New city buses need ADA retrofit - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

New city buses need ADA retrofit

New city buses need ADA retrofit. New city buses need ADA retrofit.

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Oahu Transit Services and the city Department of Transportation are working to remedy a situation that has put dozens of bus seats off limits.

"When we have an ADA violation, we take it very seriously," OTS president Roger Morton said.

Last year the city bought 24 buses from Nova Bus, the second largest bus builder in the world. The fleet cost about $10 million. But the buses fail to meet minimum requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"The manufacturer has put the seats on the (front) wheel well. And in so doing he has a movable step to get up to the wheel well. That step is what intrudes onto the clear area," Morton said.

"It folds up and folds down. But even in the up position it interferes with some of the maneuvering of the wheelchairs," city Transportation Director Wayne Yoshioka said.

A passenger discovered the flaw when she tried to board the bus in a motorized wheelchair.

"Those tend to be larger than the standard wheelchair. And it's usually those guys who have problems if it's very tight," Yoshioka said.

OTS measured and found the entrance wasn't wide enough. As a temporary solution to meet ADA rules it removed the foot rest so wheelchairs can get by.

"Except for this flaw that we need to correct, it's been a very popular bus," Morton said.

The city has ordered Nova Bus to fix the problem free of charge.

"They're going to make modifications to take care of it. And it will be rectified by mid-July. It will be all taken care of," Yoshioka said.

In the meantime, three seats up front on each bus have been blocked off with a metal bar until the retrofits are complete.

The 24 buses are on the road assigned to eight different routes.

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