Can You Take a Mobility Scooter on a Bus? A Comprehensive Guide
For those who rely on electric mobility scooters to get around, the question of whether they can take their scooter on a bus is an important one. The answer, however, is not always straightforward. While there is no legal obligation for bus companies to allow mobility scooters on board, many companies do have policies in place to accommodate passengers with disabilities.
The size of the mobility scooter and the specific rules of the bus company are important factors to consider. Most mobility scooters are too wide to maneuver onto and off of a bus without problems, so the only way to take a mobility scooter onto a bus is with a folding one, preferably one that folds without any or too many parts having to be removed first. Additionally, the ADA requires that the mobility scooter assist the mobility of a disabled passenger and have three or more wheels, be manual or battery-operated, and have dimensions less than 30 inches wide by 48 inches high.
It is important for those who rely on mobility scooters to plan ahead and check with their local bus company to understand their specific policies regarding mobility scooters. In this article, we will explore the rules and regulations surrounding taking mobility scooters on buses to help ensure a smooth and safe journey for those who rely on these devices.
Laws and Regulations
Local laws regarding mobility scooters on buses can vary depending on the region. Some cities may have specific regulations in place that dictate whether or not mobility scooters are allowed on public transportation. It's important to check with your local transit authority to see what their policies are regarding mobility scooters. You can also check with your local government to see if there are any laws in place regarding mobility scooters on buses.
There are currently no national laws in the UK that require buses to carry mobility scooters. However, the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) has a code for the use and acceptance of mobility scooters on low-floor buses. The CPT code recommends that buses allow mobility scooters on board as long as they meet certain requirements. These requirements include:
- The mobility scooter must not exceed certain dimensions and weight restrictions
- The mobility scooter must be able to turn within a certain radius
- The mobility scooter must have a speed limiter
- The mobility scooter must have a secure method of attachment to the bus
It's important to note that while the CPT code is not a legal requirement, many bus companies do follow it. However, it's still a good idea to check with your local transit authority to see what their policies are regarding mobility scooters on buses.
Types of Mobility Scooters
When it comes to mobility scooters, there are two main types: Class 2 and Class 3. Both types of scooters come in a range of sizes, styles, and colors to meet different needs and preferences.
Class 2 Mobility Scooters
Class 2 mobility scooters are designed for use on pavements, footpaths, and other pedestrian areas. They have a maximum speed of 4 mph and can be used by people with limited mobility who need assistance with walking. These scooters are typically smaller and lighter than Class 3 scooters, making them easier to maneuver in tight spaces such as shops and public transport.
Class 2 mobility scooters can be driven by anyone aged 14 or over, and do not require a driving license or insurance. However, it is recommended that users take a training course to learn how to operate the scooter safely and confidently.
Class 3 Mobility Scooters
Class 3 mobility scooters are designed for use on roads as well as pavements and footpaths. They have a maximum speed of 8 mph and are suitable for people who need more support and stability when traveling longer distances. These scooters are typically larger and heavier than Class 2 scooters, and may have additional features such as lights, indicators, and a horn.
Class 3 mobility scooters require a driving license and insurance to be used on public roads. They also need to be registered with the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) and display a tax disc. Users must follow the same rules as other road users, such as wearing a seatbelt and not using a mobile phone while driving.
Overall, the type of mobility scooter you choose will depend on your individual needs and circumstances. It's important to consider factors such as where you will be using the scooter, how far you need to travel, and whether you need any additional features or accessories.
Bus Company Policies
Accessibility PoliciesWhen it comes to taking a mobility scooter on a bus, it's important to check the accessibility policies of the bus company you plan to travel with. While there is no legal requirement for buses to permit mobility scooters onboard, some bus companies have their own policies in place. For example, First Bus follows the CPT code for the use and acceptance of mobility scooters on low-floor buses. It's important to check with the bus company directly to ensure that your mobility scooter is allowed on board.
Size and Weight RestrictionsAnother important consideration is the size and weight of your mobility scooter. Most bus companies have size and weight restrictions in place to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers. For example, First Bus states that mobility scooters must not exceed 1200mm in length and 700mm in width, and must weigh no more than 300kg including the user. Other bus companies may have different restrictions in place, so it's important to check with the specific bus company before traveling. Overall, it's important to do your research and check with the bus company directly before traveling with a mobility scooter. While there is no legal requirement for buses to permit mobility scooters onboard, some bus companies do have their own policies in place. Additionally, size and weight restrictions may apply, so it's important to check with the specific bus company before traveling.
Tips for Taking a Mobility Scooter on a Bus
Preparing Your Scooter
Before boarding the bus with your mobility scooter, there are a few things you can do to prepare your scooter:
- Make sure your scooter is in good working condition and the battery is fully charged.
- Remove any loose items or bags from your scooter to prevent them from falling off during the ride.
- Measure the dimensions of your scooter to ensure it meets the requirements of the bus company.
Boarding and Exiting the Bus
When boarding and exiting the bus with your mobility scooter, it's important to follow these steps:
- Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before attempting to board or exit.
- Position your scooter parallel to the bus and wait for the driver to deploy the ramp or lift.
- Drive your scooter onto the ramp or lift and position it securely in the designated area.
- Wait for the driver to secure your scooter with the appropriate restraints.
- When exiting the bus, wait for the driver to deploy the ramp or lift and drive your scooter off the bus.
Securing Your Scooter
Once your mobility scooter is on the bus, it's important to secure it properly to prevent it from moving during the ride. Here are some tips:
- Use the restraints provided by the bus company to secure your scooter in place.
- Make sure your scooter is positioned in a way that won't obstruct other passengers or the aisle.
- Turn off your scooter during the ride to conserve battery life.