Regional Transportation Authority


Accessible Vehicle Guidelines

Vehicles that meet the ADA accessibility guidelines are required to have a platform lift that is 281⁄2 inches wide by 48 inches long. They must also have sufficient maneuvering space to allow a "common" wheelchair to reach the securement area. Commuter rail cars must also follow similar accessibility guidelines. Wheelchairs and scooters that do not meet the standard measurements may not fit on public transportation vehicles, including ADA Paratransit. The ADA does not require public transit operators to accommodate wheelchairs or scooters that do not meet the ADA's "common" wheelchair guidelines for size and weight.


Measurement Standards for Wheelchairs and Scooters on Public Transit

Definition of a “Common” Wheelchair Under the standards established by the U.S. Access Board, a “common” wheelchair:

  • Is a three or four wheeled device that can be used indoors and is designed for and used by persons with mobility disabilities.
  • Measures 30 inches wide (wheel rim to wheel rim) by 48 inches long (measured 2 inches off the ground from the widest part of the wheel to the footrest).
  • Does not weigh more than 600 pounds when occupied.
  • The 30 x 48 inch clear space extends from the floor to a height of 30 inches. If a backrest of a wheelchair or scooter extends outside this “box,” it would not be considered a “common” wheelchair.

If you use or want to use accessible fixed route or ADA Paratransit services, it is important to know these measurements and ask questions when shopping for a wheelchair or scooter.

The CTA, Metra and Pace will allow persons with disabilities to test a wheelchair or scooter on fixed route buses and trains at one of their garages or train yards.


If you  would like to set up a test drive with a prospective wheelchair, please contact the CTA, Metra or Pace.


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