Subcommittee on Boarding and Alighting
February 27, 2014

Scope:  The scope of this subcommittee is to review the current requirements for accessible boarding and alighting in the Access Board’s Rail Vehicles Accessibility Guidelines, which were originally issued in September, 1991 and have not been updated since that time.

Objective:  Recommend proposed revisions to update, improve or expand the scoping and technical criteria in order to ensure an acceptable level of access for individuals with disabilities on rapid rail, light rail, commuter rail, intercity rail and other fixed guideway vehicles and systems covered under the Board’s current guidelines.  These recommendations will be based on current regulations and consideration of changes that have taken place in vehicle structure, technology and the needs and desires of people with disabilities.

Tasks:  The subcommittee will address:

  • Types of devices and methods available and appropriate for boarding and alighting on rapid rail, light rail, commuter rail, intercity rail and other vehicles and systems covered under the Board’s current guidelines;
  • Permanent vs temporary installation vs platform-based devices and back-up methods in case of mechanical failure;
  • Level boarding definition and evaluation of use by different car types for light/heavy & intercity trains at level, and sometimes shared, platforms;
  • Wheelchair lift capacity, platform barriers, self-operation;
  • Ramp and bridgeplate slope and railing requirements, on-board storage and deployment area requirements;
  • Gaps between vehicle and platform and potential for gap filler devices;
  • Exterior doors and doorways including minimum width, adjacent handrails, and access to bi-level platforms; and
  • Other boarding and alighting issues that may become important during subcommittee discussions.

Timetable:  Complete the review and recommendations by October 2014, for consideration by the full committee.

 


Subcommittee on Communications
February 27, 2014

Scope:  The scope of this subcommittee is to review the current requirements for communications in the Access Board’s Rail Vehicles Accessibility Guidelines, which were originally issued in September, 1991 and have not been updated since that time.

Objective:  Recommend proposed revisions to update, improve or expand the scoping and technical criteria in order to ensure an acceptable level of access for individuals with disabilities on rapid rail, light rail, commuter rail, intercity rail and other fixed guideway vehicles and systems covered under the Board’s current guidelines.  These recommendations will be based on current regulations and consideration of changes that have taken place in vehicle structure, technology and the needs and desires of people with disabilities.

Tasks:  The subcommittee will address:

  • Visible communication including sign legibility (including variable message signs), e.g., font, case, style, and location, and other visual indicators;
  • Audible communication including quality of audible information, methods of providing information equivalent to signs and other visible communication;
  • On-board route mapping, emergency, available door location, and other real-time communication both audible and visual;
  • Emergency notification for persons with visual and hearing impairments;
  • Information needs of riders with cognitive disabilities;
  • How to provide audible and visual access to information where tour-type (docent) service including when it is provided in inaccessible locations;
  • Examine potential overlaps with FTA and FRA requirements, e.g., conductor and crew call button;
  • Use  and characteristics of detectable warnings;
  • Examine the potential for providing messages on hand-held devices such as smartphones – tri-mode communication (this issue is out of the Board’s authority to regulate.); and
  • Other communication issues that may become important during subcommittee discussions.

Timetable:  Complete the review and recommendations by October 2014, for consideration by the full committee.

 


Subcommittee on On-board Circulation (and Seating)
February 27, 2014

Scope:  The scope of this subcommittee is to review the current requirements for accessible on-board circulation in the Access Board’s Rail Vehicles Accessibility Guidelines, which were originally issued in September, 1991 and have not been updated since that time.

Objective:  Recommend proposed revisions to update, improve or expand the scoping and technical criteria in order to ensure an acceptable level of access for individuals with disabilities on rapid rail, light rail, commuter rail, intercity rail and other fixed guideway vehicles and systems covered under the Board’s current guidelines.  These recommendations will be based on current regulations and consideration of changes that have taken place in vehicle structure, technology and the needs and desires of people with disabilities.

Tasks:  The subcommittee will address:

  • Characteristics of circulation paths including aisle widths, walking surfaces, protruding objects, maneuvering clearances within vestibules, changes in level, thresholds, lighting, and other onboard circulation features;
  • Interior doors and doorway features and operation;
  • On-board lift or other level change device to access upper and/or lower levels of bi-level cars, especially dome or viewing cars;
  • Access to and within special cars, e.g., observation cars, dining cars, lounge cars;
  • Escape and Egress; and
  • Other on-board circulation issues that may become important during subcommittee discussions.

Timetable:  Complete the review and recommendations by October 2014, for consideration by the full committee.

 


Subcommittee on Rooms and Spaces
(Rest Rooms, Dining, Sleeping Compartments, etc.)
Scope and Objectives
February 27, 2014

Scope:  The scope of this subcommittee is to review the current requirements for certain accessible rooms and spaces (e.g., rest rooms, dining, and sleeping compartments) in the Access Board’s Rail Vehicles Accessibility Guidelines, which were originally issued in September, 1991 and have not been updated since that time.

Objective:  Recommend proposed revisions to update, improve or expand the scoping and technical criteria in order to ensure an acceptable level of access for individuals with disabilities on rapid rail, light rail, commuter rail, intercity rail and other fixed guideway vehicles and systems covered under the Board’s current guidelines.  These recommendations will be based on current regulations and consideration of changes that have taken place in vehicle structure, technology and the needs and desires of people with disabilities.

Tasks:  The subcommittee will address:

Rest Rooms

  • Consider alternate designs in existing accessibility standards and in use in other countries
  • Accommodate dependent and independent transfers
  • Examine PRIIA, CAL train, and Acela restroom designs vs. existing standards

Sleeping Compartments

  • Communications needs
  • Ensure that controls and amenities are accessible e.g. locations, clearances, turning spaces, reach range
  • Bed heights that permit transfer from a wheelchair
  • Minimum space requirements with and without bed deployed
  • Egress and emergency operation of doors
  • Evaluate bathroom design, including showers, when located within the compartment
  • Space for service animals
  • Access to other sleeping car amenities outside of the sleeping compartment

Dining and Lounge

  • Accessible tables
  • Accessible service counters
  • Accessible self-service, e.g., vending machines, condiments, coffee, etc.

Timetable:  Complete the review and recommendations by October 2014, for consideration by the full committee.