Wheels on the Bus - Real Time Data

Improving the Transit Experience for People with Mobility Devices and Bicyclists

The Wheels on the Bus – Real Time Data project is a study that aims to enhance the transit experience for people with wheelchairs/mobility devices and bicyclists who need to bring their “wheels” on board the bus.  

The Problem

VTA buses have space inside the bus to secure a wheelchair/mobility device and bicycle racks mounted on the front. When these spaces are occupied, people waiting for the bus may be denied boarding. VTA responds to these incidents on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with VTA Policy and Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. However, when people can’t board the bus, it is disruptive and inconvenient.  

The Project 

The project will evaluate technologies capable of collecting and sharing real-time data use for the front-mounted bike racks and interior mobility device securement areas. Additionally, the project will explore ways to make this information available to customers, for example through trip-planning apps or the VTA website.  

Ideally, the study will identify feasible ways to:  

  • inform customers in advance if an approaching bus has room for them
  • allow customers to notify VTA that they need space on the bus 
  • alert VTA in advance if a pass-up situation may occur so VTA can proactively address the problem 

The automatically collected real-time data may also allow VTA to proactively plan ways to reduce or eliminate denied boardings and to improve conditions for customers using mobility devices and bicycles. 

How to Provide Input 

We are preparing to launch an online survey soon to understand your experience bringing a bicycle or mobility device(s) on a bus. Your input is key to the success of the project. Please check back this site frequently or subscribe to stay informed.  

This project was funded by US Department of Transportation through the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program.

Project Timeline

Phase 1 Community and Stakeholder EngagementDefine the Problem
January 2024 to April 2024 

Survey and Evaluation of Technologies
April 2024 to June 2024 

Phase 2 Community and Stakeholder EngagementPrototyping, Testing, and User Critique
June 2024 to October 2024 

Report Development
October 2024 to December 2024  

Phase 3 Community and Stakeholder InputReview Report and Comment
December 2024 

Improving the Transit Experience for People with Mobility Devices and Bicyclists

The Wheels on the Bus – Real Time Data project is a study that aims to enhance the transit experience for people with wheelchairs/mobility devices and bicyclists who need to bring their “wheels” on board the bus.  

The Problem

VTA buses have space inside the bus to secure a wheelchair/mobility device and bicycle racks mounted on the front. When these spaces are occupied, people waiting for the bus may be denied boarding. VTA responds to these incidents on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with VTA Policy and Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. However, when people can’t board the bus, it is disruptive and inconvenient.  

The Project 

The project will evaluate technologies capable of collecting and sharing real-time data use for the front-mounted bike racks and interior mobility device securement areas. Additionally, the project will explore ways to make this information available to customers, for example through trip-planning apps or the VTA website.  

Ideally, the study will identify feasible ways to:  

  • inform customers in advance if an approaching bus has room for them
  • allow customers to notify VTA that they need space on the bus 
  • alert VTA in advance if a pass-up situation may occur so VTA can proactively address the problem 

The automatically collected real-time data may also allow VTA to proactively plan ways to reduce or eliminate denied boardings and to improve conditions for customers using mobility devices and bicycles. 

How to Provide Input 

We are preparing to launch an online survey soon to understand your experience bringing a bicycle or mobility device(s) on a bus. Your input is key to the success of the project. Please check back this site frequently or subscribe to stay informed.  

This project was funded by US Department of Transportation through the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program.

Project Timeline

Phase 1 Community and Stakeholder EngagementDefine the Problem
January 2024 to April 2024 

Survey and Evaluation of Technologies
April 2024 to June 2024 

Phase 2 Community and Stakeholder EngagementPrototyping, Testing, and User Critique
June 2024 to October 2024 

Report Development
October 2024 to December 2024  

Phase 3 Community and Stakeholder InputReview Report and Comment
December 2024 

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