This is what Halifax Transit's Accessible Transit Services Handbook says about wheelchairs:
All mobility-devices will back into the paddle post tightly and require one (1) anchor/tie-down point restraint system. This anchor/tie-down point will be secure at the rear side of the mobility device closest to the docking station located on the window side of the bus.
I get contrary when people make assumptions about me and my wheelchair. I have a fantasy about challenging the rules of Halifax Transit................
|Sensible British Advice|
The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute says the opposite of what Halifax Transit says:
Ensure that you are facing towards the front of the vehicle.Explanation: Research has shown that the forward facing position is the safest. The rider is more stable in this position, and passenger restraint systems are designed for this position.
The main conclusion of a 2003 University of Virginia study is:
The primary finding of this study is that there is very little published information regarding transit bus safety and crash environment. There is no information to suggest that wheelchair riders face undue risks aboard transit buses.
Earlier in that same study, researchers tell us:
Wheelchair securement aboard low-floor buses in Europe, the United Kingdom (UK), and more recently Canada consists of backing a rear-facing wheelchair against a padded bulkhead and setting the brakes. In some applications, an aisle-side barrier, such as a stanchion or flip-down armrest, is provided. This securement approach is reported to be preferred by German transit operators and wheelchair riders. A former Canadian Urban Transit Administration (CUTA) researcher who has extensive contacts with transit agencies in Europe, the UK, and Canada, has not found any reports of accidents associated with this securement option.
The Canadian researcher is Brendon Hemily, now an independent consultant. Halifax Transit has a habit of making stuff up. They should hire him. firstname.lastname@example.org
|#69 bus, Paris|
The detailed and thorough University of Virginia study raises the possibility that wheelchair tie downs are a solution in search of a problem, or maybe just a problem. It cites a review of the records of an urban center's transit provider which found that 35 of 1.1 million one-way trips included incidents with wheelchair riders, although none was because of a vehicle crash.
|Count||%||Result or Cause|
|11||31%||Passenger fell from wheelchair|
|5||14%||Tie-down failed ("claw" type)|
|2||6%||Tie-down failed ("strap" type)|
Other transit providers confirmed that most wheelchair rider injuries are not due to impacts and that 40 to 58 percent of injury-causing accidents were due to improper wheelchair securement or securement failure. Again, the restraint was the problem about half the time.
When Metro Transit re-visits this issue, they should proceed from first principles, rather than stereotypical assumptions about people with disabilities.
- Have goals that relate to the service, not to the characteristics of the customer:
- Presently how does the accident rate for wheelchair users compare to other types of passengers?
- Ditto seriousness of injury
- Factoring in injuries to drivers from attaching and removing restraints (see article), what is the expected net benefit?
- Is there a pattern?
- Hills (what do they do in San Francisco?)
- Are there alternative solutions?
- Minor route changes
- Driver training
See you on the bus.