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New Passenger Management Standards may impact passengers with mobility devices

Metro Bus Passenger Management Standards serve to protect our riders and Bus Operators from potential injury. By establishing passenger management standards for Bus Operators to follow when assisting passengers using mobility devices, we provide safe practices for Metro Bus Operators and our passengers.

Research and Data

Metro Bus partnered with an outside rehabilitation facility to conduct a trial to measure push force for propelling a wheelchair up the ramp of a Metro Bus Dial-a-Ride bus. The trial force was performed with a 200-pound person being pushed up the ramp of a Metro Bus Dial-a-Ride bus in a wheelchair.

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recommends a ramp slope of 1:12 or 4.8 degrees. Therefore, measurements were based on an average ramp angle of 4.8 degrees.
  • A Nidec force gauge was used to obtain maximum push weight to propel the wheelchair up the ramp.
  • A trial of three (3) different wheelchairs at the rehabilitation facility showed an average wheelchair weighs 40 pounds.

The results of the trial showed a maximum force of 65 pounds was required to push the person and wheelchair up an average ramp angle of 4.8 degrees.

Trial Data: 240 Total Weight = 65 Pounds of Force

  • 40-pound mobility device + 200-pound person = 240 total weight
  • 65 pound maximum push force x 240 total weight = 15,600 calculated weight
  • 15,600 calculated weight / 240 total weight = 65 pounds calculated force

Based on the trial, the maximum pounds of force were determined for total weight ranging from 100 to 500 pounds in 50-pound increments.

Total Weight Pounds of Force
100 27
150 41
200 54
250 68
300 82
350 95
400 108
450 122
500 136

The arithmetic mean of active Metro Bus Dial-a-Ride passengers combined weight on record is 286.1 pounds.

OSHA suggests pushing 50 pounds of force is safe; anything over 50 pounds could increase the chance of getting injured. According to feedback from the rehabilitation facility, area employers often use 100 pounds push/pull force for post offer job screens and employer evaluations. Currently, Metro Bus conducts pre-placement examinations for all Dial-a-Ride employees. These examinations measure static push/pull at a self-selected weight of 109 pounds of force.

Metro Bus Standard

For the safety of our passengers and Bus Operators and in an effort to mitigate the risk of injury, Metro Bus has established Passenger Management Standards. These standards were developed with consideration of the following:

  • The combined weight of a passenger and their respective mobility device,
  • the amount of force required to move that weight, and
  • the average weight a reasonable person can move with minimal risk of injury.

Effective July 1, 2019, based on the research, data and trends related to push/pull force, Metro Bus will:

  1. Require all Dial-a-Ride Bus Operators to meet the pre-placement examination including, but not limited to, physical ability to handle 95 pounds of push/pull force.
  2. Provide assistance to passengers up to a total weight of 350 pounds which equates to 95 pounds of force.

Metro Bus Expectations

Bus Operators

Any time a Bus Operator perceives a risk of injury while assisting a passenger, she or he has the ability to seek assistance from a street supervisor or other metro bus employee at their discretion.

If the employee has weight restrictions as part of a medical return to work certification, it is their responsibility to abide by those restrictions and request assistance.

Passengers

To protect passengers and Bus Operators from potential injury, passengers that exceed the standard total weight limit of 350 pounds must be able to board and exit the bus on their own while utilizing Metro Bus transportation services. Examples of how this may be accomplished include, but may not be limited, to:

  • Use of an electronic mobility device
  • Assistance by someone who is able to help them on and off the bus

Passengers unwilling to adhere to this standard could be required to find alternative means of transportation.

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