This study explored the feasibility of using movable and reusable boarding and alighting (B&A) pads at bus stops. Potential design alternatives in terms of materials and structural support for these pads were evaluated. The review focused on the existing and alternative design materials, especially in applications other than for transit purposes, which could potentially replace the existing conventional cast-in-place concrete slab.
An online national survey of bus transit agencies was conducted to determine how transit agencies are meeting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) bus stop accessibility requirements and to get feedback and related information on the potential use of movable B&A pads at bus stops. A total of 84 transit agencies from 31 states and Puerto Rico responded to the survey. From the responses, none of the transit agencies were found to be using movable B&A pads. The potential benefits for using movable B&A pads were identified to be lower installation and maintenance cost, ease of installation and use, quicker installation, flexibility, portability, and passenger accessibility. Some potential concerns included lower durability, strength, and stability; greater risk of theft; space limitations; safety; and aesthetics. Six materials (i.e., concrete/asphalt, metal, rubber, thermoplastic, composite, and wood), along with their commercially available products, were evaluated based on their structural performance, long-term durability, adaptability, life cycle cost, aesthetics, and safety and accessibility of transit riders with mobility devices. Out of the six materials, plastic lumber and metal were found to have the highest potential to replace the conventional design. The plastic lumber presents the most viable option but the metallic materials, even though more expensive, have more potential for quicker installation, which can benefit transit agencies with anticipated frequent route changes. Additionally, the designs of each material option were proposed and recommended for further investigation. View full report.