shall not require the installation of accessible restrooms in OTRBs if 
such installation would result in a loss of seating capacity. DOT has 
stated in its NPRM that it has found no designs which do not result in 
seat loss and, therefore, does not intend to require them. 
Nevertheless, some entities have elected to provide accessible 
restrooms as a courtesy to their passengers with disabilities. The 
specifications in this section are meant to ensure that, where such 
restrooms are provided voluntarily, they meet some minimum 
accessibility requirements. However, these technical provisions may be 
more appropriate for the advisory guidance in the Appendix than the 
rule itself.
    This section is derived from current requirements for restrooms on 
commuter and intercity rail cars in 36 CFR 1192.107 and 1192.123, and 
49 CFR 38.107 and 38.123. The rail car requirement relating to a door 
from the side has been deleted since the width restrictions on OTRBs 
would generally preclude a side entrance. The requirement for a 60 inch 
clear floor space from the front of the water closet is designed to 
provide some maneuvering space for side door entry. If the entry is 
from the end opposite the water closet, a shorter space may be 
workable. These requirements are considered the bare minimum and 
persons with disabilities have reported difficulty in using current 
rail car restrooms which meet these requirements.
    At least two OTRB manufacturers have designed accessible restrooms 
for their buses. Also, OTRBs with accessible restrooms are currently 
operating in commuter service near Los Angeles, California. However, 
those restrooms may not meet the requirements of this section and a 
wheelchair user must back into the restroom. The particular design does 
provide a side approach to the water closet, unlike the rail car 
version.
    Question 7: Are there OTRB restroom designs which provide better 
accessibility than proposed? Are such restrooms currently in production 
or available if ordered? What is the cost of providing such restrooms 
and how many seats are displaced by the design?
    In addition, some OTRB operators have provided moveable aisle 
armrests on some seats. These armrests make it easier for persons to 
get in and out of closely spaced seats, especially for those with poor 
balance or mobility.
    Question 8: Should a certain percentage of seats be required to 
have moveable aisle armrests? If so, what percentage and where should 
they be located (e.g., close to the entry steps)?
    Finally, seat loss is a concern of OTRB operators. Some OTRB 
designs involve sliding sets of pedestal seats forward, rendering them 
unusable when a wheelchair or mobility aid user is occupying the 
securement location. Also, some configurations assume a five-foot 
turning circle must be provided, whereas the vehicle specifications do 
not require it.
    Question 9: What seating configurations have been designed for 
OTRBs? Has any configuration been developed which would allow a fixed 
seat adjacent to the securement location for a traveling companion?

Regulatory Process Matters

    This proposed rule is jointly issued by the Access Board and the 
DOT to amend the accessibility guidelines and standards for OTRBs by 
adding technical specifications for lifts, ramps, wheelchair securement 
devices, and accessible restrooms. The proposed rule also revises 
technical specifications for doors, steps, and lighting. DOT has 
published a separate proposed rule in today's Federal Register which 
addresses when OTRB operators are required to comply with the technical 
specifications. The proposed rules are closely related and the Access 
Board

[[Page 14574]]

and the DOT have treated them as a single regulatory action for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866 and the Regulatory Flexibility Act in 
order to avoid duplicative or unnecessary analyses. The proposed rules 
are a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866 and 
DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures. DOT has prepared a Regulatory 
Impact Analysis (RIA), which is summarized in the separate proposed 
rule the DOT has published in today's Federal Register. The Office of 
Management and Budget has reviewed both proposed rules.
    The proposed rules are likely to have a significant impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. DOT has incorporated a Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis into the RIA and has included provisions in the 
separate proposed rule published in today's Federal Register to reduce 
the burden on small OTRB operators.

Text of Proposed Common Rule

    The text of the proposed common rule amendments to 36 CFR part 1192 
and 49 CFR part 38 appear below.
    1. Section ____.31 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as 
follows:


Sec. ____.31  Lighting.

* * * *
    (c) The vehicle doorways, including doorways in which lifts or 
ramps are installed, shall have outside light(s) which, when the door 
is open, provide at least 1 foot-candle of illumination on the street 
surface for a distance 3 feet (915 mm) perpendicular to all points on 
the bottom step tread outer edge. Such light(s) shall be shielded to 
protect the eyes of entering and exiting passengers.
    2. Section ____.153 is amended by revising paragraphs (b) and (c), 
and by adding paragraph (d) to read as follows:


Sec. ____.153  Doors, steps and thresholds.

