For our valued customers with disabilities, as well as seniors with limited mobility, BCTA offers a wide range of accommodations to make travel more convenient, safe, and comfortable. The following is an overview of these accommodations:
BCTA is very pleased to announce that all vehicles in regular fixed route and DART service are equipped with either a lift or a ramp to accommodate passengers using mobility aids such as wheelchairs or scooters. If you require the use of a lift or ramp to board a BCTA vehicle, please notify the driver as you board.
A few words about mobility aids
If you use a mobility aid – such as a wheelchair or scooter – and need to board a BCTA vehicle, there are two points you should remember. First, the mobility aid must be secured to the floor for the entire time between your boarding and de-boarding stops. This is to ensure your safety and the safety of other passengers. If you are willing and able to do so, you may move out of your mobility aid into a regular seat for the duration of your trip, but the mobility aid itself must remain secured.
Second, there are limits to the size and type of the mobility aid that can be accommodated on board a BCTA vehicle. BCTA is capable of carrying all “common wheelchairs” as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). A “common wheelchair” is, specifically:
“a mobility aid belonging to any class of three or four-wheeled devices, usable indoors, designed for and used by individuals with mobility impairments, whether operated manually or powered. A “common wheelchair” does not exceed 30 inches in width and 48 inches in length measured two inches above the ground, and does not weigh more than 600 pounds when occupied.”
Kneeling and low-floor vehicles
If you don’t require the use of a mobility aid, but still require some extra accommodation to board the bus, we can help. BCTA is pleased to announce all of its fixed route vehicles have the capacity to kneel, or feature a low-floor design to make the boarding process easier and safer. If you feel you need the bus to kneel, please notify the driver as you board.
Is a kneeling or low-floor bus still not quite sufficient to allow you to board and/or de-board the vehicle independently? Don’t worry! BCTA drivers are ready and willing to offer direct assistance to passengers in boarding and de-boarding a bus.
On fixed route services, drivers are required to leave the driver’s seat to assist a passenger in boarding or de-boarding a bus upon request. The driver’s obligation to help applies only to getting a passenger between the bus stop and the seat, and does not include any assistance with packages or personal belongings.
Because DART is a more personalized and specialized service, a higher level of assistance is offered. DART service is categorized as “door-to-door,” which means that a BCTA driver will assist the passenger not only in boarding and de-boarding the vehicle, but also between the vehicle and the front door of their origin or destination.
On both fixed route and DART services, a passenger is permitted to bring along personal belongings and/or packages to the extent that they can carry these items on their own, in one trip.
In either case, please be sure to notify the driver if you feel you need assistance.
Designated seats for seniors and the mobility-impaired
Once you’re safely on board the vehicle, BCTA designates seats at the front of the vehicle as reserved for seniors and the mobility-impaired. This is so a passenger with limited mobility will have a shorter distance to travel in boarding and de-boarding the vehicle.
If you feel you need to make use of these designated seats, please notify the driver as you board the vehicle. If you are an ambulatory passenger occupying one of these seats, you may be asked to move in favor of a passenger who needs accommodation.
Armband program for the visually impaired
If you have a visual impairment, it may be difficult for you to tell whether a BCTA vehicle is approaching your stop so that you can get ready to board the vehicle. We can help make sure you don’t miss your bus! BCTA offers brightly colored armbands to visually impaired passengers. These armbands allow a BCTA driver to see you, and identify you as a BCTA passenger. They will know that you intend to ride and will stop to pick you up whether or not you are aware the bus is approaching.
If you are interested in the armband program, please contact BCTA directly.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), BCTA fixed route drivers are required to announce all major timepoints along the route. A major timepoint is defined as the stops listed in our paper schedules.
This accommodation is designed to ensure that customers having certain visual and/or cognitive impairments will know when it is time to de-board the vehicle at or near their final destination.
If the stop you wish to de-board at is not defined as a major timepoint, don’t worry – we are still very much willing and able to help you! For stops that are not defined as a major timepoint, as you board the bus please ask the driver to make a special announcement when the bus is approaching your de-boarding stop. He or she will be happy to do so.
Telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD)
Our customer relations representatives are available six days per week to answer questions and provide information regarding BCTA services. Much of this information is provided over the phone. But if you have a hearing impairment and are unable to use a conventional telephone, you can still obtain trip-planning information and have your questions answered by BCTA through our TDD system. All of BCTA telephone lines are TDD compatible when the incoming call is also TDD compatible.
As an alternative, you can also receive all of the information needed to plan your trip directly from this website. If you have further questions or need more information, you can also make a request via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Materials in alternative formats
Much of our written material (schedules, brochures, program applications, etc.) is widely available in a format accessible to those with unimpaired vision. However, all of these materials can be made available in alternative format upon request. Please contact BCTA with your specific needs, and, allowing for a reasonable lead time, we can work in-house or together with Beaver County Association for the Blind and Lighthouse for the Blind to provide the materials you need in Braille, large print, or audiotape format.