MyGoPet is often asked if GoPet can be used on public transportation. According to the U.S. Transportation Department, the answer is a definite yes, if you have a disability. Each separate utility can follow their own rules for people without disabilities.
A 2005 publication that originally was designed to answer a question about the use of Segways on public transit provides our answer. The full text is provided at http://www.fta.dot.gov/civilrights/ada/civil_rights_3893.html. But here are some important exerpts:
What is this?
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
DISABILITY LAW GUIDANCE
This guidance document concerns the question of whether transportation entities (e.g., transit authorities, Amtrak) should permit the “Segway” personal transportation device to be used on transportation vehicles when used as a mobility device by people with disabilities.
The Department’s ADA rule (49 CFR Part 37, §37.3) defines a “wheelchair” as “a mobility aid belonging to any class of three or four-wheeled vehicles, designed for and used by individuals with mobility impairments…” (emphasis added).
Because a Segway is not a wheelchair, the ADA regulation’s provisions for lift and securement use specific to wheelchairs (§37.165(a) – (e)) do not apply to Segways and their users. However, §37.165(g) requires transit providers to “permit individuals with disabilities who do not use wheelchairs” to use a vehicle’s lift or ramp to enter the vehicle.
However, when a device is being used as a mobility device by a person with a mobility-related disability, then the transportation provider must permit the person and his or her device onto the vehicle. This is analogous to the situation in which a transportation provider that has a general policy that does not permit pets to enter, but must permit a person with a disability to bring a service animal into a vehicle.
With respect to size, a non-wheelchair mobility device that exceeds the size and weight standards for a “common wheelchair” (i.e., 30 x 48 inches, measured two inches above the ground, and not exceeding 600 pounds, including the user) can reasonably be considered too large.
We note that this analysis would apply to other situations. For example, a Federal Highway Administration-assisted recreational trail that normally cannot permit use by motorized vehicles should accommodate Segways when used as a mobility device by someone with a mobility-related disability.
September 1, 2005