Accessibility

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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

VTA is committed to providing safe, reliable and convenient bus and light rail service that is accessible to persons with disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) {42 U.S.C. Section 12101 et seq., Stats 327} protects against discrimination based on physical, cognitive, visual or perceived disabilities.

Recognizing the importance and value of all people in America’s society, the ADA protects the access of all people to public services including transportation and employment opportunities.

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What the ADA Requires of VTA Transportation Services

VTA’s services must be accessible to people with disabilities consistent with specific guidelines as set forth in the ADA regulations.

  • Transit buses, light rail vehicles, and transit facilities must accommodate people with disabilities by incorporating design elements that improve transit usability.
  • People who use wheelchairs must be able to board buses and light rail vehicles, and effectively use transit facilities to access these services. This requires lifts, ramps and other station or bus stop design features that enable access to the transit services. Bus and light rail operators are also required to provide assistance to people who choose to use such boarding devices.
  • Announcing key destinations, bus stops and light rail stations is required to better orient and assist people with visual disabilities.

For more information about accessible features of VTA’s Bus and Light Rail services, contact us at:

VTA Customer Services
3331 North First Street, Building B
San Jose, CA 95134-1906
Telephone: (408) 321-2300
TTY Only (408) 321-2330
Email: customer.service@vta.org

     

    Notice to the Public

    Nondiscrimination Statement of Policy 

    In compliance with state and federal Civil Rights laws, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Agency (VTA) ensures that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, ethnic group identification, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or genetic information be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits or services of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination in all programs, services or activities administered by VTA.

    Notice under the Americans with Disabilities Act

    In accordance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Agency (VTA) will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs, or activities.

    Employment

    VTA does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practices and complies with all regulations promulgated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    Effective Communication

    VTA will generally, upon request, provide appropriate aids and services leading to effective communication for qualified persons with disabilities so they can participate equally in VTA’s programs, services, and activities, including qualified sign language interpreters, documents in Braille, and other ways of making information and communications accessible to people who have speech, hearing, or vision impairments.

    Modification to Policies and Procedures

    VTA will make all reasonable modifications to policies and procedures to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to enjoy all of its programs, services, and activities. For example, individuals with service animals are welcomed in VTA vehicles, transit facilities, and administrative offices even when pets are generally prohibited.

    Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a program, service, or activity of VTA, should contact:

    ADA/504 Coordinator
    Office of Policy and Compliance
    Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
    3331 North First Street, B2
    San Jose, CA 95134
    (408) 321-2300

    Please contact the ADA Coordinator as soon as possible but no later than 72 hours before the scheduled event.

    The ADA does not require VTA to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of its program or services, or impose an undue financial or administrative burden.

    Complaints that a program, service, or activity of VTA is not accessible to persons with disabilities should be directed to VTA’s ADA Coordinator (contact information above).

    VTA will not place a surcharge on a particular individual with a disability or any group of individuals with disabilities to cover the cost of providing auxiliary aids/services or reasonable modifications of policy, such as retrieving items from locations that are open to the public but are not accessible to persons who use wheelchairs.

     

    Reasonable Accommodation

    VTA accommodates passengers with disabilities using bus and light rail services by making reasonable modifications to operating policies, practices and procedures upon request in accordance with the United States Department of Transportation’s Final Rule to 49 CFR Part 27 and 49 CFR Part 37

    Reasonable modifications may include:

    • Helping passengers insert money into fare boxes
    • Allowing passengers to eat, drink or take medicine aboard a transit vehicle to avoid a medical problem
    • Permitting passengers to board separately from their mobility devices when the passenger can control the movement of the device

    Passengers may request modifications in advance, or at the time they are needed. Passengers are not required to say “Reasonable Modification” when asking for an accommodation. 

    VTA staff will work with passengers to find an alternative approach to accommodate their accessibility needs, if a request for a policy, practice, or procedural modification cannot be fulfilled.

