Title

AUTO-ENGAGING MOBILITY-AID SECUREMENT SYSTEMS AND LOW-FLOOR BUSES

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1999

Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, planning - surveys, land use - impacts, ridership - old people, mode - bus

Keywords

Wheelchairs, Transit buses, Technological innovations, Surveys, Securing and joining equipment, Operational tests, Operational impacts, Low floor vehicles, Eugene (Oregon), Dwell time, Demonstration projects, Before and after studies, Auto-engaging securement, Anchorage (Alaska), Advanced technology, Acceptance

Abstract

The use of auto-engaging mobility-aid securement systems in regular transit operation on high- and low-floor transit vehicles in two cities was investigated in a demonstration project. The two cities were Eugene, Oregon, and Anchorage, Alaska. The impact of the new securement technology on vehicle operators, mobility-aid users, regular passengers, and maintenance and other transit staff was also investigated. Auto-engaging securement provides fast, safe, and independent mobility-aid securement for wheeled mobility aids. The auto-engaging securement systems were retrofitted on a select number of high-floor buses in regular transit service in Eugene, Oregon, and were factory installed on a fleet of new low-floor transit vehicles that were delivered to Anchorage, Alaska, for regular transit operations. Evaluation consisted of written and oral surveys administered to vehicle operators, mobility-aid users, regular passengers, and maintenance and other transit staff before, during, and after the demonstration project. The operational impacts of retrofitted and factory-installed securement systems were also compared. Auto-engaging securement systems show significant promise for use on high- and low-floor transit vehicles. Auto-engaging systems do not delay the transit vehicle dwell time. In all tests the mobility-aid users were delighted with the independence and freedom of travel and felt much more secure in the auto-engaging securement systems than in the traditional belt securement systems.