Chapter T3: Boarding Devices

T301 General.  The technical requirements in Chapter T3 shall apply where required by Chapter T2.

T302 Lifts

T302.1 General.  Lifts shall comply with T302.

Advisory T302.1 General.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has established Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) at 49 CFR § 571.403 and § 571.404 for lifts that are designed for use on motor vehicles.  The FMVSS are generally consistent with T302.  T302 has some requirements that are more stringent than the FMVSS, including openings in lift platform surfaces in T302.5.1 and T802.3, and transitions at the boarding edges of threshold ramps on lift platforms in T302.5.5 and T802.5.  T302 also has some requirements that are not addressed in the FMVSS, including door releases for manual operation of lifts in T302.4, boarding direction in T302.5.9, and use by standees in T302.5.10.

T302.2 Design Load.  The lift design load shall be 273 kg (600 pounds) minimum.  Load carrying components that are subject to wear shall have a design safety factor of at least six, based on the ultimate strength of the material.  Other components that are not subject to wear shall have a design safety factor of at least three, based on the ultimate strength of the material.

T302.3 Controls.  Lift controls shall comply with T302.3.

T302.3.1 Interlocks.  Lift controls shall be interlocked with the vehicle brakes, transmission, propulsion system, or door, or shall provide other systems to prevent the vehicle from moving when the lift is not stowed.  Lift controls shall not be operable unless the interlocks are engaged.

T302.3.2 Sequence.  Lift controls shall be of a momentary contact type requiring continuous manual pressure.  Lift controls shall permit the operator to change the operation sequence.  Lift controls shall not permit the lift platform to be folded, retracted, or stowed when occupied, unless the platform is designed to be occupied when stowed in the passenger area of the vehicle.

Advisory T302.3.2 Sequence.  A rotary lift is an example of a lift platform that is designed to be occupied when the platform is rotated into a stowed position in the passenger area of the vehicle.

T302.4 Manual Operation.  Lifts shall be capable of being operated manually if the power to the lift fails.  The manual operation shall be safe for the occupant and operator when operated according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  When operated manually, the lift platform shall deploy and lower to the boarding and alighting area or the roadway with an occupant; shall rise to the vehicle floor without an occupant; and shall stow.  The lift platform shall not fold, retract, or stow when occupied, unless the platform is designed to be occupied when stowed in the passenger area of the vehicle.  Doors that must be opened to allow the lift to operate shall have interior and exterior manual releases.

T302.5 Platforms.  Lift platforms shall comply with T302.5.

T302.5.1 Surfaces.  Lift platform surfaces shall comply with T802.

T302.5.2 Size.  The lift platform clear width shall be 720 mm (28½ inches) minimum measured at the platform surface, and 760 mm (30 inches) minimum measured from 51 mm (2 inches) above the platform surface to 1015 mm (40 inches) minimum above the platform surface.  The lift platform clear length shall be 1015 mm (40 inches) minimum measured at the platform surface and 1220 mm (48 inches) minimum measured from 51 mm (2 inches) above the platform surface to 1015 mm (40 inches) above the platform surface.

Advisory T302.5.2 Size.  A surface width of 720 mm (28.5 inches) minimum is specified for the lift platform to accommodate some protrusions for handrail attachment brackets.  A wider lift platform is recommended because it is more usable by passengers who use wheelchairs, and accommodates a broader range of passengers with disabilities.  The lift platform width should not exceed the clear opening of the doorway, or the clear width of the circulation path connecting the doorway to the wheelchair space.

 

T302.5.2 Size
Platform clear length shown to be 1015 mm (40 inches) at the surface to a height 50 mm (2 inches) max. and 1220 mm (48 inches) at a height above 50 mm (2 inches) to 1015 mm (40 inches).  Platform clear width shown to be 725 mm (28 1/2 inches) mm at the surface to a height 50 mm (2 inches) max. and 760 mm (30 inches) at a height above 50 mm (2 inches) to 1015 mm (40 inches).

