Accessibility on Metro

Metro strives to ensure that its services (including over 200 bus and rail routes) are fully accessible to all of our customers, including those with disabilities. 

Overview

The Accessibility team, within the Office of Civil Rights & Inclusion, works to ensure agency/systemwide compliance with federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 49 requirements, State of California Code of Regulation Title 24 CBC Accessibility regulations, municipal regulations and Metro policies regarding accessibility for customers with disabilities. The Accessibility team is committed to going above and beyond by working to ensure that all vehicles, facilities, programs and services are not only compliant, but useable for Metro customers with disabilities. 
Metro strives to go above and beyond the minimum requirements and adopts future proofed solutions. Major initiatives include:

  • Updates to Metro Rail Facilities Design Criteria, Directive and Standard design drawings
  • Metro BRT Facilities Design Criteria
  • Reconfiguration of transit vehicle accessibility areas
  • Proof of concept testing for new and innovative digital solutions 
    ADA tactile guidance pathways (designed to assist blind/visually impaired customers and other customers while navigating Metro stations)
  • Hands-free access to Metro station crossings, elevators, and customer information/assistance.


Metro is also the primary funding source for Access Services, the federally-required ADA paratransit service provider for Los Angeles County. This service is offered to individuals whose disabilities prevent them from independently using regular bus or rail service. It is comparable to fixed-route service and offers curb-to curb service during hours when local bus service is provided.  Find out if you qualify for Access Services. 

FAQ's

How do I request a modification or accommodation that is not currently available on the system? 

The Metro Customer Code of Conduct (English) (Spanish) provides that Metro may allow the reasonable modification of our policies to accommodate the special needs of persons with disabilities in order to allow them to fully utilize our services. Whenever possible a request for a reasonable modification or accommodation shall be filed in advance to the Manager of Accessibility and Paratransit by email at accessibility@metro.net , by telephone at 213.922.6919, or by mail at One Gateway Plaza, MS 99-21-5, Los Angeles, CA, 90012. 

Requests for reasonable modifications or accommodations will not be approved if the request would: fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity; create a direct threat to the health or safety of others; result in an undue financial and administrative burden; or the individual would still be able to fully use the services provided by Metro without the modification. Individuals with disabilities may file complaints regarding reasonable modification or accommodation with Metro Customer Relations by telephone at 1.800.464.2111 or via email at customerrelations@metro.net . 

For questions on this policy, please see the Reasonable Modification Frequently Asked Questions . To make a request, please use the Reasonable Accommodation Request form . 

What is considered a wheelchair or mobility device? 

Wheelchairs and other mobility devices or aids are designed specifically for assisting individuals with disabilities in their personal mobility. A wheelchair is the most common mobility device used by individuals with disabilities. The ADA defines a wheelchair as “a mobility aid belonging to any class of three- or more-wheeled devices, usable indoors, designed or modified for and used by individuals with mobility impairments, whether operated manually or powered.” 

Any wheelchair which can safely fit on the bus ramp, enter the bus, and be positioned in the wheelchair securement area without blocking the aisles or doorway, regardless of size or weight, will be transported. 

By definition, scooters are also considered wheelchairs. Metro encourages individuals using scooters to transfer to a seat; as scooters have a high center of gravity and can be prone to tipping under normal operating conditions. 

Metro buses and trains accommodate a variety of mobility devices, including the following: 

  • Manual wheelchairs 
  • Manual sport wheelchairs 
  • 4-Wheel power wheelchairs 
  • 6-Wheel power wheelchairs 
  • 3-Wheel power scooters 
  • 4-Wheel power scooters 
  • Pediatric wheelchairs 
  • Pediatric wheelchair strollers 

Most wheelchair types can be secured on Metro buses using the wheelchair securement devices. For the safety of both the customer using the wheelchair and other customers, Metro Bus Operators are trained to secure wheelchairs.  Securement is not necessary or available on rail cars. 

Metro buses and trains also accommodate a variety of other mobility aids, including the following: 

  • Walkers (folding and non-folding) 
  • Rolling walkers (“Rollators”) 
  • Canes 
  • Crutches 
  • Leg braces 
  • Segways 

Please remember that individuals using walkers may not sit in their walker-equipped seat while on Metro buses or rail cars.  Bus Operators will provide assistance in finding a seat if asked. 

What is not a wheelchair, mobility device or aid? 

The best example of devices that are not considered a wheelchair or mobility device, and may be preventing from boarding Metro vehicles, are shopping carts, non-folding strollers and wheeled-baskets, bicycles, and other devices not specifically designed to assist an individual with a disability with their mobility. 

