Providing Public Transportation
Alternatives for the Greater
Phoenix Metro Area

Valley Metro Rail

Valley Metro Rail engineers, architects and staff consulted regularly with an Accessibility Advisory Committee during design and construction to ensure that the system serves all of its customers’ needs and meets ADA guidelines.

Vehicle-wheelchair accessibility

Wheelchair tie-downs are not necessary on the train. Under normal operations, there is little lateral movement and computer-controlled acceleration and braking ensures smooth transitions and stops.

There are four wheelchair areas in each vehicle. Aisles are large enough to accommodate wheelchairs.

Station platforms

Stations have emergency call boxes that automatically connect to the Valley Metro Rail Operations Control Center when the phone is picked up. The call boxes meet ADA accessibility standards.

The horizontal gap between the train and the station platform is less than two-and-a-half inches. Sensors and a hydraulic leveling devices ensure that the vertical gap between vehicle and platform is no more than five-eights of an inch, the same as elevators.

Stations are 14 inches above street level and are accessed by inclined walkways with railings. The walkway is accessible for people using wheelchairs or scooters.

Sensors at the stations adjust the lighting to maintain readability of signs at all times of the day and night.

Textured warning strips, two feet wide, are placed at crosswalks, platform entries and station edges. Crosswalks that lead to stations located in the middle of the street have three warning strips: one at each curb-cut and one at the station entrance ramp.

Pedestrian safety

The vehicle operator will sound the bell prior to the vehicle moving. The operator will sound the bell several times when moving through areas with a high level of pedestrian activity.

Each time the vehicle bell sounds, the vehicle headlights will flash, providing a visual warning.

The vehicle operator will sound the bell or horn when a pedestrian or vehicle appears to be at risk of inappropriately crossing the track area.

Fare vending machines

  • Accessible for people of all abilities.
  • Low-glare, high-contrast for people with visual impairments.
  • Large raised pushbuttons are provided.
  • The machine face is brightly lit at 20 foot candles.
  • Font size, color and shape meets ADA requirements.
  • Braille provided.
  • Screen and voice instructions are in Spanish and English.
  • Height of the machine functions meets ADA specifications.

Signage and rider information

Letters on all signs, including electronic signs, are three inches in height and ADA compliant.

Rider information, on station platforms and in light rail vehicles, is presented as both a voice announcement and as a visual display.

Announcing Stops

A public address (PA) system will be used to announce stops as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Bare Feet

All passengers, including those who use mobility aids, are required to wear shoes unless a disability either prevents the wearing of shoes or necessitates that the passenger’s feet be bare.

Operator Training

All operators are trained to be proficient in the safe operation of vehicles and equipment. Operators shall be trained to properly assist persons with disabilities and treat them in a respectful and courteous manner.

Operators need to be familiar with different disabilities and aware of how particular disabilities affect travel. They may also be requested to receive additional sensitivity training as needed.
All fixed-route properties in the Valley Metro system shall conduct mandatory ADA refresher training at least annually for all bus operators. The ADA refresher training, at a minimum, shall consist of the following:

  1. one classroom ADA sensitivity training session, and
  2. one hands-on check to evaluate operator expertise in the boarding, securement and deboarding of mobility aid devices.

Additionally, all fixed-route operators and transit staff members who are the subject of a validated ADA complaint shall receive specific refresher training tailored to the nature of the complaint. Such training shall be scheduled within 15 calendar days after the completion of the complaint investigation.

Passengers with Open Sores and Wounds

When using the bus, passengers with disabilities who have health-related open sores and wounds need to ensure that all sores and wounds are properly covered.

Passengers with disabilities who have open sores and wounds shall be transported unless their medical condition presents a direct threat to other passengers. Any passenger, including passengers with disabilities, may be refused access to public transportation if visible body fluid leakage or dripping is occurring while at the bus stop. The passenger may also be requested to exit the bus if leakage or dripping occurs after they have boarded. Such leakage or dripping can create a biohazard to other passengers on the bus.

The existence of wounds and sores may limit securement on all securement points. The operator shall secure as many points as possible and transport the passenger.

Personal Care Attendants

Personal care attendants and companions traveling with a person with a disability are required to pay the same fares that they would pay when riding the bus alone.

Portable Oxygen Use

Individuals with disabilities who use portable oxygen devices are allowed to travel with respirators and properly secured portable oxygen supplies. Oxygen supplies must not obstruct the aisle.

Priority Seating

Passengers should yield designated priority seating to persons with disabilities and seniors.

Mobile Device Securement Areas

Mobility aid securement areas on buses are reserved. Passengers using common mobility aids shall be boarded if the securement areas are not otherwise occupied by a mobility device, regardless of the number of passengers on the bus. Bus operators are required to ask passengers sitting in securement areas to move to other available seats or to stand.

Rescue Policy

All Valley Metro fixed-route transit providers shall provide an effective rescue system for passengers with disabilities, needing the use of a lift or ramp, that are stranded due to service interruptions.

If a service interruption is the result of bus lift/ramp failure or other mechanical breakdown, the bus operator shall stop and call OCC/radio/dispatch for instructions and relay those instructions to the passenger before proceeding on the route. If the service interruption will result in the passenger being stranded for more than 30 minutes, a rescue of the passenger shall be conducted. In the months of May through October, every effort shall be made by OCC/radio/dispatch to offer rescue, if possible, to stranded passengers - even if the next bus along the route will arrive in less than 30 minutes.

Vehicles that are dispatched for rescue shall meet the stranded passenger within 30 minutes of the request for rescue. Rescue vehicles shall transport the passenger to a location mutually agreed upon by the passenger and transit staff. Every attempt shall be made by transit staff to ensure that the passenger’s trip is completed successfully. In the case of service interruptions not caused by mechanical failure on the bus, (e.g. all wheelchair securement positions are occupied), the operator shall stop the bus, call OCC/radio/dispatch for instructions and relay instructions to the passenger before proceeding on the route. OCC/radio/dispatch staff shall determine if rescue is required and feasible.

In all cases, OCC/radio/dispatch staff shall check the status of the next available bus. All Valley Metro transit provider staff members shall be trained on the above policy.

Service Animals

Persons with disabilities who use service animals may board with the service animal regardless of fare category. Operators may ask any passenger if their animal is a service animal and/or if the animal assists them with their disability, but may not require certification or identification for service animals.

Passengers using service animals must keep their animals under control and the animal must not pose a threat to other passengers. Failure to do so may result in the passenger being requested to exit the bus. If the animal is a pet, it must travel in a carrier.

Transporting Common Mobility Aids

All common mobility aids shall be transported and properly secured. A common mobility aid is any class of three- or four-wheeled device that is usable indoors and designed for and used by individuals with mobility impairments. It may be operated manually or powered. A common mobility aid does not exceed 30 inches in width and 48 inches in length (measured two inches above the ground) and does not weigh more than 600 pounds when occupied. Vehicles may not be able to accommodate mobility aids exceeding these standards.

Reasonable efforts shall be made to transport persons in oversized mobility aids. However, transportation cannot always be guaranteed to a person in an oversized mobility aid and suggestions for alternative transportation shall be provided upon request.