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Bus & Train Rules for Safer Power Chair Transport

Bus & Train Rules for Safer Power Chair Transport

Accessibility to public transportation for people with disabilities and their mobility equipment, is required by law. Whether the passenger uses a power chair, a manual wheelchair, a portable motorized scooter or any other type of assistive mobility product, mass transit systems must provide suitable accommodation.

However, personal mobility equipment brought on board public transportation must also meet specific regulations for safe and secure transport. Though different transportation authorities may have different rules and restrictions1, it is important for mobility product users to be aware of generally-accepted guidelines for accessible transportation.

Note: Hoveround advises passengers who use mobility equipment not sit in their power chairs or motorized scooters while being transported in a motor vehicle and/or on board public transportation even if the chair is secured to the vehicle and they are using the chair's restraint.

Specifications for Mobility Products on Public Transportation

The following specifications have been established for safer transport of power wheelchairs and other mobility products or devices while on board public trains and buses that follow a fixed-route schedule.2

  • The equipment brought on board must be to assist the mobility of a disabled passenger
  • The device may be either motorized or manually operated, with three or four wheels
  • The device must be suitable for, although not limited to, indoor mobility use
  • Whether manual or battery-powered, a wheelchair cannot exceed 30w by 48h
  • Total weight of a mobility vehicle cannot exceed 600 pounds
  • The mobility product cannot block the aisle or interfere with the safety of other passengers

This is just a small sampling of the requirements and rules for transporting motorized scooter and other power mobility products on a bus or train. Consult local transit authorities for area-specific information. Other resources are listed below.

And while you're at it, be sure to contact Hoveround for personalized assistance in choosing the best power wheelchair or motorized scooter to meet your personal mobility needs. Visit online or just call us at 800-542-7236.

Additional information:

Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Dept of Transportation

This article is for informational purposes only.

1Rules, restrictions and laws concerning motorized scooters, power chairs, and other battery/electric-powered personal mobility vehicles may differ by region, state and local municipality. These laws may or may not be superseded by Federal law. Check with local authorities and/or the DMV for specific details.

2Fixed-route schedules refer to transit services provided for the general public which are operated on a regular schedule along a pre-established route.

December 10, 2013