209 and 503 Passenger Loading Zones and Bus Stops
Passenger Loading Zones at Medical Care and Long-Term Care Facilities. Sections 6.1 and 6.2 of the 1991 Standards and section 209.3 of the 2010 Standards require medical care and long-term care facilities, where the period of stay exceeds 24 hours, to provide at least one accessible passenger loading zone at an accessible entrance. The 1991 Standards also require a canopy or roof overhang at this passenger loading zone. The 2010 Standards do not require a canopy or roof overhang.
Commenters urged the Department to reinstate the requirement for a canopy or roof overhang at accessible passenger loading zones at medical care and long-term care facilities. While the Department recognizes that a canopy or roof overhang may afford useful protection from inclement weather conditions to everyone using a facility, it is not clear that the absence of such protection would impede access by individuals with disabilities. Therefore, the Department declined to reinstate that requirement.
Passenger Loading Zones. Where passenger loading zones are provided, the 1991 Standards, at sections 4.1.2(5) and 4.6.6, require at least one passenger loading zone to be accessible. Sections 209.2.1 and 503 of the 2010 Standards, require facilities such as airport passenger terminals that have long, continuous passenger loading zones to provide one accessible passenger loading zone in every continuous 100 linear feet of loading zone space. The 1991 Standards and the 2010 Standards both include technical requirements for the vehicle pull-up space (96 inches wide minimum and 20 feet long minimum). Accessible passenger loading zones must have an access aisle that is 60 inches wide minimum and extends the full length of the vehicle pull-up space. The 1991 Standards permit the access aisle to be on the same level as the vehicle pull-up space, or on the sidewalk. The 2010 Standards require the access aisle to be on the same level as the vehicle pull-up space and to be marked so as to discourage parking in the access aisle.
Commenters expressed concern that certain covered entities, particularly airports, cannot accommodate the requirements of the 2010 Standards to provide passenger loading zones, and urged a revision that would require one accessible passenger loading zone located in reasonable proximity to each building entrance served by the curb.
Commenters raised a variety of issues about the requirements at section 503 of the 2010 Standards stating that the requirements for an access aisle, width, length, and marking of passenger loading zones are not clear, do not fully meet the needs of individuals with disabilities, may run afoul of state or local requirements, or may not be needed because many passenger loading zones are typically staffed by doormen or valet parkers. The wide range of opinions expressed in these comments indicates that this provision is controversial. However, none of these comments provided sufficient data to enable the Department to determine that the requirement is not appropriate.
Valet Parking and Mechanical Access Parking Garages. The 1991 Standards, at sections 4.1.2(5)(a) and (e), and sections 208.2, 209.4, and 209.5 of the 2010 Standards require parking facilities that provide valet parking services to have an accessible passenger loading zone. The 2010 Standards extend this requirement to mechanical access parking garages. The 1991 Standards contained an exception that exempted valet parking facilities from providing accessible parking spaces. The 2010 Standards eliminate this exception. The reason for not retaining the provision is that valet parking is a service, not a facility type.
Commenters questioned why the exception for valet parking facilities from providing accessible parking spaces was eliminated. The provision was eliminated because valet parkers may not have the skills necessary to drive a vehicle that is equipped to be accessible, including use of hand controls, or when a seat is not present to accommodate a driver using a wheelchair. In that case, permitting the individual with a disability to self-park may be a required reasonable modification of policy by a covered entity.
209.1 General. Passenger loading zones shall be provided in accordance with 209.
209.2 Type. Where provided, passenger loading zones shall comply with 209.2.
209.2.1 Passenger Loading Zones. Passenger loading zones, except those required to comply with 209.2.2 and 209.2.3, shall provide at least one passenger loading zone complying with 503 in every continuous 100 linear feet (30 m) of loading zone space, or fraction thereof.
209.2.2 Bus Loading Zones. In bus loading zones restricted to use by designated or specified public transportation vehicles, each bus bay, bus stop, or other area designated for lift or ramp deployment shall comply with 810.2.
Advisory 209.2.2 Bus Loading Zones. The terms "designated public transportation" and "specified public transportation" are defined by the Department of Transportation at 49 CFR 37.3 in regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act. These terms refer to public transportation services provided by public or private entities, respectively. For example, designated public transportation vehicles include buses and vans operated by public transit agencies, while specified public transportation vehicles include tour and charter buses, taxis and limousines, and hotel shuttles operated by private entities.
209.2.3 On-Street Bus Stops. On-street bus stops shall comply with 810.2 to the maximum extent practicable.
209.3 Medical Care and Long-Term Care Facilities. At least one passenger loading zone complying with 503 shall be provided at an accessible entrance to licensed medical care and licensed long-term care facilities where the period of stay exceeds twenty-four hours.
209.4 Valet Parking. Parking facilities that provide valet parking services shall provide at least one passenger loading zone complying with 503.
209.5 Mechanical Access Parking Garages. Mechanical access parking garages shall provide at least one passenger loading zone complying with 503 at vehicle drop-off and vehicle pick-up areas.