    To request an accommodation, contact VTA Customer Service:

    (408) 321-2300

    (408) 321-2330 TTY

    (800) 894-9908 (outside Santa Clara County)

    customer.service@vta.org

    VTA Reasonable Accommodation Policy/Procedure

    ADA Grievance

    Any person with a disability who believes that they have been discriminated against when accessing VTA’s transit services, public information, or employment opportunities may file a grievance with VTA’s ADA/504 Coordinator.
    Complaints must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act. The preferred method is to file the complaint in writing using the ADA Complaint Form and sending it to:

    Jolene Bradford, ADA/504 Coordinator
    VTA Accessibility, Civil Rights, and Equity (ACRE)
    Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
    3331 North First Street, B1
    San Jose, CA 95134

    Verbal complaints will be accepted and transcribed by contacting VTA’s customer service center at (408) 321-2300  or TTY for the hearing-impaired (408) 321-2330. 
    Complaints may also be filed with external entities such as the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, Caltrans, or California’s Civil Rights Department. Please review information on the respective agency websites for details on filing ADA complaints.

    File a Grievance

    Complaint Process

    Any person with a disability who believes that they have been discriminated against in VTA’s transit services, access to public information, or employment opportunities may file a grievance with VTA’s ADA/504 Coordinator, Jolene Bradford.

    ADA Complaint Form

    The complaint must be filed no later than 180 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory incident. The preferred method is to file the complaint in writing using the ADA Complaint Form (provided below), and sending it to:

    Jolene Bradford, ADA/504 Coordinator
    VTA Accessibility, Civil Rights, and Equity (ACRE)
    Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
    3331 North First Street, B1
    San Jose, CA 95134

    Verbal complaints will be accepted and transcribed by contacting VTA’s customer service center at (408) 321-2300. Complaints may also be filed with external entities such as the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Highway AdministrationCaltrans, or California’s Civil Rights Department. Please review information on the respective agency websites for details on filing ADA complaints.

    Should a complaint be filed with VTA and an external entity simultaneously, the external complaint shall supersede the VTA complaint.  However, VTA will continue its own investigation of the complaint and make the findings available.

    Investigations

    Within 10 working days of receipt of the formal complaint, the ADA/504 Coordinator, or their designee, will initiate an investigation.

    The investigation will address complaints against any VTA department(s) and may include discussion(s) of the complaint with all affected parties to determine the problem.  The investigation will be conducted and completed within 60 days of the receipt of the formal complaint.

    Based upon all the information received, the ADA/504 Coordinator, or their designee, will make a determination whether policies have been violated.
    The complainant will receive an email or a letter stating the final decision by the end of the 60-day time limit. Most investigations are completed within 30 days.

    The complainant will have five (5) business days from receipt of the letter to appeal to VTA. If no appeal is received, the complaint will be closed.

    Appeals to VTA can be made to:
    VTA Accessibility, Civil Rights, and Equity (ACRE)
    Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
    3331 North First Street, B-2
    San Jose, CA 95134
    (408) 952-8901

    Complaints may also be made to the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, Caltrans, and California’s Civil Rights Department.
    All written complaints received by the ADA/504 Coordinator, or their designee, as well as complaints made to the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, Caltrans, or California’s Civil Rights Department, including responses from these offices, will be retained by VTA for at least one year.

     

    Accessible Information

    Any information or documents that VTA makes available to the public must also be available in accessible formats, including VTA’s website. Information about bus and light rail services such as schedules and destinations are also available by contacting our Customer Service. If you need information made accessible in another format, for example in large print, Braille, or require information made available through audio, contact Customer Service to request that information at no cost for you.

    Bus stop poles at many bus stops and transit centers are marked with raised letters and Braille that read “Bus”. VTA buses audibly announce the line number and destination when the doors open at bus stops.

    Inside VTA buses, digital message boards and announcements inform customers of cross-street locations and significant bus stops along the route. 

    VTA will provide qualified sign language interpreters, documents in Braille, and other ways of making information and communications accessible to people who have speech, hearing, or vision impairments upon request and at no charge. Accessible VTA Board documents are available upon request in various formats such as large print, Braille, or digitally via email by contacting us at:

    VTA Board Secretary’s Office
    3331 North First Street, Building B
    San Jose, CA 95134-1906
    Telephone: (408) 321-5680
    Email: board.secretary@vta.org

    In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, VTA will make reasonable arrangements to ensure meaningful access to its meetings, for persons who have disabilities and for persons with limited English proficiency, who require translation and interpretation services at a Board of Directors meeting. Individuals requiring reasonable accommodations are asked to notify the Board Secretary’s Office at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. Individuals requiring language assistance should notify the Board Secretary’s Office at least 72 hours prior to the meeting. The Board Secretary may be contacted by phone at (408) 321-5680 or (408) 321-2330 (TTY) or by e-mail: board.secretary@vta.org.

