1. Transportation cannot be denied to a wheelchair or its user on the grounds that the device cannot be secured or restrained satisfactorily. This means you must accommodate any wheelchair, even if it won’t fit into the tie-downs. Secure the wheelchair with the belts if you can. Always notify the dispatcher or supervisor if problems arise.
  2. Drivers may be confronted with a safety problem with a wheelchair-bound rider if the wheelchair handles are loose or the brakes don’t hold. If there is another wheelchair available we will transport the individual in another wheelchair.  Otherwise,
    1. Take special care to load and unload the passenger safely
    2. Inform the passenger politely about unsafe aspects of the chair
    3. The driver must inform the dispatcher or supervisor of the problem with the passenger, identifying the passenger if possible.
    4. The dispatcher or supervisor will, if known, contact the rider’s caregiver and identify the problem.
  3. Assist individuals with disabilities onto the lift platform and with the use of tie-downs, lifts and ramps. All passengers must be seated.
  4. Passengers with visual impairments must be allowed to sit where they want. It is the responsibility of the driver to orient the passenger when his/her stop is coming. It is also recommended that the driver escort and/or further assist passenger when disembarking.
  5. Colorado and Federal law recognize the right of people with disabilities to be accompanied by specially trained guide or service animals. These animals are usually dogs. Service dogs typically wear pouches or collars that identify it as a service animal. If the animal is unruly, ask the owner to control the animal.
  6. Wheelchair lifts must be cycled as part of the pre-trip inspection. Notify dispatch immediately whenever a lift malfunctions.
  7. Individuals using oxygen or portable respirators cannot be denied transit services. Passengers using oxygen supplies need to be sure to have enough oxygen for their round-trip. If a passenger doesn’t have enough oxygen to complete his/her travel, the driver needs to follow emergency procedures.
  8. In the event a personal care attendant accompanies a disabled passenger there will be only one fare charged.
    1. It is the operator’s obligation to insure that all passengers with disabilities have access to priority seating and/or a secure location on board the bus.
    2. Operators must permit standees to use the vehicle lift to board the bus if requested by the passenger. The following will help the driver provide the necessary assistance to the “standees” in a safe and unobtrusive manner:
    3. Make sure ground is as level as possible
    4. Be sure client is clear of the liftLower lift to ground levelExplain to client your intentions
    5. Assist the client onto the lift and place them into position as close to the vehicle as practical. Passenger needs to hold onto the handrails
    6. Driver should stand behind and to the left of the client, placing a hand in the center-upper back to help control passenger’s movement.
    7. Secure the safety belt and raise the lift in one smooth motion. Do not stop during this action as the lift will jerk. Remind the client it will jerk slightly as the lift engages.
    8. Ask the client to look into the bus, not down.
    9. After complete ascent and stop, help the client off the lift and into their seat
    10. Descent is the reverse of above but place the client facing out of the bus.
    11. Driver must make sure that wheel chair riders are safely secured with tie downs and seat belts.
  9. Exceptions
    1. Clients as well as drivers are not the same size. It may be prudent that the driver not ascend or descend with the client.
    2. Clients that are known to have bad knees cannot stand the jerk of the lift.
    3. Clients that are known to have balance or equilibrium problems.
  10. Conclusion
    1. The safety of clients comes first. If there is any doubt, do not place the client on the wheelchair lift as a standee. If the client cannot negotiate the steps, do not assume that person is a good candidate to ride the lift. Use proper judgment. Passengers may need to use a wheelchair to enter and exit vehicle. If a wheelchair is necessary, it should be noted on the driver’s schedule.