The Board examined access
The Board traveled to Las Vegas in September to hold a town meeting on accessibility and an information meeting specific to transportation vehicles. The town meeting focused on access issues of concern to the public and ways in which the Board’s various program areas, including rulemaking, technical assistance, and training, can be responsive to them. Citizens and representatives from various organizations called attention to issues concerning implementation of the ADA’s design standards, including enforcement, plans review, and training for designers and architects. Some of these concerns were raised in relation to Las Vegas, as well as to rural communities in Nevada. Participants also raised issues concerning accessibility to trails, sidewalks and bus stops, polling places, courthouses, and communication. Accessibility for people who are deaf and those with vision impairments were highlighted as areas meriting greater attention. In addition, a representative from the Passenger Vessel Association provided industry feedback on draft guidelines for passenger vessels that are currently available for public comment.
Information Meeting on Transportation Vehicles
Speakers at the information meeting on transportation vehicles included representatives from the National Center for Accessible Transportation and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada. This meeting focused on recommendations that the Board should take into consideration in updating its ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles. Published in 1991, these guidelines address buses, vans, rail cars, and other modes of public transportation.
Commenters stressed the need to update the guidelines to address the growing range of mobility aids and assistive devices now on the market. Transit operators indicated that certain types of vehicles, boarding devices, and securement systems may not accommodate some newer types of mobility aids. Participants also urged the Board to examine access to new types of vehicles, including bus rapid transit, low floor buses, articulated buses, and street cars, as well as design innovations, including enclosed cabs and off-board fare devices. In particular, the Board was advised to revisit sections of the guidelines covering boarding devices, such as ramps, lifts, and bridge plates, boarding areas, securement systems and orientation, and mobility aid stowage. The Board held a similar meeting on the vehicle guidelines in Washington, D.C. in July. While in Las Vegas, the Board explored new types of vehicles available in the area, including a bus rapid transit system, double-decker buses, and a monorail.