Green Mountain Transit strives to ensure that its services are fully accessible to all of our customers, including those with disabilities.
GMT provides accessible transit services and facilities in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and state, and local regulations. GMT is committed to serving individuals with disabilities; including those who use mobility devices and aids.
What is a wheelchair or mobility device?
Wheelchairs and other mobility devices or aids are designed specifically for assisting individuals with disabilities in their personal mobility. A wheelchair is the most common mobility device used by individuals with disabilities. The ADA defines a wheelchair as, “a mobility aid belonging to any class of three- or more-wheeled devices, usable indoors, designed or modified for and used by individuals with mobility impairments, whether operated manually or powered.”Any wheelchair which can safely fit on the bus ramp, enter the bus, and be positioned in the wheelchair securement area without blocking the aisles or doorway, regardless of size or weight, will be transported.
- Walkers (folding and non-folding)
- Rolling walkers (“Rollators”)
- Leg braces
Please remember that individuals using walkers may not sit in their walker-equipped seat while on buses. Bus Operators will provide assistance in finding a seat if asked.
When might a customer using a wheelchair be unable to board a GMT bus?
Overloaded bus – An individual with a disability using a wheelchair may be prevented from boarding if the bus is overloaded with standing customers and when wheelchair securement areas are occupied. Please remember the law provides that GMT operators may only request, not require, that customers vacate that wheelchair securement area.
Too many bags – When a wheelchair/mobility device or mobility aid has bags or other items attached, Bus Operators may decline to board them if the attached items prevent safe boarding when items take up extra seats or block the aisle or a doorway, or if they interfere with the travel and safety of other customers.
Device not being used as intended – Mobility devices and mobility aids are designed specifically to assist people in their mobility. When they are not being used according to their design and purpose, such as using a wheelchair to transport only belongings, then Bus Operators may decline boarding.
Weight – The ADA allows transit operators the ability to prevent a customer using a wheelchair from boarding if the combined weight of the individual and the wheelchair exceeds the ramp design load specifications of a vehicle. In such cases, customers are allowed and encouraged to board separately from their wheelchairs.
Size – The size of a wheelchair could be a determining factor in whether an individual with a disability using a wheelchair is able to board and/or ride GMT buses. One such factor is if a wheelchair is too large to enter through the bus doors. Another factor is if the wheelchair, once in the wheelchair securement area, creates a safety hazard by blocking the aisle. The ADA requires that wheelchair securement areas be no less than 30 inches X 48 inches. Devices that exceed these measurements and/or block the aisle, with or without bags, may be prevented from using bus services for certain trips.
Assistance for Individuals using a Wheelchair / Mobility Device on a GMT Bus
GMT recommends that individuals using wheelchairs accept the Bus Operator’s offer to be secured and wear vehicle–mounted lap and shoulder belts. However, lap and shoulder belts must not be used if the wheelchair itself is not secured.
For your convenience, GMT Bus Operators will:
- Attempt to allow customers using mobility devices to board and exit the bus first
- Provide assistance in boarding the bus
- Attempt to clear the wheelchair securement space when occupied
- Prepare the securement area for your use
- Request that your wheel locks be set or power turned off (if equipped)
- Quickly and safely secure your mobility device
- Should securement be chosen, offer the lap and shoulder belt for increased safety
- Quickly release securement equipment and assist you in exiting the bus.
Placement of Walkers and Other Mobility Aids
Mobility aids (i.e. walkers, etc. ) that can be folded must be folded and kept secure with the customer without blocking the aisle or doorways or depriving another customer of a seat.
What is not a wheelchair, mobility device, or aid?
The best example of devices that are not considered a wheelchair or mobility device, and may be prevented from boarding GMT vehicles, are shopping carts, non-folding strollers and wheeled baskets, bicycles, and other devices not specifically designed to assist an individual with a disability with their mobility.
Carts, strollers, luggage, and any other large item brought on board a bus must not block the aisle or doorways or deprive another customer of a seat or a wheelchair customer from the use of the securement area. Folding carts must be folded and kept under control by the customer while on board the bus.
GMT recognizes that walkers and rolling walkers, canes, crutches, and similar items are designed for, and used as, mobility aids. Based on the definition of mobility equipment, carts are not intended to be used as mobility aids or devices. While some people do use commercial carts for this purpose, GMT does not support carts for such use on buses.
Passengers may contact GMT through the Vermont Relay System by calling 711. Bus Maps and Guides in large print and Braille are available upon request.
Requests for Reasonable Modifications:
In accordance with FTA 49 CFR Parts 27 and 37, GMT is committed to ensuring a reliable, accessible experience for all customers. All requests for reasonable modifications to GMT programs and services will be considered on an individual basis. Please note that GMT may be unable to accommodate requests for reasonable modifications which would result in a fundamental alteration to the nature of GMT programs and services, or which would directly interfere with the health and safety of others. In the event that a barrier to access exists, but the requested modification cannot be granted, GMT will, to the maximum extent possible, assist in determining an alternate reasonable modification to provide equivalent access to its programs and services.
For more information on GMT’s reasonable modification and the procedures to file a request or a complaint, contact GMT at 802-864-2282 (VT Relay 800-253-0191), info@RideGMT.com, or at our administrative office at 101 Queen City Park Road, Burlington, VT 05401.