Limits to Wheelchair Size on Buses
Q: Can a transit provider deny service to a rider based on the size of the mobility device they use?
A: The ADA DOT Regulations require that transit agencies provide service for riders with disabilities using wheelchairs. The regulations specify minimum design requirements for lifts on vehicles, which include that lifts must accommodate occupied wheelchairs weighing up to 600 pounds that are 30 inches wide and 48 inches long. Many lifts used in transportation vehicles can support additional weight (more than 600 pounds) and additional space.
The transit provider must provide service to riders with disabilities that can be accommodated by the design specifications of the lift on the vehicle—meaning, to deny service to a rider because their wheelchair (when occupied) weighs more than 600 pounds, but the vehicle lift can accommodate up to 800 pounds, would be a violation of the ADA regulations. If the combined weight of the wheelchair and its occupant exceeds the lift specifications though, the transit provider is not required to provide service.