ADA and accessibility
Metro Transit is dedicated to providing accessible bus and rail services for all community members including those with disabilities.
ADA definitions and requirements
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a wheelchair as a mobility aid device belonging to any class of three or four-wheeled devices, usable indoors, designed for and used by individuals with mobility limitations, whether operated manually or powered. These devices include scooters and Segways.
- According to the ADA, in order to be carried in a public transit vehicle, such a device cannot exceed 30 inches in width and 48 inches in length when measured two inches above the ground (with the exception of Segways). The ADA also states that service will not be provided if the combined weight of the rider and the wheelchair exceeds 600 pounds. For the safety of our passengers, Metro Transit's wheelchair securement system is designed for front-facing riders using all four securement straps available.
Service animal policy
Metro Transit allows service animals and those in training on all transit vehicles. Service animals are not required to be identified with paperwork or apparel. Service animals must be under control at all times. Service animals must be on a leash and the animal must be housebroken.
The animal must not:
- Bite, growl, or bark
- Jump up on people
- Lick people
- Sit on the seats
If an animal is not under control, then boarding can be refused. If the customer and animal are already on the bus, the driver can ask the customer to leave the bus.
- Pets can be brought on board, but only in a carrier.
- Pet dogs on a leash are not allowed to board.
Metro Transit Outreach Coordinators offer free personalized trainings and resources on how to ride buses and trains. Outreach Coordinators are available to help train customers with disabilities in-person and on location. Often, a bus will be made available for group trainings and one-on-one trainings are also available. Training topics include:
- Determining fare amount and how to pay
- Planning a trip
- Reading maps and schedules
- Transferring between routes
- Using Park & Ride lots
- Navigating the metrotransit.org website
- Using online tools and the Metro Transit app
- Learning about the accessibility features of buses and trains
- Riding transit safely
Please contact an Outreach Coordinator to learn more.
Limited Mobility program
The Limited Mobility program offers discounted transit fares to encourage customers who have a qualifying disability to use regional transit service. Metro Transit bus drivers and/or Metro Transit Police accept the Limited Mobility ID Card, Metro Mobility ID Card, or an “A” or “L” endorsement on your Minnesota ID Card or Driver’s License to pay reduced fares. Access the Limited Mobility program application for more information and to apply. Completed Limited Mobility applications can be scanned and emailed to email@example.com.
Aira service for visual interpreting
Metro Transit is offering customers the free use of Aira, an app that connects customers to a live agent for visual interpreting and navigation assistance. Visit our Aira information site for details and to get started.
Boarding a bus
To use the ramp, wait 7 – 10 feet from the curb. This allows enough room for the ramp to be lowered properly. Let the driver know you need to use the ramp, and be prepared to board first. Metro Transit drivers are thoroughly trained in operating the ramp and will help you get on and off the ramp if necessary.
The ramp will beep when in motion. When its lowered, the driver will indicate when it’s safe to get on. We recommend that you back wheelchairs onto the ramp. You also can board facing the driver if it’s easier. Once in the Priority Seating area, make sure your brakes are locked. Handrails are provided for extra safety.
When possible, for the safety of the occupant, occupants of scooter-type mobility devices will be asked, as an option, to transfer from the scooter to a vehicle seat.
Each bus has two spaces, called Priority Seating, at the front for customers in mobility devices. These spaces include mandatory securement straps for your mobility device. The driver is required to check the securement straps and make sure your chair is secured properly. An optional lap belt is also available by letting the driver know that you want it.
If both Priority Seating spaces are occupied and a third person in a mobility device wants to ride, the driver will call our Transit Control Center and tell the waiting customer when the next bus is scheduled to arrive. If the waiting time is longer than 30 minutes, the driver will arrange for an alternate vehicle to pick up passengers.
Exiting the bus
The onboard annunciator or the driver will announce all major intersections and transfer points. When the bus approaches your stop, signal to the driver by pulling the cord near the window, pushing the vertical bar or verbally notifying the driver.