T302.5.3 Edge Barriers.  Lift platforms shall have edge barriers complying with Table T302.5.3 to prevent the wheels of wheelchairs from rolling off the platforms.  Openings between lift platform surfaces and raised barriers shall not permit passage of a sphere 16 mm (⅝ inch) in diameter.  Edge barriers shall not interfere with the maneuvering of wheelchairs.

Table T302.5.3 Lift Platform Edge Barriers
Side of Lift PlatformEdge Barrier Required
Side of lift platform used to enter and exit the platform at boarding and alighting area Moveable barrier or supplementary system capable of preventing power wheelchairs from riding over or defeating the barrier or supplementary system.  The barrier or supplementary system shall automatically raise or engage, and remain raised or engaged when the lift platform is more than 75 mm (3 inches) above the boarding and alighting area level.  The barrier or supplementary system shall be permitted to be operated manually if an interlock or other design feature prevents the lift from operating unless the barrier or supplementary system is raised or engaged.
Side of lift platform used to enter and exit the vehicle Moveable barrier or other design feature to prevent the wheels of wheelchairs from rolling off the lift platform when the platform is not at the vehicle floor level
Other sides of lift platform Barriers 38 mm (1½ inches) high minimum

T302.5.4 Gaps.  When the lift platform is at the vehicle floor level and any edge barrier is lowered, the gap between the platform surface and the vehicle floor shall not permit passage of a sphere 16 mm (⅝ inch) in diameter.

T302.5.5 Threshold Ramps.  Threshold ramps from boarding and alighting areas to lift platforms and edge barriers used as threshold ramps shall have slopes not steeper than 1:8 (12.5 percent) for a rise of 75 mm (3 inches) maximum.  The slope shall be measured when the lift platform is level.  Surface discontinuities at transitions from boarding and alighting areas to threshold ramps shall comply with T802.5.

T302.5.6 Visual Contrast.  The perimeter of the lift platform surface shall be outlined.  The outline shall be 25 mm (1 inch) wide minimum and shall contrast visually with the rest of the platform surface either light-on-dark or dark-on-light.

T302.5.7 Deflection.  When occupied, lift platforms shall be permitted to deflect 3 degrees maximum in any direction with respect to the platform’s unloaded position, exclusive of vehicle roll or pitch.

T302.5.8 Movement.  Lift platform movement shall comply with T302.5.8.

T302.5.8.1 Normal Operating Conditions.  When occupied, lift platforms shall move at a rate of 150 mm/second (6 inches/second) maximum, and the horizontal and vertical acceleration shall be 0.3g maximum under normal operating conditions.  When folding, retracting, or stowing, lift platforms shall move at a rate of 306 mm/second (12 inches/second) maximum under normal operating conditions, unless the platform is folded and stowed manually.

T302.5.8.2 Power or Equipment Failure.  In the event of a power failure or single failure of any load carrying component, lift platforms that are occupied or are stowed in a vertical position shall move at rate of 306 mm/second (12 inches/second) maximum.

T302.5.9 Boarding Direction.  Lift platforms shall permit passengers who use wheelchairs to board the platforms facing either toward or away from the vehicle.

Advisory T302.5.9 Boarding Direction.  Lift platforms must permit passengers who use wheelchairs to board the platforms facing toward or away from the vehicle because some passengers have significant difficulty backing up their wheelchairs.  Transit operators may recommend, but not require, boarding the lift platform in a particular direction.

T302.5.10 Standees.  Lift platforms shall be usable by passengers who use walkers, crutches, canes, or braces or who otherwise have difficulty using steps.  Lift platforms shall be permitted to be marked to indicate a preferred standing position.

T302.5.11 Handrails.  Lifts platforms shall have handrails complying with T804 on two sides of the platform that move in tandem with the platform to provide support for passengers in a standing position.  Handrails shall have a usable gripping surface 205 mm (8 inches) long minimum.  The gripping surface shall be 760 mm (30 inches) minimum and 965 mm (38 inches) maximum above the lift platform surface.  Handrails shall not interfere with the maneuvering of wheelchairs.