* * * * *
    (b) All step edges shall have a band of color(s) running the full 
width of the step which contrasts from the step tread and riser, either 
dark-on-light or light-on-dark. The maximum height of step risers shall 
be 8 inches (200 mm) and the minimum tread depth shall be 11 inches 
(280 mm).
    (c) Doors shall have a minimum clear width when open of 30 inches 
(760 mm), measured from the lowest step to a height of at least 48 
inches (1220 mm), from which point they may taper to a minimum width of 
27 inches (690 mm). The clear width may be reduced by a maximum of 4 
inches (100 mm) by protrusions of hinges or other operating mechanisms 
if the protrusion is between 44 (1120 mm) and 48 inches (1220 mm) above 
the lowest step.
    (d) The overhead clearance between the top of the door opening and 
the raised lift platform, or highest point of a ramp, shall be a 
minimum of 68 inches (1730 mm).
    3. Section ____.157 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as 
follows:


Sec. ____.157  Lighting.

* * * * *
    (b) The vehicle doorway shall have outside light(s) which, when the 
door is open, provide at least 1 foot-candle of illumination on the 
street surface for a distance 3 feet (915 mm) perpendicular to all 
points on the bottom step tread outer edge. Such light(s) shall be 
shielded to protect the eyes of entering and exiting passengers.
    4. Section ____.159 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. ____.159  Mobility aid accessibility.

    (a)(1) General. All vehicles covered by this subpart shall provide 
a level-change mechanism or boarding device (e.g., lift or ramp) 
complying with paragraph (b) or (c) of this section and sufficient 
clearances to permit a wheelchair or other mobility aid user to reach a 
securement location. At least two securement locations and devices, 
complying with paragraph (d) of this section, shall be provided.
    (2) Exception: If portable or station-based lifts, ramps or bridge 
plates meeting the applicable requirements of this section are provided 
at stations or other stops required to be accessible under regulations 
issued by the Department of Transportation, the bus is not required to 
be equipped with a vehicle-borne device.
    (b) Vehicle lift--(1) Design load. The design load of the lift 
shall be at least 600 pounds (2665 N). Working parts, such as cables, 
pulleys, and shafts, which can be expected to wear, and upon which the 
lift depends for support of the load, shall have a safety factor of at 
least six, based on the ultimate strength of the material. Nonworking 
parts, such as platform, frame and attachment hardware which would not 
be expected to wear, shall have a safety factor of at least three, 
based on the ultimate strength of the material.
    (2) Controls--(i) Requirements. The controls shall be interlocked 
with the vehicle brakes, transmission, or door, or shall provide other 
appropriate mechanisms or systems, to ensure that the vehicle cannot be 
moved when the lift is not stowed and so the lift cannot be deployed 
unless the interlocks or systems are engaged. The lift shall deploy to 
all levels (i.e., ground, curb, and intermediate positions) normally 
encountered in the operating environment. Where provided, each control 
for deploying, lowering, raising, and stowing the lift and lowering the 
roll-off barrier shall be of a momentary contact type requiring 
continuous manual pressure by the operator and shall not allow improper 
lift sequencing when the lift platform is occupied. The controls shall 
allow reversal of the lift operation sequence, such as raising or 
lowering a platform that is part way down, without allowing an occupied 
platform to fold or retract into the stowed position.
    (ii) Exception. Where the lift is designed to deploy with its long 
dimension parallel to the vehicle axis and which pivots into or out of 
the vehicle while occupied (i.e., ``rotary lift''), the requirements of 
this paragraph prohibiting the lift from being stowed while occupied 
shall not apply if the stowed position is within the passenger 
compartment and the lift is intended to be stowed while occupied.
    (3) Emergency operation. The lift shall incorporate an emergency 
method of deploying, lowering to ground level with a lift occupant, and 
raising and stowing the empty lift if the power to the lift fails. No 
emergency method, manual or otherwise, shall be capable of being 
operated in a manner that could be hazardous to the lift occupant or to 
the operator when operated according to manufacturer's instructions, 
and shall not permit the platform to be stowed or folded when occupied, 
unless the lift is a rotary lift and is intended to be stowed while 
occupied.
    (4) Power or equipment failure. Platforms stowed in a vertical 
position, and deployed platforms when occupied, shall have provisions 
to prevent their deploying, falling, or folding any faster than 12 
inches/second (305 mm/sec) or their dropping of an occupant in the 
event of a single failure of any load carrying component.
    (5) Platform barriers. The lift platform shall be equipped with 
barriers to prevent any of the wheels of a wheelchair or mobility aid 
from rolling off the platform during its operation. A movable barrier 
or inherent design feature shall prevent a wheelchair or mobility aid 
from rolling off the edge closest to the vehicle until the platform is 
in its fully raised position. Each side of the lift platform which 
extends beyond the vehicle in its raised position shall have a barrier 
a minimum 1-\1/2\ inches (13 mm) high. Such barriers shall not 
interfere with maneuvering into or out of the aisle. The loading-edge 
barrier (outer barrier) which functions as a loading ramp when the lift 
is at ground