    VTA American with Disabilities Act Policies

    ADA Transition Plan 

    Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is committed to providing seamless accessibility to all of our programs, services, and activities. It is part of VTA’s continued inclusive efforts to welcome and serve all members of the community. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (504) Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan is a comprehensive plan for improving access to VTA facilities, programs, services, activities, and events for persons with disabilities.

    Implementing the Transition Plan consistent with the ADA will make VTA services and facilities more comfortable, welcoming, and accessible.

    VTA ADA Transition Plan Executive Summary

    VTA ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan

    Provide ADA Feedback

    You can send an email, letter, or call VTA’s ADA/504 Coordinator with your comments and suggestions. 

    Jolene Bradford, ADA/504 Coordinator

    Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

    3331 North First Street, B2
    San Jose, CA  95134
    Phone: (408) 321-2300

    TTY through California Relay at: 7-1-1

    Email: customer.service@vta.org

     

    Accessible Facilities

    VTA’s transit centers, shelters, and most bus stops are fully accessible.

    Guidance Surface Tiles
    • Light Rail Stations have Detectable Warning Surface Tiles on their platforms to warn passengers where the platform edges are. 
    • Between Car Barriers pylons on the platform edges alert passengers to the spaces between Light Rail cars when they arrive at the stations.
    • Directional guidance surface tiles are installed on pedestrians paths at the following transit centers to guide passengers with visual disabilities to bus stops, shuttle stops, rail station platforms and crosswalks. The tiles are also used to guide passengers out of a transit center to a crosswalk which will lead them to a major activity center, such as a shopping mall or a college campus.
      • Ohlone-Chynoweth Station
      • Palo Alto Caltrain Station
      • Penitencia Creek Transit Center
      • West Valley Transit Center
      • Winchester Transit Center
      • Alum Rock Transit Center
      • Gilroy Caltrain Station
      • Great Mall Transit Center
      • Mountain View Station
    • Directional tiles are used in conjunction with decision tiles and crosswalk guidance tiles. Decision tiles alert passengers with visual disabilities who use white canes that there is a choice that can be made in the direction they are walking to access a bus stop or a crosswalk.

    • Crosswalk guidance tiles, installed in the center of pedestrian crosswalks, guide pedestrians with visual disabilities using white canes across crosswalks at transit centers and provide them with an indication that they are within a vehicular area. These tiles are thicker than directional tiles to withstand the weight of transit vehicles. Crosswalk guidance tiles are installed across the entire crosswalk and terminate at the bottom of the curb ramp.

    Bus Lifts and Ramps

    Lifts, ramps, and device spaces on buses are maintained at the standards established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide access for mobility devices.

    Elevators, Stairs and Escalators

    Eleven light rail station platforms require the use of, elevators, stairs or escalators to access the trains:

    • Virginia
    • Tamien
    • Curtner
    • Capitol
    • Branham
    • Hamilton
    • Blossom Hill
    • Snell
    • Cottle
    • Great Mall
    • Montague
    Reporting Inoperability

    Passengers who encounter a bus with a lift that is not working should wait for the next bus. If the wait for the next bus is longer than 30 minutes, the driver will request a special lift-equipped van to provide transport. VTA’s new low floor buses have ramps for direct wheelchair boarding.

    When an elevator is out-of-service, audio and message text announcements will be broadcast aboard Light Rail vehicles, at light rail stations, and on VTA’s website giving the location of the out-of-service elevator. Passengers who must deboard a train at a station with an out-of-service elevator should let the train’s operator know. The train operator will take steps to deboard you at another station and provide alternative transportation, if needed, to your desired station.

     

    For More Information About the ADA

    Contact the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) or call the DOJ ADA Information Line:

    Telephone: (800) 514-0301

    Hearing Impaired (TTY only): (800) 514-0383