Carts, strollers, luggage and any other large item brought on board a Metro bus or train must not block the aisle or doorways, or deprive another customer of a seat or a wheelchair customer from use of the  securement area.  Folding carts must be folded and kept under control by the customer while on board the bus or train. 

Metro recognizes that walkers and rolling walkers, canes, crutches and similar items are designed for, and used as, mobility aids. Based on the definition of mobility equipment, carts are not intended to be used as mobility aids or devices.  While some people do use commercial carts for this purpose, Metro does not support carts for such use on buses or trains. 

Metro is aware of the special construction and sturdiness of mobility devices and aids, including weight tolerances, pushing and gripping facility, resistance to slipping and rolling, walking clearances, and many other safety and support features that go into their design and manufacture.  Often, the devices are prescribed by medical professionals.  These considerations make them safe and reliable for those who rely on them as mobility aids. 

Where do I place my walker or other mobility aid while riding a bus or train?  

Mobility aids (i.e. walkers, etc. ) which can be folded must be folded and kept secure with the customer without blocking the aisle or doorways, or depriving another customer of a seat.  On Metro’s newer buses, mobility aids can be accommodated in a special area with a single, side facing, flip-up seat, near the front of the bus.  Walkers which cannot be folded may be secured in any available wheelchair securement area on buses, and the customer may sit nearby, as seating allows. Customers who cannot find a seat may ask the Operator for assistance.  

Am I eligible for Access Services? 

To find you if you are eligible for Access Services, schedule your evaluation appointment online. Click here to start

Are service animals allowed on buses and trains? 

Service animals provide important assistance to individuals with disabilities.  Your service animal is welcome on board Metro buses and trains. 

What is Metro’s policy regarding animals and pets on buses and trains?  

Pets and emotional support, therapy, comfort, and companion animals are welcome aboard Metro when they: 

  • Are secured in enclosed carriers and do not block the aisle or a doorway 
  • Do not deprive a customer of a seat 
  • Do not interfere with the comfort or convenience of other customers 

Please be aware that a bus operator or other Metro representatives may ask if the animal is a service animal required because of disability and what task the animal has been trained to perform. 

Note:  These service animal guidelines apply on Metro services and at Metro facilities.  Different rules may apply in other public places. 

Are travel training services available?  

Access Services provides travel training opportunity to customers with disabilities in Los Angeles County who need assistance with learning how to take a trip on bus routes and rail lines operating within the county. 

If you are interested in Travel Training, please contact an Access Services contractor by submitting and clicking on this application . If you would like more information, please call 1-888-667-7003 or email info@mobilitymp.org 

What is considered a service animal? 

  • Service animals can be guide dogs for the blind or visually impaired, signal dogs for individuals with hearing loss, or other types of animals that can be individually trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability 
  • Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform in their day-to-day activities 
  • An animal that has been specially trained as a psychiatric support animal is a service animal 
  • All service animals  are trained to be calm and remain unobtrusive, even in chaotic public settings 
  • A service animal must always be under the control of the owner or handler 
  • An individual may have more than one service animal 
  • Service animals require no special tag, identification, certification, papers, harness, vest, cape, or pass 

What are examples of work and tasks that service animals perform? 

  • Guiding individuals with visual impairments 
  • Alerting individuals with hearing loss or deaf to intruders or sounds 
  • Providing minimal protection or rescue work 
  • Pulling a wheelchair 
  • Fetching dropped items 
  • Alerting individuals with seizure disorders to an oncoming seizure, or responding to a seizure 
  • Reminding individuals with depression or other psychiatric conditions to take their medication 

What is not a service animal? 

  • Pets are not service animals 
  • Emotional support, therapy, comfort, and companion animals are not service animals, as they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task 

Are wheelchairs allowed on the bus? 

Metro buses can accommodate all types of wheelchairs, including three-wheel scooter-chairs, power chairs and small four-wheel chairs. The general requirement is that the mobility device must fit on the ramp and be able to maneuver to the wheelchair securement area.  The area is 30” x 48”.  Two wheelchairs are allowed on the bus at a time.   

How do I board the bus in a wheelchair?  

Bus operators will offer to assist each passenger using a mobility device in boarding the bus, reaching the securement area and securing the chair. Be aware of items hanging outside of the chair (bags, backpacks, baskets or other items) and make sure they are not in the way while boarding. 

Is wheelchair securement available on the bus? 

Metro uses a strap system mounted on the floor that can secure a variety of mobility devices. 

Metro offers free expert pre-marking of tie-down locations on mobility devices and securement straps for securement points. Both enable faster securement and release aboard buses. For the free pre-marking or installation of securement straps, contact 213.922.8800. See the Securement Straps for Mobility Devices brochure for complete details. 

