Monday, March 24, 2008

Most Ignored Federal Law #1

Heard over the radio on the 29 today:

Attention all operators. Federal law requires that all mass transit operators announce all transfer point stops.
Huh. I'd always wondered why two or three N Judah drivers announced "transfer points," particularly the driver who we all know as MAJOR TRANSFER POINT Guy. Personally, I like the guy on the L Taraval who announces "Safeway" and "Walgreens."

Through the wonders of the internet I came upon the source for this. It's a product of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990:

The U. S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) contain two requirements that are meant to assist persons with vision impairments and other disabilities to use fixed route transportation services. Section 37.167, subsection (b), which applies to public and private entities that operate fixed route systems, requires that:

...The entity shall announce stops as follows:

(1) ... at least at transfer points with other fixed routes, other major intersections and destination points, and intervals along the route sufficient to permit individuals with visual impairments or other disabilities to be oriented to their location.

(2) ... stops on request of an individual with a disability.

Section 37.167 (c) requires that:

Where vehicles or other conveyances for more than one route serve the same stop, the entity shall provide a means by which an individual with a visual impairment or other disability can identify the proper vehicle to enter or be identified to the vehicle operator as a person seeking a ride on a particular route.
I think that the signs and voice announcements on buses would satisfy these requirements, mostly. But of course the signs aren't working about a quarter of the time. I hear and see just fine and I can't tell what street I'm passing on Sunset if I'm on a bus where the sign is out, the windows are scratched, and the driver hasn't said a word in 20 minutes. At least when I'm getting off at Irving, I can make a panic pull if the bus turns off to the right and only have an extra block to walk.

The N Judah, forget it. Without an announcement, the only way you can tell where you are on that train is by looking out the north side windows for street signs. Carefully.

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