Fixed Route Policy Manual

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Executive Statement

Agency Information

Fixed Route Policies and Procedures

EXECUTIVE STATEMENT

MISSION

The Broome County Department of Public Transportation’s goal is to provide safe, clean, and affordable public transportation to the community in the most effective and cost efficient manner.

PURPOSE

These Policies and Procedures are established by the Broome County Department of Public Transportation to promote safety, to facilitate the proper use of the transit facilities of the County, to protect the transit facility and their passengers, and to assure the payment of fares and other lawful charges for the use of the system.

AUTHORIZATION

These Policies and Procedures may be amended or added to, from time to time, at the sole discretion of the Broome County Department of Public Transportation in accordance with law.

AGENCY INFORMATION

DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES

The Broome County Department of Public Transportation (BC Transit) offers fixed route and para transit service within Broome County.

The fixed route serves the urbanized core of Broome County (City of Binghamton, Johnson City, Endicott, Endwell and Vestal). Fixed route is defined as buses that travel along a specified or fixed path; riders can board and exit the bus at designated bus stops or flag stops along this predetermined path. Service is offered weekdays, weeknights and on weekends. Specific time and route information can be found on our website at www.ridebctransit.com or by calling our BC Junction office at 778-1692.

The BC Lift is an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandated dial-a-ride service that serves the urbanized core and up to three-quarters of a mile around the fixed route. It is a shared-ride service that provides transportation to the disabled in Broome County’s urban areas. Service is offered weekdays, weeknights and weekends. Specific information can be found on our website or by calling our Administrative Office at 763-4464 option 3.

The Office for Aging Mini-Bus is a shared dial-a-ride service that provides transportation to the elderly in Broome County. Service is offered Monday through Friday. Specific information can be found on our website or by calling the Office for Aging at 778-2411.

The BC Country is a shared dial-a-ride service that provides transportation to those living in the rural areas, traveling into the urban areas. These buses travel to different rural areas of Broome County including Whitney Point, Lisle, Port Crane, Harpursville, Kirkwood, Windsor, Maine, Glen Aubrey, Chenango Forks, Chenango Bridge and certain locations in Vestal. Service is offered Monday through Friday. Specific time and route information can be found by calling our Administrative Office at 763-4464 option 3.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Public awareness plays a large part in the overall security of our system. To that end, we encourage the public to be alert and to report to the driver and/or management anything that looks suspicious such as unattended items (grocery bags, back packs, suitcases, etc.) or any persons exhibiting excessive nervousness or sweating or wearing out of season clothing (ex: heavy coats in the summer time).

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

The Broome County Department of Public Transportation does not discriminate based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, creed, sexual preference, disability, veteran status, age or any non-job related characteristic. Discrimination based on any of the above is strictly prohibited. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, compensation, promotion, transfer, training, leave of absence, and termination. As commitment to this statement, we maintain an equal employment/affirmative action plan which guides us to achieve our efforts in maintaining a diverse work force within our community. This plan was established in accordance with pertinent state and federal laws and regulations.

Anyone who is interested in obtaining additional information about BC Transit Title VI Program, including non-English alternative formats, may contact the Administration Office at 607.763.4464 option 3.

TITLE VI

The Broome County Department of Public Transportation is committed to ensuring that no person on the basis of race, color or national origin will be subjected to discrimination in the level and quality of transportation services as protected by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

If a passenger believes that they have been subjected to discrimination under Title VI they may file a signed, written complaint no later than 180 calendar days after the date of the alleged discrimination to the Broome County Department of Public Transportation’s Title VI Coordinator at 413 Old Mill Road, Vestal, NY 13850.

Anyone who is interested in obtaining additional information about BC Transit’s Title VI Program, including non-English alternative formats, may contact the Administration Office at 607.763.4464 option 3.

ADA COMPLAINT PROCESS

If a passenger has an ADA complaint regarding an incident that occurred with BC Transit’s staff or while using one of our services, they may file a written complaint using the following methods: 

  • You may obtain our ADA complaint form from our website (www.ridebctransit.com) and mailing the written complaint to 413 Old Mill Road, Vestal NY, 13850. 
  • You may have our ADA complaint form mailed to you by calling the Administrative Office at (607) 763-4464 option 3 or the Junction Office at (607) 763-1692. 
  • You may obtain our ADA complain form in person by visiting the – Administrative Office, 413 Old Mill Road, Vestal NY 13850 or the Junction Office, 81 Chenango Street, Binghamton NY 13901. 

