Policy about size of scooters on buses
I know that a lot of people have heard that Disney is enforcing the ADA guidelines for a "common wheelchair" when loading scooters/ECV on the buses. Hopefully this post will clear some things up:
What size is allowed?
The maximum size allowed on the buses, as defined by the ADA is: 30 inches wide by 48 inches long. This size MUST include all baskets and bags, according to the policy.
Why are they doing this?
This is for safety reasons. For a scooter to be safely tied down on the bus, it must be able to fit into the designated space on the bus. The buses were designed according to the ADA guidelines, which states the largest size for a standard wheelchair (i.e. the largest size that the bus must accommodate) is 30" wide by 48" long.
This is a picture of the box being painted on the ground at bus stops.
It is 30 inches wide by 48 inches long from the outside of the white line on one side to the outside of the white line on the other side.
What about the companies listed in the FAQs?
Apple Scooters: All scooters will fit.
Randy's Mobility: They do not state it specifically, but judging by photographs and the models they do say they rent, all scooters will fit.
Walker Mobility: They do not state it specifically, but they appear to use only Pride products, which means all scooters will fit.
CareMedical: They do not list the manufacturers of their scooters.
Buena Vista Scooters: All scooters will fit.
Scootarama: All scooters will fit
Scootorlando: All but the Dream Scooter should fit, though they do not give specific models. I know that their website says that the Dream will fit, but per a Transportation CM here on the board, bus drivers have been instructed not to load them, and the company has apparently been notified.
So what does this mean for me?
It means you should CALL YOUR COMPANY when you make a reservation for any of the larger/heavy-duty scooters and ask what models they use. You can find dimensions for any scooter online.
PLEASE double check everything I have said here. What I have said is not a guarantee, and you should always double check with the company.
I checked the specifications of my ECV, the Pride Celebrity-X, which is the "standard size" ECV used by many of the off-site vendors. It is 24 x 46, so it will fit into the size box with no problems.
And to add a comment, the ECV has to fit in the painted box with the front wheel(s) straight ahead. The Dream is of such size that the wheel has to be turned 90 degrees for it to fit.
People with very large powerchairs may also want to check them out. I have not heard that powerchairs will also be affected, especially since they are easier to maneuver in tight spaces generally, but my Quantum Q600 is 47 inches long, including the footplate. So anyone with a mobility device they MUST use should double check they are going to be able to make it on the bus without a problem!
Generally, if it is a "Mobility Device" per ADA regulations, it will be carried.
The Dream Scooter is NOT a "Mobility Device" per the regulations. The Dream Scooter is a "Convenience Device"
Within the next 6 months all resorts will have the painted box for sizing purposes. The box dimensions are 30X48. Your device must fit in the box in a normal configuration, turning the front wheels is not a normal configuration. (Note: I believe that 30x48 are the dimensions, but 32x48 seems to be the ADA number. I have not measured the box, I'm going on the info provided to all Bus cast members. If your device happens to be 32X48 and it fits on the lift normally, I'll take you. The length is more of a problem than the width on the bus unless you are trying to fit on the lift)
To use a lift style bus, the device and rider cannot weigh more than 600 pounds. It is permissible to load the device and rider separately but be aware that the driver is not required to move your device. The ramp style buses have a weight limit of 800 pounds.
If you have an Ibot device, that is a "Mobility Device" per ADA, will fit and will be transported. You will be asked to use it in the 4 wheel position for transport.
As stated before, if you are unsure about the device that you are renting, please check with the provider, get the model that you will be renting and double check with the manufacturer.
Also remember that parties of more than 6, including the ECV user will be split up. 6 is the number allowed to board through the back doors, extras will be required to use the normal queue.
These are effective 10/1/2010 (Today)
Thank you for the official, cranbiz.
As of this morning (Oct 1, 2010) there are not boxes painted on the ground yet at bus stops at Port Orleans New Orleans or at Old Key West, but 6 months seems a reasonable time to get them all painted.
This morning, I saw a guest with a Dream scooter get turned down for loading at Port Orleans. The driver put down the ramp and then came out to talk to the guest. I could not hear what was being said because of all the noise from other guests, but could see the driver shaking his head "no" and pointing at the scooter and it looked like he was signifying "too big".
