The safety, ease of use, and independent use of three wheelchair securement systems and three different types of wheeled mobility devices (WhMD), including a manual wheelchair, a powered wheelchair, and a three-wheeled scooter, were evaluated by eight vehicle operators of a large accessible public transit vehicle (LATV). The securement systems included a forward-facing four-point tiedown system, a prototype forward-facing autodocking system, and a prototype rear-facing-wheelchair passenger (RF-WP) system. The eight LATV operators transported wheelchair-seated passengers in each wheelchair securement system, after which they completed a questionnaire. Operators responded generally positively to the autodocking and RF-WP systems because they were observed by the drivers to be quicker and easier to use and allowed more independent use by wheelchair-seated passengers compared to the four-point tiedown system. From all three securement systems, operators favored the forward-facing autodocking system, because no assistance from operators is required to use it and most users preferred the forward-facing orientation in the vehicle. The autodocking system was perceived to be safe and easy to use by wheelchair- and scooter-seated passengers. These study results promote the need for alternative and improved securement systems that can be used by wheelchair and scooter-seated passengers that travel in LATVs in forward- or rearward-facing directions. Ideally, future securement solutions should not require assistance from LATV operators for their operation and should allow wheelchair- and scooter-seated passengers to ride public transportation safely and independently.
van Roosmalen, Linda, et al.
Transit Operator Evaluation of Three Wheelchair Securement Systems in a Large Accessible Transit Vehicle.
Journal of Public Transportation, 15 (4): 87-109.
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jpt/vol15/iss4/5