Passenger vessel accessibility guidelines proposed

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) has proposed accessibility guidelines for the construction and alteration of passenger vessels covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure that the vessels are readily accessible to and usable by passengers with disabilities. 

The guidelines would apply to passenger vessels, other than ferries and tenders, that can carry more than 150 passengers (or more than 49 overnight passengers), ferries that carry more than 99 passengers, and tenders permitted to carry more than 59 passengers. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are required to issue accessibility standards for the construction and alteration of passenger vessels covered by the ADA that are consistent with Access Board guidelines. Passenger vessel owners and operators would not be required to comply with the guidelines until they are adopted by DOT and DOJ as accessibility standards for the construction and alteration of passenger vessels covered by the ADA. 

Comments must be submitted by Sept. 23. The Access Board will hold a hearing on the proposed guidelines on July 10 in Washington, D.C.

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