COMPLAINT PROCESS

If a passenger has a general complaint regarding BC Transit’s staff or their transportation service, they may file a complaint using the following methods:

  • Mailing written complaint to 413 Old Mill Road, Vestal NY 13850 (Compliment/Complaint forms are located on each bus, at the Junction and the Administrative Office.)
  • Email – www.ridebctransit.com (use Customer Service Form)
  • Telephone the Administrative Office at 763-4464 option 3 or the Junction Office at 763-1692
  • In person – Administrative Office, 413 Old Mill Road, Vestal NY 13850 or the Junction Office, 81 Chenango Street, Binghamton NY 13901.
  • BC Transit’s complete complaint process can be found on line at www.ridebctransit.com or it can be obtained by calling our Administrative Office at 763-4464 option 3.

SECTION 1  - PASSENGER POLICIES

1.1 PASSENGER BEHAVIOR

BC Transit recognizes its obligation to transport the public in a safe and efficient manner, and to provide a pleasant and clean atmosphere in which to ride. Accordingly, BC Transit has put into effect the following passenger behavior guidelines.

  • No eating or drinking.
  • No smoking.
  • No spitting.
  • No unruly, disruptive, unsafe or inappropriate behavior.
  • No gambling.
  • No foul language.
  • No soliciting/loitering of any kind.
  • No destruction of property, County or otherwise.
  • No playing of radios, cd players, tape recorders, MP3 players, telephones or any other electronic devices so as to bother other passengers or the Coach Operator.
  • Passengers must be fully clothed, meaning at least a torso-covering shirt, shorts, pants, or a dress, sandals, sneakers, or some other kind of footwear. No one will be allowed to ride shirtless, pantless, shoeless or dressed so as to reveal body parts so as to be offensive to other passengers or the Coach Operator.
  • Passengers must pay the appropriate fare in order to ride.
  • Passengers must show the proper pass in order to ride.

The Coach Operator will give one warning to a passenger who violates any of the above rules. If the passenger refuses to comply with the violated rule, the Coach Operator will contact dispatch and the supervisor on-duty will permit the Coach Operator to instruct the passenger to leave the bus. If the passenger refuses to leave, the Coach Operator will call dispatch, and the supervisor on-duty will call the appropriate agency to have that passenger removed.

1.2 WHAT PASSENGERS MAY AND MAY NOT BRING ONTO THE BUS

PASSENGERS MAY:

  • Passengers may bring bags onto the bus, as long as the bags can fit between their feet, or on their lap in a manner which does not obstruct the aisle.
  • Passengers may bring portable oxygen tanks onto the bus, as long as they can be restrained by the passenger in a manner which does not obstruct the aisle.
  • Passengers may bring grocery pull carts onto the bus, as long as they can be collapsed and put under or between the passengers’ feet in a manner which does not obstruct the aisle.
  • Passengers may bring baby strollers onto the bus, as long as the baby is taken out of the stroller and the stroller can be collapsed and put under or between the passengers’ feet in a manner which does not obstruct the aisle.

PASSENGERS MAY NOT:

Prohibited Items for Passengers

Guns, firearms, and other devices designed to be an instrument of attack or defense in combat, or cause serious injury by launching harmful objects, including, but not limited to:

  • Firearms of all types, including handguns, rifles, shotguns
  • Toy, replica and imitation weapons that could be mistaken for real weapons
  • Compressed air and CO2 guns, including pellet guns, rifles and ball bearing guns
  • Signal flare pistols and starter pistols
  • Bows, cross bows and arrows
  • Military type weaponry that could be used to inflict harm or serious injury. 

Hazardous Chemicals
Passengers may not bring chemicals which are not normal household products and in normal household sealed packaging designed for the product. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Strong acids and bases and other extremely caustic or corrosive materials.
  • Car batteries and other automotive type batteries.
  • Chemicals which pose a significant risk for bodily harm and/or contamination.
  • Chemicals not considered normal household products.
  • Flammable substances.
  • Fertilizers and pesticides sold in bags covering 5000 sq feet or more. 