[[Page 14575]]

level, shall be sufficient when raised or closed, or a supplementary 
system shall be provided, to prevent a power wheelchair or mobility aid 
from riding over or defeating it. The outer barrier of the lift shall 
automatically raise or close, or a supplementary system shall 
automatically engage, and remain raised, closed, or engaged at all 
times that the platform is more than 3 inches (75 mm) above the roadway 
or sidewalk and the platform is occupied. Alternatively, a barrier or 
system may be raised, lowered, opened, closed, engaged, or disengaged 
by the lift operator, provided an interlock or inherent design feature 
prevents the lift from rising unless the barrier is raised or closed or 
the supplementary system is engaged.
    (6) Platform surface. The platform surface shall be free of any 
protrusions of \1/4\ inch (6.5 mm) high and shall be slip resistant. 
The platform shall have a minimum clear width of 28-\1/2\ inches (725 
mm) at the platform, a minimum clear width of 30 inches (760 mm) 
measured from 2 inches (50 mm) above the platform surface to 30 inches 
(760 mm) above the platform, and a minimum clear length of 48 inches 
(1220 mm) measured from 2 inches (50 mm) above the surface of the 
platform to 30 inches (760 mm) above the surface of the platform. (See 
Fig. 1 to this part)
    (7) Platform gaps. Any openings between the platform surface and 
the raised barriers shall not exceed \5/8\ inch (16 mm) in width. When 
the platform is at vehicle floor height with the inner barrier (if 
applicable) down or retracted, gaps between the forward lift platform 
edge and the vehicle floor shall not exceed \1/2\ inch (13 mm) 
horizontally and \5/8\ inch (16 mm) vertically. Platforms on semi-
automatic lifts may have a hand hold not exceeding 1-\1/2\ inches (28 
mm) by 4-\1/2\ inches (113 mm) located between the edge barriers.
    (8) Platform entrance ramp. The entrance ramp, or loading-edge 
barrier used as a ramp, shall not exceed a slope of 1:8, measured on 
level ground, for a maximum rise of 3 inches (75 mm), and the 
transition from roadway or sidewalk to ramp may be vertical without 
edge treatment up to \1/4\ inch (6.5 mm) . Thresholds between \1/4\ 
inch (6.5 mm) and \1/2\ inch (13 mm) high shall be beveled with a slope 
no greater than 1:2.
    (9) Platform deflection. The lift platform (not including the 
entrance ramp) shall not deflect more than 3 degrees (exclusive of 
vehicle roll or pitch) in any direction between its unloaded position 
and its position when loaded with 600 pounds (2665 N) applied through a 
26 inch (660 mm) by 26 inch test pallet at the centroid of the 
platform.
    (10) Platform movement. No part of the platform shall move at a 
rate exceeding 6 inches/second (150 mm/sec) during lowering and lifting 
an occupant, and shall not exceed 12 inches/second (300 mm/sec) during 
deploying or stowing. This requirement does not apply to the deployment 
or stowage cycles of lifts that are manually deployed or stowed. The 
maximum platform horizontal and vertical acceleration when occupied 
shall be 0.3g.
    (11) Boarding direction. The lift shall permit both inboard and 
outboard facing of wheelchair and mobility aid users.
    (12) Use by standees. Lifts shall accommodate persons using 
walkers, crutches, canes or braces or who otherwise have difficulty 
using steps. The platform may be marked to indicate a preferred 
standing position.
    (13) Handrails. Platforms on lifts shall be equipped with handrails 
on two sides, which move in tandem with the lift, and which shall be 
graspable and provide support to standees throughout the entire lift 
operation. Handrails shall have a usable component at least 8 inches 
(200 mm) long with the lowest portion a minimum 30 inches (760 mm) 
above the platform and the highest portion a maximum 38 inches (965 mm) 