 

T302.5.11 Handrails
Lift handrail gripping surfaces shown 205 mm (8 inches) long minimum and 760 mm (30 inches) minimum and 965 mm (38 inches) maximum above the lift platform surface for angled, vertical, and horizontal handrails.

T303 Ramps and Bridgeplates

T303.1 General.  Ramps and bridgeplates shall comply with T303.  Ramps and bridgeplates shall be permitted to fold or telescope if all the requirements of T303 are met.

T303.2 Design Load.  The design load of ramps and bridgeplates 760 mm (30 inches) or more in length shall be 273 kg (600 pounds) minimum.  The design load of ramps and bridgeplates less than 760 mm (30 inches) in length shall be 136 kg (300 pounds) minimum.  Ramps and bridgeplates shall have a design safety factor of at least 3, based on the ultimate strength of the material.

Advisory T303.2 Design Load.  The design load is the weight the ramp or bridgeplate is designed to support without damage or permanent deformation.  Some deflection may occur under maximum load.

T303.3 Attachment.  When used for boarding and alighting, ramps and bridgeplates shall be firmly attached to the vehicle and shall not be subject to displacement from the vehicle.

T303.4 Emergency Operation.  Power operated ramps and bridgeplates shall be capable of being operated manually and in a manner that is safe for the occupant and operator if the power fails.

T303.5 Surfaces.  Ramp and bridgeplate surfaces shall comply with T802, and shall be uninterrupted from edge to edge.

Advisory T303.5 Surfaces.  Ramp and bridgeplate surfaces must be uninterrupted from edge to edge to accommodate three-wheel scooters.  Expanded metal or perforated materials are permitted, as long as the openings comply with T802.3.

T303.6 Clear Width.  The ramp and bridgeplate clear width shall be 760 mm (30 inches) minimum.

Advisory T303.6 Clear Width.  A wider ramp or bridgeplate is recommended because it is more usable by passengers who use wheelchairs, and accommodates a broader range of passengers with disabilities.  The ramp or bridgeplate width should not exceed the clear opening of the doorway, or the clear width of the circulation path connecting the doorway to the wheelchair space.

T303.7 Edge Barriers.  The edges of ramps and bridgeplates that are more than 75 mm (3 inches) above the boarding and alighting area level shall have barriers 51 mm (2 inches) high minimum.

T303.8 Slope.  Ramp and bridgeplate slopes shall comply with T303.8 when measured at 50 percent passenger load.

Advisory T303.8 Slope.  The Department of Transportation regulations at 49 CFR 37.165(f) require vehicle operators to assist passengers with disabilities with the use of boarding devices, even if the vehicle operators must leave their seats.  Providing ramps and bridgeplates with the least possible slope accommodates a broader range of passengers with disabilities and minimizes the need for assistance.

T303.8.1 General.  Ramps and bridgeplates shall have slopes not steeper than 1:6 (17 percent) when deployed to boarding and alighting areas without station platforms and to the roadway.

T303.8.2 Station Platforms.  Ramps and bridgeplates shall have slopes not steeper than 1:8 (12.5 percent) when deployed to station platforms.

T303.9 Transitions.  Surface discontinuities at transitions from boarding and alighting areas to ramps and bridgeplates shall comply with T802.5.

T303.10 Visual Contrast.  The perimeter of the ramp and bridgeplate surface shall be outlined.  The outline shall be 25 mm (1 inch) wide minimum and shall contrast visually with the rest of the ramp and bridgeplate surface either light-on-dark or dark-on-light.

T303.11 Gaps.  When deployed for boarding and alighting, gaps between the ramp or bridgeplate surface and vehicle floor shall not permit passage of a sphere more than 16 mm (5/8 inch) in diameter.

T303.12 Stowage.  Where portable ramps or bridgeplates are permitted, a compartment, securement system, or other method shall be provided within the vehicle to stow the ramps and bridgeplates when not in use.  When stowed in passenger areas, portable ramps and bridgeplates shall not pose a hazard to passengers, and shall not interfere with the maneuvering of wheelchairs.