Allow customers not using the ramp to exit first. The driver will then activate the ramp. If needed, the driver will help you unbuckle the wheelchair belts and position your chair to face outward on the lift.
When you reach ground level, unlock your brakes or turn on your power switch and move away from the lift. Customers who stand on the lift should face outward and hold the handrails as the driver lowers the lift to ground level.
Light rail trains offer step-free boarding, and are equipped with designated Priority Seating for customers with mobility limitations. In addition, all station platforms are fully accessible.
Northstar stations have ramps that allow easier boarding for customers using wheelchairs. Since there is a gap between the platform and the train, the conductor will assist you in boarding.
ADA self-evaluation and transition plan
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a wheelchair as a mobility aid belonging to any class of three or four-wheeled devices, usable indoors, designed for and used by individuals with mobility limitations, whether operated manually or powered. These devices include scooters and Segways.
According to the ADA, in order to be carried in a public transit vehicle, such a device cannot exceed 30 inches in width and 48 inches in length when measured two inches above the ground (with the exception of Segways). The ADA also states that service will not be provided if the combined weight of the rider and the wheelchair exceeds 600 pounds. For the safety of our passengers, Metro Transit's wheelchair securement system is designed for front facing riders using all four straps.
When possible, for the safety of the occupant, occupants of scooter-type wheelchairs will be asked to transfer from the scooter to a vehicle seat.
Metro Transit conducted an ADA evaluation of its facilities in 2019. Metro Transit is dedicated to ensuring its facilities are in compliance with the ADA and incorporate accessibility best practices where possible. Below are several initiatives Metro Transit is involved in to improve how our customers access and use or bus and rail services. Go to metrocouncil.org to review the Metropolitan Council's ADA Transition Plan.
Metro Transit is committed to providing customers a safe, secure and comfortable experience at the bus stop. We work to improve the customer experience at the bus stop through:
- Transit information
- Concrete pads at the front of the bus stop to make it easier to get on and off the bus (ADA pads)
- Improvements for pedestrians near the bus stop
- Installing shelters at new locations
- Improving existing shelters with light or radiant heat
- Replacing aged shelters
- Shelter cleaning and maintenance
Other transit improvements
- Installing detectable warnings at Blue Line track crossings
- Installing hearing loops in conference rooms
- Installing between-car bollards at all light rail stations
- Improve signage and parking access at several Park & Rides and transit centers
- Improving pedestrian wayfinding efforts at the METRO Hennepin-Warehouse District station as part of the City of Minneapolis' Hennepin Avenue reconstruction project
Snow removal at our bus stops is a top priority of Metro Transit. Minnesota winters can make it very hard for our customers to access our services. Metro Transit Engineering & Facilities staff address these challenges in concert with contractors, municipalities, transit partners, and business/property owners. Please review our snow removal procedures to learn more.
Metro Transit takes digital accessibility seriously and is updating its website based on a recent audit by WeCo to be compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA standards.
Transportation Accessibility Advisory Committee
Metro Transit collaborates with the Metropolitan Council's Transportation Accessibility Advisory Committee (TAAC) in establishing accessible transportation services. The TAAC was created by the Minnesota Legislature and advises the Council on management policies for public transportation services in the region from the perspective of riders with disabilities. The TAAC includes riders and advocates for older people and the disability community, as well as representatives of service providers and other appropriate agencies. Learn more about this committee on the TAAC website.
A special transportation service is available for people with disabilities. Metro Mobility is the door-through-door public transportation system for people with disabilities in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and certain adjoining suburbs. Customers who are certified can call transportation providers to schedule their trips. Get more information or call 651-602-1111 (TTY 651-291-0904).
Reasonable modifications, alternate formats, and comments or suggestions
To request a reasonable modification, request materials in alternative formats, or submit a comment or suggestions, please contact Customer Relations.
Mail: Metro Transit Customer Relations Manager, 560 6th Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN 55411