above the platform. The handrails shall be capable of withstanding a 
force of 100 pounds (445 N) concentrated at any point on the handrail 
without permanent deformation of the rail or its supporting structure. 
The handrail shall have a cross-sectional diameter between 1-\1/4\ 
inches (32 mm) and 1-\1/2\ inches (38 mm) or shall provide an 
equivalent grasping surface, and have eased edges with corner radii of 
not less than \1/8\ inch (3.5 mm). Handrails shall be placed to provide 
a minimum 1-\1/2\ inches (38 mm) knuckle clearance from the nearest 
adjacent surface. Handrails shall not interfere with wheelchair or 
mobility aid maneuverability when entering or leaving the vehicle.
    (c) Vehicle ramp--(1) Design load. Ramps 30 inches (760 mm) or 
longer shall support a load of 600 pounds (2665 N), placed at the 
centroid of the ramp distributed over an area of 26 inches by 26 inches 
(660 mm by 660 mm), with a safety factor of at least 3 based on the 
ultimate strength of the material. Ramps shorter than 30 inches (760 
mm) shall support a load of 300 pounds (1332 N).
    (2) Ramp surface. The ramp surface shall be continuous and slip 
resistant; shall not have protrusions from the surface greater than \1/
4\ inch (6.5 mm) high; shall have a clear width of 30 inches (760 mm); 
and shall accommodate both four-wheel and three-wheel mobility aids.
    (3) Ramp threshold. The transition from roadway or sidewalk and the 
transition from vehicle floor to the ramp may be vertical without edge 
treatment up to \1/4\ inch (6.5 mm). Changes in level between \1/4\ 
inch (6.5 mm) and \1/2\ inch (13 mm) shall be beveled with a slope no 
greater than 1:2.
    (4) Ramp barriers. Each side of the ramp shall have barriers at 
least 2 inches (50 mm) high to prevent mobility aid wheels from 
slipping off.
    (5) Slope. Ramps shall have the least slope practicable and shall 
not exceed 1:4 when deployed to ground level. If the height of the 
vehicle floor from which the ramp is deployed is 3 inches (75 mm) or 
less above a 6 inch (150 mm) curb, a maximum slope of 1:4 is permitted; 
if the height of the vehicle floor from which the ramp is deployed is 6 
inches (150 mm) or less, but greater than 3 inches (75 mm), above a 6 
inch (150 mm) curb, a maximum slope of 1:6 is permitted; if the height 
of the vehicle floor from which the ramp is deployed is 9 inches (225 
mm) or less, but greater than 6 inches (150 mm), above a 6 inch curb, a 
maximum slope of 1:8 is permitted; if the height of the vehicle floor 
from which the ramp is deployed is greater than 9 inches (225 mm) above 
a 6 inch (150 mm) curb, a slope of 1:12 shall be achieved. Folding or 
telescoping ramps are permitted provided they meet all structural 
requirements of this section.
    (6) Attachment. When in use for boarding or alighting, the ramp 
shall be firmly attached to the vehicle so that it is not subject to 
displacement when loading or unloading a heavy power mobility aid and 
that no gap between vehicle and ramp exceeds \5/8\ inch (16 mm).
    (7) Stowage. A compartment, securement system, or other appropriate 
method shall be provided to ensure that stowed ramps, including 
portable ramps stowed in the passenger area, do not impinge on a 
passenger's wheelchair or mobility aid or pose any hazard to passengers 
in the event of a sudden stop or maneuver.
    (8) Handrails. If provided, handrails shall allow persons with 
disabilities to grasp them from outside the vehicle while starting to 
board, and to continue to use them throughout the boarding process, and 
shall have the top between 30 inches (760 mm) above the ramp surface. 
The handrails shall be capable of withstanding a force of 100 pounds 
(445 N) concentrated at any point on the handrail without permanent 
deformation of the rail or its supporting

