As you are no doubt aware, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has very clear rules about what services are required on buses. Drivers and agencies are tasked with announcing transfer points with other fixed routes, major intersections and destination points. This is to help those with special needs orient themselves once they get off a bus. While it seems like a simple enough thing for a driver to accomplish, other demands compete for the driver’s attention. Especially during rush hour, drivers can find themselves busy answering riders’ questions for route and schedule information, and fulfilling transfer requests. Making stop announcements can get pushed down the list of essential things a driver is required to do.
As this FTA sponsored guide suggests, “The lack of effective stop announcements and route identification can force riders onto paratransit.” When transit agencies provide a better bus experience, they reduce demand on the more costly paratransit services. Further, the FTA enforces the ADA when it comes to public funding for agencies. Here to, mitigating the risk of an ADA infraction can positively impact the bottom line of an agency.
Annunciation devices are tied into in-vehicle, GPS-enabled mobile data terminals (MDT). Without having to worry about when and where it is necessary, drivers can rely upon the system to trigger the on-board annunciator system. As well, the same reliable system triggers in-vehicle signage to accompany audio announcements with visual stop information. Agencies can be confident that the automated system is not only keeping their buses on time through synchronization with office fixed route software, but also trips are ADA compliant.
One of our fixed route software partners, Butte Regional Transit, has a great deal of experience in ADA. They describe how automation software solutions have helped to not only keep them ADA compliant, but have also served to make their routes and schedules more efficient. You can read their story in depth here to see how they did it.