All New York City Transit buses are fully wheelchair accessible by front-door ramp (local and Select Bus routes) or lift (for coach-style buses on express routes). We are also deploying Digital Information Screen (DIS) systems across our fleet for enhanced audio and visual information. The Department of Buses and Systemwide Accessibility team are working to further improve bus accessibility by introducing new design features that make it easier for customers with a wide range of needs and abilities to enter, navigate, and find a comfortable space to ride. Please read on to learn about these new features and how to share your feedback as you ride our new buses.
More flexible bus seating designs
Our newest buses offer more flexible seating options in the wheelchair securement and priority seating areas. These new seating configurations suit diverse customer needs and reduce conflicts for the same seating or standing space on the bus.
Wheelchair priority seating area
Nearly 1,000 of our 60-foot articulated buses feature a single flip-up seat next to either 2 or 3 attached flip seats in the wheelchair securement area, as shown below. The single seat can be flipped up or down by a customer and used by someone traveling together with a customer using a wheelchair, or for a rider to stow a walker if the seat is not in use, for example.
Additional flip-up seats
Now, we are adding more flexible seating options beyond the wheelchair securement area. Throughout 2021 and 2022, more than 800 new buses are being deployed throughout the network with a new, more flexible bus seating design behind the securement area. These buses feature three new, single flip-up seats: two single aisle-facing seats alternating with fixed seats on the operator side, and one forward-facing seat next to a fixed seat on the curb side. To find the flip seats, look for this decal on the window above or courtesy barrier in front of the seat.
As the decal indicates, a customer can flip the seat up or down by pulling on the yellow handle or lever and lifting up or pulling down the seat until it clicks into place.
When flipped up, these seats provide space to stow and sit within arm’s reach of a folded walker, mobility device, or small stroller while moving these devices out of the aisle and maximizing overall available seating. When flipped down, they provide a standard seat.
Wider doors and ramps for easier boarding
Boarding and alighting a crowded bus can be a challenge, so we are working to make that easier for customers. All our local and Select buses are now low-floor buses with front-door ramps. Our newest buses also feature wider ramps with a bright yellow line down the center for easier navigation. We hope these ramps will make it easier for customers who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices to board the bus comfortably and navigate to the securement area. We’ve also made the front and rear doors wider to make it easier for all customers to board and alight safely and efficiently. This new design will benefit our riders with greater ease of access and more room for boarding and exiting the bus.
We want to hear from you!
As these new buses enter service, we want your feedback on whether the flip seats, wider ramps, and wider doors enhance your experience riding our buses. While not all of these features may relate to your needs, they each have the potential to improve the experience for all customers riding on a bus. For example, the ability for another customer to stow their folded stroller or cart out of the aisle will provide additional space for customers to stand or easily navigate to other seats on the bus.
The buses are being deployed across our depots and some may be coming soon to a route near you.
Stay tuned for more bus accessibility updates
We will also be testing hearing induction loops and a new wheelchair securement system on future buses, so check back for updates on those features and more opportunities to share your feedback.