What Makes a Transport Van ADA Compliant?

For people in wheelchairs, getting to their medical appointments can quickly become complicated without access to suitable medical transportation. Finding vans that meet their unique needs becomes a significant component of figuring out how they will get around on a daily basis. Thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1991, accessibility standards were put into place to ensure that wheelchair-accessible taxis and vans all met the same criteria. 

But what are these conditions that make a transport van ADA accessible, and how can these standards help make transportation vehicles more accessible for people everywhere? Cathay Express Transportation can help shed some light on what makes a van — like the ones in our fleet — ADA compliant. 

Accessibility for All  

The end goal of making any form of transportation ADA compliant revolves around making the vehicle accessible for everyone. The vehicle itself has to have doors with a set height and width to comfortably accommodate the person and their wheelchair. It can’t simply be large enough for the wheelchair to get through the door — the person also needs to sit securely and comfortably while in transit. 

For a transport van’s doors to meet ADA requirements, the doors should be at least 56 inches high and 30 inches wide. These height and width dimensions allow people to safely and comfortably get in and out of the vehicle. 

Securing Passengers in the Van

Safely securing your passengers who use wheelchairs requires specialized equipment inside your vehicle, but the basic premise remains the same as factory models. Instead of traditional seatbelts, ADA-compliant vans use a tie-down system with lap and shoulder belts to safely and securely lock the person into place during transport. 

It’s best to get these locking systems installed by a professional to ensure that everything gets installed the way it was intended and reduce the chance of an accident in transit. 

What About the Lift?

In addition to having the equipment to safely and securely transport your passengers in place, the most crucial part of ensuring that your transportation van is ADA compliant revolves around the guidelines for the lift. These guidelines have exact specifications to help make getting in and out of the van as seamless as possible for the driver and passenger.

To ensure that your side entry transport lift meets ADA compliance standards, it must be a 30” by 48” space with a minimum load limit of 600 pounds. Your local municipalities might have additional requirements that you must meet, so researching these potentially additional regulations becomes vital. 

Lastly, handrails must be installed on both sides of the ramp set at 34-38 inches high. With these specifications met, your transport van meets all ADA requirements for wheelchair users. 

Trust Cathay Express Transportation With Your Medical Transport Needs

Finding a transportation service with ADA-compliant vehicles to take you to your medical care appointments can prove difficult in the greater New York area. Cathay Express Transportation has an array of wheelchair-accessible vehicles that meet ADA regulations and provide our clients with reliable transportation to where they need to go. 

Don’t wait until the last minute if you need to schedule a medical transport van to your next appointment or destination. Contact us to schedule your ADA compliant van and ambulette services today!