Disability Accessibility

disability1 We are proud of the fact that we are able to furnish reliable, reasonably priced transportation for our county citizens with mobility disabilities. The lifts and wheelchair securement systems designed for our vehicles are easy to operate and make transporting passengers which are unable to enter our vehicles via the steps a very simple matter. When scheduling a ride, give 24-hour notice, inform us of your needs, and we will send the proper vehicle to accommodate those needs.

All vehicles are equipped with safety features including hand rails, well-lit 8-10 inch striped steps and lifts that are 30” to 33” wide. Etowah County Rural Transportation (ECRT) will transport a wheelchair and occupant if the lift and vehicle can physically accommodate them, unless doing so is inconsistent with safety standards. The definition of a wheelchair is a mobility device with 3 or 4 wheels that does not exceed 30 inches in width and 48 inches in length and is designed for a person with mobility disabilities. The device may be operated manually or powered; however if your device is powered, our drivers are not permitted to operate them at any time.

Passengers utilizing a wheelchair may transfer to a regular seat in the vehicle, if the passenger wishes to do so and is able to complete the transfer with no assistance from the driver. Drivers are not permitted to lift or pull any individual to enable them to transfer into or out of a regular seat.

ECRT requires that all mobility devices be secured when being transported utilizing the four-point securement system within our vehicles. Our drivers have been trained and are required to use a four and six-point tie-down system for the safest securement for our passengers. Only ECRT trained staff is to operate the lift systems on our vehicles.

Any passenger whether in a wheelchair or not who is unable to enter or exit the vehicle by the use of the stairs may also utilize the lift for boarding and de-boarding the vehicle.

Remember, the driver can only perform reasonable assistance when boarding and de-boarding. Reasonable assistance is defined as opening of a door, offering of an arm, or helping with a minimal number of packages (See Parcel Policy). Drivers are trained to provide minimal assistance only and are not trained to provide medical assistance. ECRT offers origin to destination service, meaning our driver will provide reasonable assistance within a 25-foot radius of the bus. Our drivers must maintain sight of the vehicle to ensure the safety of any passengers on board as well as security of the vehicle itself. We do not enter homes, and there is a limit of three (3) steps. If you need further assistance, please have a friend, family member, or Personal Care Assistant (PCA) accompany you. There is no charge for one assistant/PCA to ride.

Service Animals
Animals such as a guide dog, signal dog or other animals individually trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability are welcome to board the vehicle with the disabled person at no charge. The animal trained to work or perform tasks for an individual is to be under the control of the individual, not ECRT.

If an animal has created a prior incident posing a direct threat to the health and safety of others, the service animal will be excluded from service with ECRT. Please respect that these are working animals and are not to be touched or distracted while performing their duties.