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ADA and Accessibility

ADA Policy

The Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority provides accessible transportation to persons with disabilities and does not discriminate on the basis of disability as it relates to the provision of public transportation services provided by the Authority.

Any person who wants more information on MVRTA’s nondiscrimination policy or believes that he or she individually or as a member of any specific class of persons, has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability may file a written complaint with the Authority within 180 days after the date of the alleged discrimination.

Service animals are permitted on all MVRTA vehicles.  All schedules, brochures and applications are available in braille, audio and large print.

To file a complaint contact MVRTA at (978)469-6878, [email protected] or send a letter to 85 Railroad Ave., Haverhill, MA 01835.

Bus Accessibility

The MVRTA’s policy for governing ADA DOT requirements to transport any wheelchair that does not exceed the lift capacities of the vehicle and its equipment is: Drivers must transport all passengers in wheelchairs whose combined weight and dimensions do not exceed the capacities of the vehicle and its equipment. If there is any question as to whether a passenger meets the capacity requirements, request that the operator contact the dispatcher on duty who will immediately work with maintenance. Please note that if the combination of the customer and wheelchair/scooter exceeds the lift capacity, we may not be able to accommodate your trip.

All buses have:

  •  The capability to kneel or lower for customer convenience.
  • Deployment of the wheelchair ramp can be requested by the passenger to the driver regardless if the passenger has a mobility aid or not.
  • Securement areas for wheeled mobility devices.
  • Automated and driver stop announcements at all major stops.
  • Destination signs that are bright and easy to read.
  • Priority seating areas (normally found near the front of the bus).

Fixed Route Operator ADA Duties:

  • Render reasonable assistance when necessary with the wheelchair ramp.
  • Secure wheeled mobility device to bus.
  • If talking bus is not working or not programmed for a stop, the driver must announce all major stops.
  • Stop for pedestrians with a white cane to check if they are waiting for their bus.

Bring your bike on the MVRTA buses

All MVRTA buses are equipped with easy to use bike racks in the front that can hold two bikes and are available on a first-come, first served basis.  Each bike is held securely by a spring-loaded clamp.  The bikes do not touch the bus or the other bike on the rack.

Follow these instructions when loading and unloading a bicycle:

LOADING

  1. Remove any loose items that may fall off your bike while the bus is in motion.
  2. Once the bus comes to a complete stop, indicate to the driver that you will be loading your bicycle onto the rack and step to the front of the bus to load your bike.
  1. To release the rack, squeeze the center handle and slowly lower it. If the rack is already lowered and a bike is in position, use the other available bike wheel well.
  2. After lowering the rack, lift your bicycle into the available wheel well, making sure that the front wheel is placed on the side labeled “front wheel.” If only one bike is being loaded, use the position nearest the bus, handlebars toward the curb.
  3. Pull out and up on the support arm and hook the arm securely over the top of your front wheel as close to the frame as possible. A spring pulls the arm back and holds the bike securely in place.

UNLOADING

When you reach your destination, notify the driver that you will be unloading your bike.

  1. Raise the support arm up off the tire and return it to its original position.
  2. Lift your bike out of the bike rack. If the bike rack is empty, please return the rack to its upright position.
  3. Step away from the bus and onto the curb with your bike. Indicate to the bus operator that you are clear of the bus.

Here is video to show you how.

If you are taking a commuter bus, store your bike in the luggage compartment in the belly of the bus. 

LOADING

  1. Signal to the driver that you need to load your bike. The driver will open the bike compartment and pull out the rack for you. Passengers are not permitted to open the bike compartment themselves.
  2. Lift your bike into the rack and position the handle bars and pedals in the designated spaces. If your bike is the first one in the rack, make sure to use the bottom slot. Then the driver will raise the top bike slot so you can load your bike.
  3. Please make sure your pedals are facing the correct direction, and that you are able to see the bottom pedal through the rack (photo below). You are done and ready to board the bus! The driver will close the bike compartment for you.

UNLOADING

  1. Tell the driver as you get off the bus that you need to unload your bike. The driver will open the bike compartment and pull the rack out for you. Passengers are not permitted to open the bike compartment themselves.
  2. Lift and pull your bike out.
  3. You’re all set to continue on your way. The driver will close the bike compartment for you.

Rules of the rack:

* You must load and unload your bike.  For safety reasons, bus operators cannot get off the bus to assist you.

* Bikes must be transported on these racks and are not allowed inside of the bus.

* Children 10 and younger must be accompanied by adult to load and unload bikes.

* If the bike rack is full, you will have to wait for the next bus.

* Motorized bikes, such as mopeds and motorcycles, are not allowed on any bus rack.

* There is no extra charge for using the bus bike rack.

 *** MVRTA is not responsible for damaged or stolen bicycles***

Paratransit Service

The MVRTA’s policy for governing ADA DOT requirements to transport any wheelchair that does not exceed the lift capacities of the vehicle and its equipment is: Drivers must transport all passengers in wheelchairs whose combined weight and dimensions do not exceed the capacities of the vehicle and its equipment. If there is any question as to whether a passenger meets the capacity requirements, request that the operator contact the dispatcher on duty who will immediately work with maintenance. Please note that if the combination of the customer and wheelchair/scooter exceeds the lift capacity, we may not be able to accommodate your trip.

ADA EZ Trans services are provided to those persons with disabilities that meet the definition of eligibility as established under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This definition relates to the physical or cognitive impairments that prevent use of the MVRTAs fixed route bus system. All participants must be certified through the MVRTA Office of Special Services. This service is only available within the three-quarter mile corridor on each side of an MVRTA fixed bus route.

  • All vans are fully accessible and have a wheelchair lift.
  • Deployment of the wheelchair lift can be requested by the passenger to the driver regardless if the passenger has a mobility aid or not.

Paratransit Operator ADA Duties:

  • Render reasonable assistance when necessary with the wheelchair lift.
  • Secure wheeled mobility device to van.
  • Door to door service upon request.

Click here to learn more about our paratransit service.

Reasonable Modifications:

The MVRTA is dedicated to providing equal access to its services for persons with disabilities as well any individual who (either on occasion or over an extended period) may require modifications to the MVRTA’s policy, practices, and procedures. Any individual with a disability requesting reasonable modification accommodations for an extended period of time is required to complete the form listed on the MVRTA website or by calling (978) 469-6878 to request a form. A decision will be made within 3 business days from the date of the request.

The MVRTA will make reasonable modifications to its services unless doing so:

  • Would fundamentally alter the entity’s service, programs or activities.
  • Would create a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
  • Is not necessary for the individual with a disability to be able to fully use the entity’s services, programs, or activities for their intended purpose.

*In the event that it is not practicable to make the request in advance, it can also be made with the reservationist (when reserving your trip) or directly with the driver (on the same day). The reservationist, driver, and dispatcher will then make a determination of whether the modification can be accommodated.

Click here for the Reasonable Modification Request Form

Schedules can be requested in accessible formats by contacting MVRTA at (978)469-6878, [email protected].