MTA launches innovative wheelchair securement system in six-month pilot

Posted: 25 July 2023 | | No comments yet

MTA introduces a six-month pilot of Quantum Self Securement Station on select buses along the M7 route, allowing wheelchair users to secure themselves independently with the push of a button.

MTA launches innovative wheelchair securement system in six-month pilot

Credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced that it has launched a six-month pilot for an automated wheelchair securement device, called Quantum Self Securement Station, on 10 buses along the M7 route. The system allows manual or power wheelchair users to secure themselves independently with the push of a button, reducing the need for bus operators to leave their seat to secure or release the wheelchair. This streamlines the process, benefiting wheelchair users and speeding up bus operations for all riders.

The installation of Quantum on the 10 buses has begun and buses equipped with Quantum will have a decal near the front-boarding door to indicate its availability. Each of the 10 buses will have one Quantum Self Securement Station, giving passengers the option to choose between the automated system or the traditional four-point securement with bus operator assistance.

MTA has chosen the M7 route due to its high volume of mobility device users. The initiative aligns with MTA’s efforts to celebrate Disability Pride Month, which also includes expanding wayfinding tools, opening three new accessible stations and organising accessibility-focused events.

Quantum, provided by Q’straint, costs approximately $18,000 per unit. During the pilot, MTA will collect feedback from customers and bus operators regarding their experiences with Quantum, as well as the operation and maintenance costs. This data will be crucial in determining the extension of the pilot and potential further investments in new securement technologies.

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“We are excited to test this new automated technology that can greatly improve the commuting experience of passengers who use wheelchairs,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “It allows customers to board and secure themselves more quickly and effortlessly, while requiring minimal to no assistance from the bus operator – promoting independence and autonomy over their own journey.”

New York City Transit Senior Vice President of Buses Frank Annicaro said: “Passengers who use wheelchairs will be able to board buses more seamlessly, save time on their journey and enable a quicker boarding process overall. The technology is simple, making training for our bus operators straightforward, quick and easy to use.”

“This is just the latest innovation to improve the accessibility and customer experience for our bus riders,” said MTA Chief Accessibility Officer and Senior Advisor Quemuel Arroyo. “Independence has long been the top priority of the disability community, and I’m very happy to be testing a new product that can help our customers in wheelchairs ride more independently.”