After the bus left, I could hear the man say, "They let us on with this all week. They can't just make a date and say they are not allowed any more.......We'll wait for the next bus and see if we can get on."
The next bus came and that driver did load the Dream scooter.
Boxes beginning to show up
This morning (Oct 1, 2010) there were no boxes painted at OKW, but as of 5pm, there were boxes painted at 2 of the OKW bus stops - Miller's Road and the Hospitality House.
Here's a picture of the box at Miller's Road.
SO we planned on renting one for my mom at an off location just bc we are staying at the Pop Century and we want one for at the resort -- which place is best and which model is best for the buses -- THANKS in advance
I am sitting in the airport coming home from a stay at Pop with a powerchair.
I rented from Apple Scooters and found them to have great prices, good equipment and exceptional customer service.
All of the equipment that can be rented from Apple Scooters will fit on the buses.
You will find information on post #2 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread about different companies the DIS posters recommend, including contact information. You can find that thread near the top of this board or follow the link in my signature to get there.
For other posters - we would like to keep this thread focused on SIZE of ECV and the new bus policies about BOARDING. So, if you have reports on which ECV you used and how it fit or boarding, please post it here rather than making a new post. That way, size and new policy boarding information will be here on this thread.
If you have more general questions, please look in the disABILITIES FAQs first to see if your question can be answered there. If not, please start a new thread with your question - more people who can answer will see it that way since people are looking in this thread for information about the bus policy.
Here is a photo of my Pride Revo 3 wheel portable scooter which is
42 inches long and 24 inches wide.
This photo was taken at the Pop Century Resort
I like the Pop Century Resort layout for entering the bus line better than any other resort or park at WDW. Their different bus stops are spread out and not right next to each other like at Epcot.
I really, really do not like the layout for entering the bus line at Epcot. I usually drive through the main line with all of the walkers because the scooter line that I would usually use to get to the scooter loading area is actually the entrance line for another resort. I have seen a separate rope entrance in the regular main line that looks like a spot to unlock, but there are no instructions for whether I or the bus driver should open this rope, so I don't. Sometimes, I must wait for a second bus as other guests pass me to get onboard because at night and especially at very busy park closings the bus driver may not see me in line and start loading all of the walkers. The bus driver usually directs me to me to the side for the next bus which usually comes very quickly.
I have always preferred the three wheel scooter over the four wheel scooter for manuvering in tight places like the inside the bus or bus main lines or WDW park attraction main lines with sharp turns.
I usually drive straight on the bus ramp drive past the spot where I will park as close as necessary to the open seats on the left side of the bus. But before I drive onboard the bus driver usally informs the walkers in the main line that he is going to load a wheelchair/scooter and then walks back to lower the lift/ramp. He/she then lifts the special three seats up against the bus wall and instructs me to carefully drive on and park in this space.
Once I reach a spot that I feel is right, I will back up and parallel park like anyone would do with a car in a parking space. Except in a car, where you would use the right side of the street, on the bus you use the left side of the bus.
If people are standing in front of me or already in the seats to my left where I want to drive, then it becomes a little more difficult. Especially if they are holding a folded baby carriage. But I always say just before proceding next to them that I am just going to parallel park like a car, and that I am not trying to hit their feet.
Hence, one of the reasons to let scooters/wheelchairs enter the bus first before the bus is occupied, and to let scooters/wheelchairs exit last after all of the guests have exited.
Driving in a straight line forward/backward for getting on a lift/ramp, and parallel parking would be a good exercise to practice for any newbies.
If you have a hard time with this manuever and you can physically get out of your scooter, then stand at the front of the scooter tiller and slowly direct your scooter into your space as directed by the bus driver. My scooter locks in place when I take the key out, so I will either but the speed dial in turtle/slow speed and guide the scooter back to the space like I was parallel parking. Or you can do what the WDW Castmembers do at the park attractions when they move your scooter without a key and use a two way knob on the back of your scooter to unlock the wheels. This will allow you to push the scooter backwards instead of using power like I do.
One time, when I am on a bus from a park to a resort with multiple stops I have had to load with another wheelchair/scooter. I park the same way on the bus whether in the first or second spot. But when exiting and I am the first to exit and I am in the spot furtherest away from the exit, I found it might be a little more difficult to exit with the other scooter parked in the space that is usually used in the spot where I turn around.
