The wheelchair brakes must be in good working order at the time you board a bus. This requirement is for your safety during operation of the lift and during the ride. If you are able to transfer yourself to a regular bus seat, you may do so. The ECAT bus operator will secure your chair in a wheelchair station. It is your option whether to remain in your wheelchair or sit in a regular bus seat.
How to Board the Bus in a Wheelchair
- When the bus stops at the curb, position your wheelchair approximately six feet from the wheelchair accessible doorway (the doorway at the front of bus). Before the bus operator engages the wheelchair lift, ambulatory passengers will get on and off the bus.
- After the bus operator lowers the lift platform all the way to the ground, position your chair directly onto the platform. You may find it easier to back onto the platform.
- When the chair is completely on the platform, secure the chair brakes.
- The bus operator will raise the safety flap and elevate the lift. The chair brakes must be locked (either manually or electronically) before the platform rises.
- Please wait until the platform is fully elevated and level with the bus floor before wheeling onto the bus.
- The bus operator will raise regular passenger seats to expose the wheelchair station. Position your chair in the wheelchair station space. The bus operator will secure the wheelchair to the bus floor with required tie-downs.
- Buses are also equipped with wheelchair seatbelts. The seatbelts are optional, so tell the bus operator whether to secure seatbelts.
How to Get Off the Bus in a Wheelchair
- Generally, leaving the bus is just the reverse of boarding. Do not attempt to remove the tie-downs on your own. The bus operator will remove them after the bus stops.
- When leaving the bus, the bus operator will position the lift for your departure. Before the platform descends, the chair brakes must be applied.
- Once the platform has lowered completely and the safety flap is down, release the brakes and wheel onto the sidewalk.
How to Board the Bus by Standing on the Lift
If you are unable to maneuver the bus steps, let the bus operator know you need to use the lift to board the bus. The bus operator will lower the lift. Once the lift is lowered completely, step onto the platform and hold onto the handrails. The bus operator will raise the lift. Once the platform is level with the bus floor, simply walk onto the bus.
How to Board the Bus Using the Kneeling Feature
If you are unable to step up from the curb to the first bus step, ask the bus operator to kneel (lower) the bus. Once the front of the bus is lower, step forward to the first bus step and use the handrails to maneuver the remaining bus steps.