Guelph Transit’s full fleet of low-floor buses provide fully accessible service to all bus routes operating in the City of Guelph. These vehicles are designed to assist in accommodating customers who require a ramp to board and exit the bus.
The NOVA buses (fleet #170 to #251) have a design that are capable of accommodating two wheelchairs or two scooters or a combination of each. Both mobility aid positions are at the front of the bus; one behind the driver and the second on the opposite side of the bus.
The mobility aid positions have “flip-up” triple seats. These seats are designed to accommodate ambulatory transit riders when there are no mobility aids or seniors on the bus. When a person who uses a mobility aid boards the bus, the “flip-up” triple seat flips-up and out of the way to expose the mobility aid securement system.
When a customer using a mobility aid wishes to board a low floor bus, the driver, the customers on board the bus, and the customer using the mobility aid all have responsibilities. The following is a summary of those responsibilities:
Responsibilities of customers on board the bus
All customers, except seniors and those with a disability, occupying the “flip-up” triple seats will be required to move to accommodate a customer using a mobility aid.
Responsibilities of customers using a mobility aid
- All customers using a mobility aid must make their own way to and from the bus stops.
- All customers using a mobility aid must stay clear of the entrance doors while the bus is being lowered and the ramp is being deployed.
- All customers using a mobility aid must board and alight from the bus using the front doors.
- All customers using a mobility aid must have the ability to board, manoeuvre and alight independently, safely and effectively.
- All customers using a mobility aid will board the bus and are encouraged to use the mobility aid spaces toward the front of the bus.
- Customers using a walker should secure the brake or fold the walker together once they are seated.
- Customers using a wheelchair or scooter should set the mobility aid brake or turn the power off, and are encouraged to use at least one of the securement devices provided:
- The mobility aid restraint belts (floor restrainment device), which can be found on the floor of the bus and attach to the frame of the mobility aid; or
- The bus equipped lap and shoulder belts (top portion of the belt is located on the wall and attaches to the belt from the floor). Older buses, which do not have a rear-facing wheelchair position, offer an additional securement device that may also be used: The grab claw type wheel lock, which is automatically activated when the mobility aid is firmly backed into the mobility aid
- Customers will have the following options to secure or release any available securement devices:
- The customer may secure and/or release the securement
device(s) themselves, without assistance; or
- Upon request, be assisted by the bus driver in securing and/or
releasing the securement device(s); or
- Bring a PAL* with them (who is entitled to ride free of charge) who will secure and/or release the securement device(s).
- The customer may secure and/or release the securement
- Customers using a mobility aid should be aware that too many bags and parcels attached to, or hanging from, the mobility aid may interfere with the securement devices provided.
- Mobility aids must not obstruct the aisles.
- To signal the driver that a customer wishes to disembark
- Orion Buses. The customer using a mobility aid should push the stop request yellow strip located on the underside of the “flip-up” seat. This yellow strip is located adjacent to the customer using the mobility aid when the “flip-up” seat is in the up position.
- NOVA Buses. The stop request is either the yellow strip or a blue button, also located on the underside of the “flip-up” seat.
Responsibilities of the driver
When approaching a transit stop where a customer using a mobility aid wishes to board the bus, the driver will politely ask customers, except seniors, sitting in the “flip-up” seats to move to accommodate the customer using a mobility aid.
The driver will select an on street location to stop the bus where the ramp may be deployed to create a minimum incline between the bus and the customer using a mobility aid.
Upon arriving at the transit stop where a customer using a mobility aid wishes to board, the driver will:
- Politely ask all customers to stay clear of the front doors while the
ramp is being deployed.
- Activate the kneeling feature
- Deploy the ramp
- Politely advise the customers when it is safe to board the bus
- Board all customers using a mobility aid ahead of the ambulatory
- Politely caution customers in the immediate area of the mobility aid
position that a customer will be manoeuvring into this location
- Assist with securing and/or releasing of securement device(s), if
When the customer using a mobility aid is safely on board the bus and has manoeuvred into position, the driver will:
- Lift the ramp
- Raise the bus from the kneeling position
- Proceed when it is safe to do so
When both mobility aid spaces are occupied, or if the bus is full to capacity and cannot accommodate another customer using a mobility aid, the intending customer using a mobility aid will be advised to wait for the next accessible low floor bus.
Pick-ups and drop-offs will be done at regular transit stops; special drop-off provision between stops may be accommodated at the request of the customer using a mobility aid. Special drop-off between transit stops will only be accommodated when, in the opinion of the driver, it is safe to do so.
The ramp can also be deployed at the request of a customer who walks unassisted (for example, a customer who cannot exert themselves or bend their legs enough to step up without the ramp).
Regular Guelph Transit fares are in effect for all customers using a mobility aid. Upon entering the bus, all riders must deposit their cash fare or ticket directly into the fare box or show their monthly pass to the driver.
Companions or assistants are eligible to ride for free provided the customer
using a mobility aid advises the driver of the bus that the person accompanying them is a PAL.
Personal Assistant for Leisure activities (PAL) card
This card is available to anyone who has a disability and requires assistance to attend City of Guelph recreation programs. The PAL card is issued to the person with the disability and allows him or her to be accompanied by a friend, relative, support worker, etc., at no additional cost. The PAL does not have to be the same person every time. The PAL program on Transit provides free admission for the personal assistant when travelling the conventional transit system. When travelling with a customer who uses a mobility aid, the PAL is expected to assist with the securement of that mobility aid.
There are certain eligibility requirements that must be met to obtain a PAL
Card. Application forms are available from the Community Services Department Administration Office at 1 Carden Street, Guelph, N1H 3A1, or by contacting us at 519-822-1260 extension 2702, TTY 519-826-9771.