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Mobility Scooters on Public Transport: What You Need to Know

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If you are planning to travel with your scooter, you may wonder, “Can mobility scooters go on public transport?”

You may be disappointed to learn that there is no legal requirement for transportation companies to carry mobility scooters on public transport.

While some companies may try to accommodate passengers with limited mobility, this is optional, and you may need help finding transportation for your scooter.

Read on to learn about the policies for different types of transportation and about things to consider when traveling with your mobility scooter.

Key Takeaways:

  • Public transportation companies are not legally required to accommodate carrying mobility scooters.
  • Some transportation companies may choose to accommodate mobility scooters, provided they meet certain safety requirements and can fit in the available space.
  • If you plan to use a mobility scooter while traveling on public transport, you must first check with the transportation company.

Can You Bring Your Mobility Scooter On Public Transport?

While there is no LEGAL obligation for public transport to carry mobility scooters, it doesn’t mean that you can never take your scooter on a bus or train.

women on mobility scooter

In fact, many transportation companies have policies for accommodating passengers with disabilities, including those using mobility scooters.

Let’s take a look at the policies for each form of public transportation.

Buses

In an effort to PROMOTE accessibility, the Department of Transport has enacted regulations requiring bus operators to allow Class 2 mobility scooters on buses. [1] 

This means that Class 3 mobility scooters, which are larger and have a greater maximum speed than Class 2 scooters, are NOT allowed on public buses.

Although a public bus company is not legally required to follow these GUIDELINES, many bus drivers do and will try to provide assistance whenever possible.

Pro Tip: Check out your local bus company’s website for its specific policy regarding mobility scooters.

Trains

The Federal Transit Administration has announced that it will give out special mobility scooter PERMITS to allow your powered wheelchair to travel on their trains. [2] 

This decision was made to make train travel more accessible and INCLUSIVE for people with disabilities who require the use of a mobility scooter.

The permits are FREE of charge and require you to complete an application form.

Passengers must also ensure that their scooter does not exceed 600mm in width or 1000mm in length and has a MAXIMUM turning circle of 1200mm.

Be sure to check with all the train companies you plan to travel with for their guidelines on mobility scooter use.

Pro Tip: The permits are valid for up to three years and can be renewed at the end of this period.

Coach Buses

When it comes to coaches, which provide private transportation, the situation is a bit more complicated.

While some companies may allow mobility scooters on board, this is only sometimes the case. 

You should contact the coach company BEFOREHAND to ensure they will accommodate your needs.

It’s also IMPORTANT to remember that weight and size restrictions are in place.

Your scooter must be at most 600mm in width or 1000mm in length and have a maximum turning circle of 1200mm.

Mobility Scooter And Public Transport: Things To Consider

a women practicing how to drive a mobility scooter

If you’re considering using public transport with your mobility scooter, keep a few things in mind.

  • First and foremost, it’s important to remember that not all transport companies will be able to accommodate you and your scooter.
  • In addition, size and weight restrictions may apply, so check with the transport company before traveling.
  • You will need to store your scooter in the designated space.
  • Finally, it’s important to ensure that your scooter is in good working order and has been serviced regularly to ensure a safe journey.

Do I Need a Permit To Go With a Mobility Scooter on a Bus?

You do not need a permit to go with your mobility scooter on a bus.

However, it is important to remember that the bus driver has the right to REFUSE entry if they feel your scooter does not meet their safety requirements.

Rules For Bringing a Mobility Scooter on Public Transportation

Rules on Size

According to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), mobility aids MUST have a width of 30 inches or less and a length of 48 inches or less. [4]

Rules on Speed and Turning Radius

The MAXIMUM speed for a mobility scooter onboard public transport is 5 km/h, and the maximum turning radius must not exceed 1200mm on your mobility aids. [5]

Rules on Weight

To ensure SAFTEY, please remember that the bus ramp has a maximum safe load capacity of 600lb, and as such, both you and your mobility scooter must weigh less. [3]

How Do You Secure a Mobility Scooter on a Bus?

To ensure you can get on the bus safely, it is recommended that you use the bus’s tie-down points to secure your mobility scooter in place.

This is usually done using a special clamp or strap that attaches to your scooter and the bus interior.

If you’re considering purchasing an electric scooter, you may be wondering about the legalities of riding one on the street. Our articles on “are electric scooters street legal” can provide you with information on the regulations and laws regarding the use of electric scooters in public spaces.

Additionally, if you’re planning to use your electric scooter for commuting or recreation, you may be curious about its ability to handle uphill terrain. Our articles on “can electric scooters go uphill” can provide you with expert advice and recommendations on the best electric scooters for uphill travel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Take Mobility Scooters On Planes?

No, it is not possible to take mobility scooters on planes.
However, some airlines may offer SPECIAL assistance for passengers with disabilities, so contact your airline for more information about the services they provide.

Can I Take My Mobility Scooter Into The Supermarket?

Yes, you can take your mobility scooter to the supermarket if it meets the store’s SIZE and WEIGHT restrictions.

Does A Wheelchair Need Brakes To Use a Transportation Service?

No, wheelchairs do NOT need brakes to be allowed on public transport. However, it is important to note that all wheelchairs must have a maximum turning radius of 1200mm.

Can I Take My Mobility Scooter On The Subway?

Yes, you can take your mobility scooter on the subway if it meets the size and weight restrictions.
However, due to space restrictions, it is best to contact the operator in ADVANCE to check if there will be enough room for you and your mobility scooter.

Conclusion

It’s important to remember a few key points when asking, “Can mobility scooters go on public transport?”

Primarily there is no legal obligation for public or private transportation companies to allow mobility scooters on their services.

However, many try to accommodate passengers with disabilities and provide assistance whenever possible.

Before using public or private transportation, it’s always best to check with the company beforehand and ensure that your scooter meets all the requirements.

With the right information, using public transportation with a mobility scooter can be made easier.

man driving a mobility scooter

Resources

  1. Department of Transportation. Transportation.gov. Published January 10, 2023. Accessed January 10, 2023. https://www.transportation.gov/
  2. All Stations Accessibility Program | FTA. Dot.gov. Published 2022. Accessed January 10, 2023. https://www.transit.dot.gov/ASAP
  3. Questions and Answers Concerning Wheelchairs and Bus and Rail Service | FTA. Dot.gov. Published 2013. Accessed January 10, 2023. https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/civil-rights-ada/questions-and-answers-concerning-wheelchairs-and-bus-and
  4. Fatalo A. Mobility Scooters for Buses. Mobility Scooters Blog – Mobility Scooters Direct. Published April 26, 2019. Accessed January 10, 2023. https://www.mobilityscootersdirect.com/blog/mobility-scooters/mobility-scooters-for-buses/
  5. Purnell Y. Mobility Scooter Accessibility on Public Transport. Surewise.com. Published July 15, 2022. Accessed January 11, 2023. https://www.surewise.com/mobility-scooter-insurance/articles/mobility-scooter-accessibility-public-transport/

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Martina Todorovska
"Martina is a graduated Doctor of Dental Medicine with a huge obsession for anything beauty-related. Her freelance writing started out as a creative outlet and turned out to be a full-time job. If you have any beauty questions, the chances are Martina has the answers. Follow her on LINKEDIN. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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