I recently tried to book a trip on an over the road bus. The company told me that I could not travel because my oxygen canisters could not be stored on the vehicle or in the baggage bay. Can you help?
Motorcoach operators are required to transport oxygen for personal use when medically necessary. On September 26, 2005, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published "Guidance for the Safe Transportation of Medical Oxygen for Personal Use on Buses and Trains". This document contains recommendations to bus and train operators for transporting oxygen in the passenger compartment and the cargo compartment.
Download Guidance for the Safe Transportation of Medical Oxygen for Personal Use on Buses and Trains in PDF format.*
If you need further information on this guidance document, please contact PHMSA's Hazardous Materials Information Center at 1-800-467-4922.
*The Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to view PDF files. Download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Answer: Snow removal around bus stops is a challenge for bus operators as well as customers. Be patient to allow snow clearing to occur as streets are plowed first followed by clearing of bus stops and sidewalks. In the case of a heavy snowfall, snow removal may be prioritized with initial clearing at heavily used bus stops, transfer points or stations, and then at lesser used stops.
Communities may have ordinances or agreements in place that specify who is responsible to clear bus stops of snow. These agreements may be determined by who owns the property where the bus stop is sited. If a stop is situated on private property, such as an apartment complex or shopping center, the property owner is commonly responsible for snow removal. In other communities, the responsibility is given to the municipality where the bus stops are located or to the transit agency providing the bus service. Interestingly, some communities make snow removal the responsibility of property owners adjacent to a bus stop, much like the requirement for the owners to clear a sidewalk.
A proactive first step you can take is to notify your local transit provider that your bus stop is blocked by snow and thus prevents you from riding the bus. If you have a disability that affects your mobility, you may find it helpful to communicate this information and the difficulties you have to reach another bus stop. Providers will often give priority to a request to clear a stop regularly used by people who use mobility aids. If you are a person with a disability, in certain weather-related situations (e.g., when your sidewalk or bus stop is blocked by snow), you may be conditionally eligible to use paratransit services. Check with your local transportation provider about conditional eligibility options.
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