When this happens, sometimes while waiting for the bus, I might strike up a conversation with the person in the scooter next to me and ask which resort stop are they getting off. If my stop was after their stop, I would go ahead and get on first and so that they can get off their exit first.
If I was the first of two scooters loaded and I was placed further up the bus aisle. When I exit, I found it was more difficult to exit if the second scooter was exiting at another stop and the other scooter was still parked when I tried to exit.
If you can't turn around because of the space limitation, try exiting very slowly. Usually when you reach a certain point, the bus driver will ask you to turn you tiller all the way to the right. This will allow you to make a 90 degree turn and to turn down the ramp backwards and then straighten your driving all the way down.
Or you can have a friend steer the tiller for you in turtle/slow speed or unlocked wheel mode by standing in front of your tiller why you are still sitting on the scooter. Just be careful when going down the ramp in free wheel mode because you won't have breaks. Or if you can, you can do this yourself which was not so hard. I thought that the scooter would get away from me on the ramp down, but it didn't.
As I said this only happened once, and it only happened when going from a park to multilple bus stops and I was in the front parking space.
It is never a problem when everyone is getting off at the same place like going to a park or a resort with only one stop or if you are in the back parking space.
From my experience, most bus drivers ask if you can get out and sit near the scooter for safety reasons.
Some of those bus turns can seem fast and sharp and may feel like it may slightly tip the scooter if you are are still on the scooter because of the body weight is much higher in the air than just the scooter's motor which is close to the ground.
I have been very tempted to stay on the scooter, and I think that I will do this from now on when the bus line is very long to allow more people on the bus. But this is just my preference and opinion to do so on those very busy Magic Kingdom closings, etc..
I normally like to get off of the scooter because I find myself holding tightly onto the folded up seat when the bus turns. I guess because my feet are on the scooter and not on the ground to help brace myself and there is nothing else to hold onto.
When you exit the bus, try to remember to drive off the bus just as slowly as you drove on and watch out for the curved floor area near the ramp so that you don't feel like you might tip over. And carefully exit the ramp by not turning to sharply and not get caught on the ledge of the ramps.
I usally always drive to WDW and park my car for the duration of my stay. I do this because I love the WDW bus/boat/monorail transportation system and use them during my entire trip.
Even though my Pride Revo scooter is easy to dissassemble and reassemble in and out of my car, it can get very tiring at the end of a long day.
Hence, I love WDW and their transportation systems.
Again, this is just my opinion and preference for myself.
Thanks for your picture and your very complete report, Ray.
I find it very interesting that the company that rents the Dream is specifically advertising it (as of right now) as "Fits on All Buses", "Fits on Disney Transportation" and "is specifically for . . . visitors staying in hotels on-property at Walt Disney World or Universal Studios Florida who plan to use resort-provided bus, boat or monorail transportation . . . " and features a video on how to load it onto a Disney bus (a lift bus no less!)
This is only going to make it harder for the Disney bus drivers as people argue that they were specifically told it fits on the buses. I know that I would be frustrated if I rented it and then was being denied entry on the buses. Ultimately my anger would be directed at the rental company as I demanded a refund, but of course at the time of trying to board the bus I will admit that I would probably get cranky with the driver telling me no. And if the policy is not being consistently applied that will make things even worse for the drivers that are doing what they are supposed to. :sad2:
The people renting the Dream Scooter also used to have videos that showed people driving ECVs with a child in their lap.
And, as a CM, I have sometimes had to tell people that I don't care what any non-Disney company told them they could do, they are not authorized to speak for Disney and gave the Guest incorrect information.
DD might finally be getting a power chair soon (she has a manual right now). She is an average sized young adult. I had asked about power chairs and door openings on this board before and I think the response is that power chairs look big but have an average "footprint" when it comes to thinks like doorways and buses. Has anyone had an issue with a power chair being too large? I'm worried if it doesn't fit at Disney, it might not work for the transport van her school uses either.
What model chair is she getting? I have a Quantum Q600 and it fits just fine. An average adult chair should have no problem fitting. One member of our board here even fits with a ventilator and other special equipment.
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