Free marking and strapping services are also provided by our Safely Transporting All Riders (STAR) Program.  A specialist will be able to meet you a specified location to provide marking or securement strap placement for your mobility device.  Please call 213.922.6919 to schedule an appointment.   

Please note:  Metro encourages individuals with disabilities who will be acquiring a new or replacement wheelchair to choose, if possible or available, a WC19 compliant wheelchair.  WC19 compliant wheelchairs provide a safe and visible location for Metro Bus Operators to attach wheelchair securement tie-downs. 

What is your policy regarding wheelchair securement areas?  

Metro policy requires that the operator ask other passengers sitting in the wheelchair securement area to move when a wheelchair passenger boards. The operator will request other passengers to give up their seats, but cannot force them to move. 

What if there is a mechanical failure and I am unable to board the bus?  

In the event there is a problem with the ramp on a bus, the operator will contact Bus Operations Control for a supervisor’s response, or another bus to assist the patron using the mobility device. On most Metro routes, another bus with an operating ramp will arrive at the stop in less than 30 minutes. 

What accommodations are available for riders with vision impairments? 

All Metro buses have automated annunciation systems that announce all upcoming bus stops. These announcements can be heard inside and outside the bus. For bus lines serving stops with multiple destinations, the annunciation systems will announce the bus line number and destination.  Riders can also request that the operator let them know when they have arrived at their requested stop.   

When might a customer using a wheelchair be unable to board a Metro Bus? 

Overloaded bus – An individual with a disability using a wheelchair may be prevented from boarding if the bus is overloaded with standing customers and when wheelchair securement areas are occupied.  Please remember the law provides that Metro operators may only request, not require, that customers vacate that wheelchair securement area. 

Too many bags – When a wheelchair / mobility device or mobility aid has bags or other items attached, Metro Bus Operators may decline to board them if the attached items prevent safe boarding, when items take up extra seats or block the aisle or a doorway, or if they interfere with the travel and safety of other customers. 

Device not being used as intended – Mobility devices and mobility aids are designed specifically to assist people in their mobility.  When they are not being used according to its design and purpose, such as using a wheelchair to transport only belongings, then Metro Operators may decline boarding. 

Weight – The ADA allows transit operators the ability to prevent a customer using a wheelchair from boarding if the combined weight of the individual and the wheelchair exceeds the ramp design load specifications of a vehicle.  In such cases, customers are allowed and encouraged to board separately from their wheelchair. 

Size – The size of a wheelchair could be a determining factor in whether an individual with a disability using a wheelchair is able to board and/or ride Metro buses.  One such factor is if a wheelchair is too large to enter through the bus doors.  Another factor is if the wheelchair, once in the wheelchair securement area, creates a safety hazard by blocking the aisle.  The ADA requires that wheelchair securement areas be no less than 30 inches X 48 inches.  Devices that exceed these measurements and/or block the aisle, with or without bags, may be prevented from using Metro bus services for certain trips.  Metro’s bus fleet is made up of different types of buses; some of which have wheelchair securement areas larger than the ADA minimum. 

Is assistance available for individuals using a wheelchair/mobility device on a Metro bus? 

Customers using mobility devices such as wheelchairs or scooters are to be boarded first and allowed to exit first on Metro buses.  Metro recommends that individuals using wheelchairs accept the Bus Operator’s offer to be secured and wear vehicle–mounted lap and shoulder belts. However, lap and shoulder belts must not be used if the wheelchair itself is not secured. If you do not wish to be secured, our newer buses are equipped with rear-facing positions that do not require attaching any tie-down hooks to your wheelchair.  Simply back up against the safety barrier, attach the anti-tip belt and set your wheel locks (if equipped) or turn off the power. 

For your convenience, Metro Bus Operators will: 

  • Attempt to allow customers using mobility devices to board and exit the bus first 
  • Provide assistance in boarding the bus 
  • Attempt to clear the wheelchair securement space when occupied 
  • Prepare the securement area for your use 
  • Request that your wheel locks be set or power turned off (if equipped) 
  • Quickly and safely secure your mobility device 
  • Should securement be chosen, offer the lap and shoulder belt for increased safety 
  • Quickly release securement equipment and assist you in exiting the bus. 

Are Metro Rail lines wheelchair accessible? 
All Metro Rail lines are accessible to persons in wheelchairs. Every station has either a walkway/ramp or elevator from the street to the platform. In the event of an elevator outage at your station, you may take a bus to the next station for free. 