[[Page 14576]]

structure. The handrail shall have a cross-sectional diameter between 
1\1/4\ inches (32 mm) and 1\1/2\ inches (38 mm) or shall provide an 
equivalent grasping surface, and have eased edges with corner radii of 
not less than \1/8\ inch (3.5 mm). Handrails shall not interfere with 
wheelchair or mobility aid maneuverability when entering or leaving the 
vehicle.
    (d) Securement devices--(1) Design load. Securement systems, and 
their attachments to vehicles, shall restrain a force in the forward 
longitudinal direction of up to 2,000 pounds (8,880 N) per securement 
leg or clamping mechanism and a minimum of 4,000 pounds (17,760 N) for 
each mobility aid.
    (2) Location and size. The securement system shall be placed as 
near to the accessible entrance as practicable and shall have a clear 
floor area of 30 inches (760 mm) by 48 inches (1220 mm). Such space 
shall adjoin, and may overlap, an access path. Not more than 6 inches 
(150 mm) of the required clear floor space may be accommodated for 
footrests under another seat, modesty panel, or other fixed element 
provided there is a minimum of 9 inches (230 mm) from the floor to the 
lowest part of the seat overhanging the space. Securement areas may 
have fold-down seats to accommodate other passengers when a wheelchair 
or mobility aid is not occupying the area, provided the seats, when 
folded up, do not obstruct the clear floor space required. (See Fig. 2 
to this part)
    (3) Mobility aids accommodated. The securement system shall secure 
common wheelchairs and mobility aids and shall either be automatic or 
easily attached by a person familiar with the system and mobility aid 
and having average dexterity.
    (4) Orientation. At least one securement device or system required 
by paragraph (a) of this section shall secure the wheelchair or 
mobility aid facing toward the front of the vehicle. Additional 
securement devices or systems shall secure the wheelchair or mobility 
aid facing forward or rearward. Where the wheelchair or mobility aid is 
secured facing the rear of the vehicle, a padded barrier shall be 
provided. The padded barrier shall extend from a height of 38 inches 
(965 mm) from the vehicle floor to a height of 56 inches (1420 mm) from 
the vehicle floor with a width of 18 inches (455 mm), laterally 
centered immediately in back of the seated individual. Such barriers 
need not be solid provided equivalent protection is afforded.
    (5) Movement. When the wheelchair or mobility aid is secured in 
accordance with manufacturer's instructions, the securement system 
shall limit the movement of an occupied wheelchair or mobility aid to 
no more than 2 inches (50 mm) in any direction under normal vehicle 
operating conditions.
    (6) Stowage. When not being used for securement, or when the 
securement area can be used by standees, the securement system shall 
not interfere with passenger movement, shall not present any hazardous 
condition, shall be reasonably protected from vandalism, and shall be 
readily accessed when needed for use.
    (7) Seat belt and shoulder harness. For each wheelchair or mobility 
aid securement device provided, a passenger seat belt and shoulder 
harness, complying with all applicable provisions of the Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standards, shall also be provided for use by wheelchair 
or mobility aid users. Such seat belts and shoulder harnesses shall not 
be used in lieu of a device which secures the wheelchair or mobility 
aid itself.
    5. Section ____.161 is added to subpart G to read as follows:


Sec. ____.161  Restrooms.

    (a) If an accessible restroom is provided, it shall be designed so 
as to allow a person using a wheelchair or mobility aid to enter and 
use such restroom as specified in paragraphs (a) (1) through (5) of 
this section.
    (1) The minimum clear floor area shall be 35 inches (890 mm) by 60 
inches (1525 mm). Permanently installed fixtures may overlap this area 
a maximum of 6 inches (150 mm), if the lowest portion of the fixture is 
a minimum of 9 inches (230 mm) above the floor, and may overlap a 
maximum of 19 inches (485 mm), if the lowest portion of the fixture is 
a minimum of 29 inches (740 mm) above the floor, provided such fixtures 
do not interfere with access to the water closet. Fold-down or 
retractable seats or shelves may overlap the clear floor space at a 
lower height provided they can be easily folded up or moved out of the 
way.
    (2) The height of the water closet shall be 17 inches (430 mm) to 
19 inches (485 mm) measured to the top of the toilet seat. Seats shall 
not be sprung to return to a lifted position.
    (3) A grab bar at least 24 inches (610 mm) long shall be mounted 
behind the water closet, and a horizontal grab bar at least 40 inches 
(1015 mm) long shall be mounted on at least one side wall, with one end 
not more than 12 inches (305 mm) from the back wall, at a height 
between 33 inches (840 mm) and 36 inches (915 mm) above the floor.
    (4) Faucets and flush controls shall be operable with one hand and 
shall not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. 
The force required to activate controls shall be no greater than 5 lbs 
(22.2 N). Controls for flush valves shall be mounted no more than 44 
inches (1120 mm) above the floor.
    (5) Doorways on the end of the enclosure, opposite the water 
closet, shall have a minimum clear opening width of 32 inches (815 mm). 
Door latches and hardware shall be operable with one hand and shall not 
require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist.
    (b) Accessible restrooms shall be in close proximity to at least 
one seating location for persons using mobility aids and shall be 
connected to such a space by an unobstructed path having a minimum 
width of 32 inches (815 mm).
    6. A heading is added at the end of part ____ preceding the figures 
to read as follows:

