Terms & Definitions | Valley Metro

Common Terms and Definitions

Accessibility Features

Features include lifts and other means of access to vehicles, securement devices, elevators, signage and systems to facilitate communications with individuals with impaired vision or hearing.

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) protects all individuals with disabilities by prohibiting discrimination and ensures equal opportunity in everything from employment to use of public transit.

Direct Threat

A direct threat means a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, procedures or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services.


With respect to the individual, a disability means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual.

Fixed-Route System

You might find yourself on a fixed-route system on your daily commute. This is a system of transporting individuals, including transportation services by public or private entities with a prescribed route and fixed schedule (i.e. local bus or light rail).

Light Rail

This is a streetcar-type of vehicle operated on city streets, semi-exclusive rights of way, or exclusive rights of way.

Mobility Aid or Device

A mobility aid or device helps persons with disabilities be more mobile including canes, crutches or walkers.

Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices

OPMD’s are mobility devices powered by batteries, fuel or other engines that is used by individuals with mobility disabilities for locomotion besides a wheelchair, such as a Segway or golf cart.

Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

A personal care attendant (PCA) is someone who typically assists with one or more daily life activities such as providing personal care, performing manual tasks or providing assistance with mobility or communication.

Proof of Eligibility

To take advantage of reduced fares, seniors age 65 or older must show a Valley Metro Reduced Fare ID Card, driver’s license or state ID card. Persons with disabilities must present either a Medicare card or Valley Metro Reduced Fare ID Card.

Public Address (PA) System

A sound amplification system on a bus that relays information to passengers.

Securement System

All ADA-compliant buses and vans need to be equipped with securement devices capable of accommodating wheelchairs and mobility aids. 

Service Animals

A guide dog, signal dog or other trained animal that performs tasks for an individual with disabilities is designated as a service animal. Examples of tasks include guiding individuals with visual impairments, providing protection or rescue work, or pulling a wheelchair.


A wheelchair is a mobility aid belonging to any class of three or four-wheeled vehicles, designed for and used by individuals with mobility impairments.