New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) launched a six-month pilot to test an automated wheelchair securement device, Q’Straint’s Quantum Self Securement Station, on 10 buses along the M7 route.
The system is designed to allow people using manual or power wheelchairs to independently secure themselves on a bus with just the push of a button. Currently, bus operators must leave their seat to secure a wheelchair in place and free the wheelchair from its position to let the customer off. Quantum streamlines that process by improving the experience for customers who use wheelchairs and speeding up the bus for all riders.
The Q’Straint, MTA Pilot
The M7 was chosen because of the high-volume of mobility device users along that route. Customers will be able to know if their bus has Quantum by a decal on the side of the bus near the front-boarding door. There will be one Quantum Self Securement Station on each of the 10 buses. Passengers will still have the option to use the traditional four-point securement with the assistance of a bus operator, if preferred. Whichever method a customer chooses, the bus operator will be available to help.
The addition of the Quantum is just the latest in the MTA’s work to celebrate Disability Pride Month. Last week, the MTA announced the expansion of new wayfinding tools, opened three new accessible stations, and held multiple events highlighting accessibility.
“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.”
The MTA will be collecting customer and operator feedback on their experiences with Quantum, as well as the operation and maintenance costs of the system. Data and feedback collected during this pilot will be used to determine whether the pilot is extended and whether to further invest in new securement technologies.