Figures to Part ____

    7. Figures 1 and 2 are republished for the convenience of the 
reader to read as follows:

BILLING CODES 8150-01-P; 4910-62-P

[[Page 14577]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP25MR98.006



BILLING CODES 8150-01-C; 4910-62-C

[[Page 14578]]

Adoption of Proposed Common Rule

    The agency specific proposals to adopt the common rule, which 
appears at the end of the common preamble, are set forth below.

Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board

36 CFR Part 1192

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 1192

    Buses, Civil rights, Individuals with disabilities, Mass 
transportation, Railroads, Transportation.

Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons set forth in the common preamble, part 1192 of 
title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations is proposed to be amended 
as follows:

PART 1192--AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) ACCESSIBILITY 
GUIDELINES FOR TRANSPORTATION VEHICLES

    1. The authority citation for 36 CFR part 1192 is revised to read 
as follows:

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 12204.


Sec. 1192.31  [Amended]

    2. Section 1192.31 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as 
set forth at the end of the common preamble.


Sec. 1192.153  [Amended]

    3. Section 1192.153 is amended by revising paragraphs (b) and (c), 
and by adding paragraph (d) to read as set forth at the end of the 
common preamble.


Sec. 1192.157  [Amended]

    4. Section 1192.157 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as 
set forth at the end of the common preamble.


Sec. 1192.159  [Revised]

    5. Section 1192.159 is revised to read as set forth at the end of 
the common preamble.


Sec. 1192.161  [Added]

    6. Section 1192.161 is added to subpart G to read as set forth at 
the end of the common preamble.
    7. A heading is added at the end of part 1192 preceding the figures 
to read as set forth at the end of the common preamble.

    Authorized by vote of the Access Board on January 28, 1998.
Patrick D. Cannon,
Chair, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Office of the Secretary

49 CFR Part 38

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 38

    Buses, Civil rights, Individuals with disabilities, Mass 
transportation, Railroads, Transportation.

Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons set forth in the common preamble, part 38 of title 
49 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 38--AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) ACCESSIBILITY 
SPECIFICATIONS FOR TRANSPORTATION VEHICLES

    1. The authority citation for 49 CFR part 38 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 12101-12213; 49 U.S.C. 322.


Sec. 38.31  [Amended]

    2. Section 38.31 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as 
set forth at the end of the common preamble.


Sec. 38.153  [Amended]

    3. Section 38.153 is amended by revising paragraphs (b) and (c), 
and by adding paragraph (d) to read as set forth at the end of the 
common preamble.


Sec. 38.157  [Amended]

    4. Section 38.157 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as 
set forth at the end of the common preamble.


Sec. 38.159  [Revised]

    5. Section 38.159 is revised to read as set forth at the end of the 
common preamble.


38.161  [Added]

    6. Section 38.161 is added to subpart G to read as set forth at the 
end of the common preamble.
    7. A heading is added at the end of part 38 preceding the figures 
to read as set forth at the end of the common preamble.

    Dated: March 19, 1998.
Rodney E. Slater,
Secretary of Transportation.
[FR Doc. 98-7687 Filed 3-20-98; 11:24 am]
BILLING CODE 8150-01-P, 4910-62-P

Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library at Google+ The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Instagram The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Pinterest The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr
 


The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home Page    About Us    Contribute