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Choose Your Alameda County Paratransit Program
  

Choosing a Mobility Device
If you are purchasing a new or replacement wheelchair or scooter, the type of device you choose may have an important impact on your ability to board transit and paratransit vehicles safely. It can also impact the driver’s ability to effectively secure your wheelchair in the vehicle for safe travel. In order to ensure that vehicles will be able to safely accommodate your mobility device, keep the following in mind when selecting a mobility device:

Vehicles used to provide ADA paratransit and fixed-route transit service are designed to accommodate a “common wheelchair” on bus or van lifts and in securement locations. The ADA specifies that a common wheelchair is one which weighs no more then 600 pounds when occupied, and is no more than 30 inches wide and 48 inches long (measured two inches above the floor). Some very large wheelchairs, scooters, and reclining chairs exceed these dimensions. Vehicle lifts may not be able to accommodate larger devices, and there may be too little space inside the vehicle for maneuvering them. Because of this, the transit provider may refuse to carry you.

Because guidelines for carrying mobility devices that exceed the dimension of a common wheelchair vary among transportation programs, you should contact program staff prior to purchasing a very large mobility device.

When traveling on transit or paratransit, it is best if you use a wheelchair that has been designed and tested for use as a seat in motor vehicles. Wheelchairs that comply with a special safety standard are referred to as “WC19” or “transit” wheelchairs. WC19 wheelchairs have four crash-tested securement points where tiedown straps and hooks used on transit vehicles can be easily attached. Wheelchairs that meet the design and performance requirements of this standard will be labeled to show that they comply with WC19. If a WC19 wheelchair is not available, the next best choice is a wheelchair with an accessible metal frame where the tiedown straps and hooks used to secure the device on a motor vehicle can be attached at frame junctions.

For more information, contact the transportation program serving your community, or visit the following links:

A Consumers’ Overview of WC19 “Transit” Wheelchairs and Related Educational Resources
Ride Safe Brochure
Best Practices for Using a Wheelchair as a Seat in a Motor Vehicle

AC Transit has a Wheelchair Marking and Tether Strap Program that provides riders using mobility aids such as wheelchairs or scooters with the opportunity to meet with AC Transit staff to identify and mark the best points for securing the mobility aid on AC Transit buses. If a mobility device has securement points that are of irregular size or are difficult to access, tether straps designed to work with the securement devices used on AC Transit buses can be installed. There is no charge for participation in the program. For more information, call 510-891-7113.