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Thread: Paratransit and tie-downs?

  1. #1

    Paratransit and tie-downs?

    Trying to plan ahead here ... Givens:
    - An adjustable 15 to 25-pound manual chair with no add-on parts for tying it down.
    - A lift-equipped paratransit bus with a policy like "All wheelchairs must be tied down using the tie-down system on the bus and also the parts of the wheelchair specifically designated by the manufacturer for tie-down use".

    How do I ride that bus? What parts are usable for tying down? Without knowing any better I would aim for the frame, not the back, not the wheels. Maybe the footrest, even though adjusting it requires tools? I cannot do the tying down myself, and I won't be able to see whether it has been done correctly. I would be able to shift into a regular seat for the bus trip, if needed or if that would be safer. Any advice?
    Accept the stuff you can't change and change the stuff you can't accept.

  2. #2
    I have limited success with people tying down my chair. Most drivers that only do it occasionally never do it correctly and don't want to be told how to do it. I have a manual TiLite and they usually attach the hooks to the akle tube ans somewhere near my footplate to keep the front down. I have had people try and connect them to the crossbar on my backrest which accomplishes nothing.If it is an actual Paratransit exclusive bus they should know how to do it.

    I ride a public bus daily and don't get tied in at all. I just have them fold the seat up and a wheel into that spot and hold on. I actually prefer that-although it probably isn't safe. I was actually in a bus accident last winter where the huge city bus did a 180 and slid backwards 100 yards off the road and down a small embankment. I wasn't tied in but held on and was fine. It could have been disasterous to have a free wheelchair flying around the bus in an accident.
    "Nothing ventured, nothing gained." - My Grammie

  3. #3
    On buses where the tiedown equipment appears to be in working order and the driver appears relatively competent, I prefer to be tied down. On the back of the chair, I have them hook onto where the frame curves from the backrest canes into the side rails (Top End Terminator) or on the bottom tube of the back assembly (Icon). On the front, it's on the downtubes near the footrest. Never the wheels.

    If the equipment or the driver are balky, I just park myself perpendicular to the direction of travel and hope for the best.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I used to mark the tiedown points with a small amount of red tape. That gives them a landmark to aim for when you give instructions.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Senior Member chris-k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Scotch Plains, NJ
    I use Access Link in NJ all the time. You can tell them where you prefer. I use the frame in the back or the hub for the rear wheels. I do not recommend the footplates. Use the front of the frame or around the top of the front caster.

  7. #7
    Thanks all for the replies. And peegy_p, the videos were helpful
    Accept the stuff you can't change and change the stuff you can't accept.

  8. #8
    The videos don't show the case with a strong para with a manual chair, which is often the situation that gets overlooked. So, for instance, I don't like that they assume that everyone has a seatbelt on their wheelchair and for people like me, its annoying that they would assume to be the one to fasten it for me. (I know that in other cases this is fine and helpful). Just an observation. I deal with this when I fly and the attendants assume they should be the one to fasten the belts around my waist and chest- No thank you!

    I prefer to transfer on a bus because even with the brakes on my chair moves some and feel "squirrely" and makes me nervous. Since I was injured in a car accident, I also like to know that I have more back and neck support when I ride. (my chair has a low back).

  9. #9
    I would want the option of staying in the chair with a seatbelt or of sliding over to a regular seat and just securing the chair. I don't have a seatbelt, so clipping on a borrowed seatbelt seems ideal.

    The people probably have to be trained to do everything, and the video narration says the passenger decides whether or not to use extra safety precautions. They must also be trained (perhaps by us passengers) to let the passenger do as much or as little of the fastening as we wish.
    Accept the stuff you can't change and change the stuff you can't accept.

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