ADA Rule May Prevent Bus Purchase - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/12/03

ADA Rule May Prevent Bus Purchase

It's a great deal that would help get some folks get around, but might be against the rules. Buses in the Low Country Regional Transportation Authority fleet have logged over 2 million miles apiece in their 20 years of service, so when transit officials heard about the opportunity to buy some 12-year-old buses for a good price, they were pretty excited.

"What we're looking at doing is paying the New Jersey Transit Authority at the most $5,000, and at the least nothing, because the New Jersey Transit Authority would transfer them directly to us," explained Rochelle Ferguson, executive director of the LRTA.

But there may be a speed bump in the plan. The Department of Transportation doesn't allow transit authorities to buy buses that aren't equipped for handicapped access. Not all of the buses in the LRTA fleet have handicap access currently, but the ADA requirement could close the door on a pretty good opportunity for newer buses. Ferguson says she's got buses that can handle handicapped passengers, even though nobody requires the special buses right now.

Today, Ferguson talked to a legislative delegation, asking them to help persuade the DOT to let them have the buses. If the LRTA is allowed to get the New Jersey buses, they'll use all local funding to do so.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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