Accessibility

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.

VTA American with Disabilities Act Policies

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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 in order to ensure 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: ada.compliance@vta.org

    Accessible Information

    Information at VTA is accessible, including VTA’s website.

    Also, at most bus stops and at all transit centers, bus stop poles 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. Contact Customer Service to request other forms of information made accessible by large print, Braille, and audio tape.

    Any information or documents that VTA makes available to the public must also be available in accessible formats. Information about bus and light rail services such as schedules and destinations are available by contacting Customer Service.

    Accessible documents are available upon request in various formats such as Braille, computer diskette, cassette tape or 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

     

    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 programs 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 Coordinator
    Office of Diversity and Inclusion
    Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
    3331 North First Street, B1
    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.

    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.

     

    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 Parts 27 and 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

    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

    ADA Grievance

    Any person with a disability who believes that she/he has been discriminated against in any access to VTA’s transit services, public information, or employment opportunities may file a grievance with VTA’s ADA Compliance Officer.