How should riders in wheelchairs board and exit the train? 
It’s recommended, but not required, that persons in wheelchairs back into and out of rail cars to avoid problems with the gap between the platform and the rail car. Each rail car can accommodate two to four wheelchairs. The door nearest the designated wheelchair location is marked with the wheelchair symbol. If you cannot use the designated wheelchair area, avoid blocking the doors or the train operator’s cab door. 

Are securement devices available on the train? 
There are no securement devices on rail cars. Passengers using mobility devices should use one of the handholds inside the rail cars and set the brakes or turn off the power on their chairs while riding Metro Rail. 

How do I get past turnstiles in my wheelchair?  
Many station entrances have turnstiles for validating TAP cards. Please use the entrance designed for persons with disabilities, located on the left and marked with the wheelchair symbol. If you’re unable to tap your card at the turnstile, please use the hands-free intercom.  

To use the hands-free intercom:

  • Approach the intercom near the turnstiles; a red light will come on when the hands-free sensor detects you.
  • An attendant’s voice will come through the speaker and an amber light will turn on.
  • Speak to attendant to confirm you require assistance or wait for the next light.
  • When a green light turns on, proceed to the wheelchair-accessible gate and the attendant will remotely open it for you.


What accommodations are available for rail riders with vision impairments? 

Braille and tactile signs that identify the station are posted at station entrances. Additional signs are posted in all subway stations on the sides of stairs and escalators near the platform to indicate the direction the train is traveling.

Take care when approaching the edge of the platform. Textured flooring is installed on all platform edges to alert passengers with visual impairments. In addition, flexible yellow warning poles are installed on platforms to block the gaps between the rail cars when trains are in the station. 

Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC)

Metro’s Accessibility Advisory Committee is comprised of Metro riders with disabilities and those who advocate for them in and around Los Angeles County. The committee provides feedback to Metro regarding accessibility issues and serves as a sounding board for new and innovative Metro programs.  

The committee meets at 10:30 AM on the second Thursday of February, March, May, June, August, September, November, and December. Meetings are conducted in the Gateway Plaza Conference Room on the 3rd floor of the Metro Headquarters building in downtown Los Angeles. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, meetings will be held virtually until further notice.  

Captioning will be provided at every meeting. AAC agendas are available in alternative formats upon request. Please call 213.922.6919 to request accommodations. 

ADA-Related Service Complaints

Metro welcomes comments and complaints from customers on their experiences using Metro buses and trains.  Customer input helps us identify areas needing improvement, and commendations are always appreciated. 

All customer complaints are carefully reviewed, and those submitted by customers who experience accessibility or ADA-related problems are additionally reviewed for adherence to Metro policies by ADA Compliance staff in the Civil Rights Programs Compliance Department. 

(Note: Customers who wish to file a Civil Rights complaint are required to file a separate complaint using the Metro Civil Rights Complaint Form and submit to Customer Relations.) 

To file a service complaint, customers may contact Metro using any of several different methods: 

  • Call by telephone or TDD
  • Send a fax (213.922.6988) 
  • Use an online form 
  • Send an email 
  • Send a letter by U.S. Mail 
  • Visit Metro in person 

 

All submittal methods will result in the Customer Relations department receiving the complaint information and entering it into the customer comment data base, which documents every complaint received and all related follow-up activities.  Customers with an ADA-related complaint will receive a complaint confirmation/tracking reference number, usually within the same day but no later than five (5) business days from the day Metro receives the complaint.  If the customer does not receive a response within the five (5) day timeframe, he or she can call the Civil Rights Program Compliance Department at 213.922.7375 to obtain the confirmation/tracking reference number. 

Responsible Metro operating divisions or administrative departments investigate all complaints and implement any corrective actions to be taken.  Complaints involving ADA or accessibility elements receive an additional review by Metro’s ADA Compliance staff after the division/department investigation has been completed.  After the ADA Compliance oversight review has been completed, Customer Relations will provide a written reply to the customer, to the contact address provided, within ninety (90) days of receiving the complaint.  All complaints are investigated within a few weeks, but some may require more extensive investigation, or require more time to identify corrective measures.  In any case, a written reply will be provided to the customer within ninety (90) days. 

Whether our customers are submitting complaints about service problems or sharing a great experience, we welcome the opportunity to be of service. 

 

Resources

A set of videos has been created to provide customers with disabilities some examples of transit service and features that can be expected when traveling on Metro. 

In addition to educating the riding public about accessibility features on Metro bus and Metro Rail, the videos are designed to encourage individuals with disabilities to view public transit as a safe and comfortable option to meet their travel needs. 

View our video library.

Metro LEP information graphic including phone numbers (323-466-3876, ext 2) in various languages.

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