Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
Buses

Sponsored Post: Illegally parked cars at bus stops can make transit inaccessible. But transit agencies can fix this.

3:48 PM PST on January 10, 2023

(This is the fourth in a series of posts by Hayden AI, one of our advertising sponsors. Hayden AI is a global leader in smart enforcement technologies powered by artificial intelligence. Find out more about how their digital traffic enforcement platform increases safety, efficiency, and sustainability at Hayden.ai. Read the rest of the series, here.)

Public transit is essential to people in California - from critical Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV) service to everyday transit buses and trains. But across the state, disabled Californians face unnecessary and preventable impediments to safely board or exit transit buses. 

Why? Illegal parking at bus stops. While parking at a bus stop might be convenient for drivers, it can prohibit people from safely accessing transit. When a bus isn’t able to pull up to the curb, it creates a number of hazards for all Californians, but especially for the disabled community. An illegally parked car may block the curb cut or  may prevent the transit bus from deploying its ADA-required ramp for wheelchair access. With a parked car in the way, passengers can be forced to walk into the street to board, putting them at unnecessary risk. For passengers who have a disability, this can be impossible. 

Too often, these parking violations are not enforced, or enforcement is not frequent enough to change the behavior. However, thanks to the California legislature, there’s a new tool to prevent this problem. Unfortunately many transit agencies in California have yet to take advantage of it.

In 2021, California enacted A.B. 917, a law that allows transit agencies to install devices in buses that will automatically ticket vehicles that are illegally parked at a bus stop. 

Drivers must learn that illegally parking at bus stops is a serious offense with significant consequences. And it is a problem that transit agencies must tackle and adopt measures to prevent. 

People with disabilities are more likely than most to be reliant on transit.  According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 12 percent of workers with disabilities between the ages of 18 to 64 do not have access to a vehicle. That number rises to 20 percent of disabled people who don’t work. 

“While there are disabled people who can drive, many disabled folks can’t, or can’t afford to,” Anna Zivarts, director of the Disability Mobility Initiative, told Streetsblog USA. “Driving isn’t an option for many blind or low-vision folks, or folks with intellectual disabilities. Many folks with chronic health conditions like epilepsy can’t drive, and people with other physical disabilities often can’t drive, or can’t afford a modified vehicle.”

If utilized, AB 917 will help transit agencies ensure that no rider is left behind – and that disabled people have equal access to jobs, schools, recreation, and other opportunities as those without travel-limiting disabilities. 

Mobility is a right for a reason: access to transportation is essential to economic prosperity and quality of life. There are 25.5 million Americans with travel-limiting disabilities. Unblocking bus stops unlocks opportunity and mobility.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Friday Bikeways Update: Beach Bike Path Damage, 7th Street, and More

Updates on: beach bike path in Pacific Palisades, Michigan Greenway in Santa Monica, Parthenia Place in North Hills, 7th Street Streetscape in DTLA, and Imperial Highway near LAX

March 1, 2024

Measure HLA Fact Check: Sidewalk Costs

The city says $200 million worth of annual ADA work is "included in the cost" of Measure HLA, but the city is already on the hook for that ADA work anyway, so none of it should be included as HLA costs

March 1, 2024

Supervisor Hahn Calls for No Residential Demolitions in Metro’s 710 Freeway Corridor Project

"[For 710 Freeway expansion] Metro needs to commit itself to zero residential property takes. [Metro] should have as one its top priorities ensuring that our projects do not result in kicking people out of their homes."

February 29, 2024
See all posts