Objects with sharp points or sharp edges that are not contained and exposed in a way to use to cause serious injury or harm, including, but not limited to:

  • Knives and scissors with an exposed or open blade.
  • Items with an exposed blade designed for chopping, such as axes, hatchets and cleavers.
  • Items with exposed sharp points.  

Explosives or flammable substances or devices that could be used to cause serious injury or threaten safety, including, but not limited to:

  • Gasoline, diesel, kerosene and other similar types of fuel or containers containing fuel.
  • Tanks used for fuel, including propane and barbecue type tanks.
  • Ammunition, propellant powder, gunpowder
  • Detonators, blasting material, and military type weaponry. 

Paints, varnishes etc.

  • Paints or varnishes are allowed and the packaging must be the manufacturer’s original packaging or a package of equal or greater strength, integrity, and be leak proof. Contents must be declared upon boarding.
  • Dangerous goods or materials with the intent to cause mass casualties or illness, including but not limited to:
  • Etiological agents
  • Personal transporters are prohibited on the bus unless it is being used as a mobility device. If the personal transporter is being used as a mobility device, then the operator will request that the mobility device be secured in the mobility device station and the passenger transfer to a seat.

Drugs and Alcohol

  • Passengers may not bring any illegal drugs or open alcoholic beverages on the bus.

Items of Large Size and Quantity

  • Any item(s) brought on the bus must be of size and quantity as to fit on that riders lap or under the seat. Items brought on the bus cannot exceed quantity or size as to obstruct the aisle, occupy a seat, or be considered too unwieldy for a single person to safely transport.

1.3 BUS GUIDELINES & ETIQUETTE

  • Passengers are to arrive at the bus stop 5 minutes before the scheduled time.
  • Passengers are to be considerate of others at the bus stop, including private property owners. Many BC Transit stops are located near private homes and businesses. Passengers should not congregate on porches or steps of private property; passengers should not dispose of trash on private property.
  • Passengers should signal to the driver their intent to board the bus.
  • Passengers are not to loiter at the bus stops if they do not wish to ride B.C. Transit.
  • If riding the bus at night, passengers should wave a lighted or reflective device so that the drivers can see them better.
  • Passengers on the bus should exit first, before new passengers board.
  • Passengers should check the sign above windshield to make sure they are boarding the correct bus route.
  • Passengers are to pay the proper fare, swipe their pass, or insert a transfer card in the farebox.
  • Passengers are to take their seat promptly and quietly.
  • Passengers are to reserve seats near the front for the elderly, pregnant women and those with physical disabilities.
  • Passengers who have a child in a stroller or other wheeled carrying device, must remove the child and collapse the stroller or wheeled carrying device.
  • Passengers are to use earphones if using sound producing devices (Ipods, radios, CD players, boom-boxes, etc.) They should make sure they are not of such volume to be a disturbance to other passengers or loud enough that the passenger cannot hear driver announcements.
  • Passengers carrying baggage or other items must be carried on their lap, or under the seats. If they place bags on the seat, they must be removed if another passenger wishes to sit. BC Transit policy is a person may not board if they have more items than they can carry.
  • Passenger needing a stop must ring the bell prior to the driver passing the stop. They are to promptly exit and wait for the bus to pass before crossing the street.

1.4 BOARDING THE BUS

Departing passengers should exit first before boarding passengers enter. We ask that passengers try to exit through the rear door to speed the boarding process. If a person thinks they may have difficulty climbing the bus steps, they should ask the Coach Operator to lower the steps for them. All BC Transit buses are equipped with a kneeling device which lowers the first step to curb level for the consumer’s convenience.

Passengers should board the bus carefully. They should always use the hand rails for support when entering or exiting. They should be careful when walking up or down the steps during bad weather, and be extra careful if they are boarding with young children. Passengers are advised that the steps can get slippery during rain or snowstorms.

Passengers should have their fare ready to place in the fare box. After paying the fare, passengers should find a seat quickly and make themselves comfortable. It is the passenger’s obligation to take a seat, when seats are available. BC Transit strongly encourages passengers to remain seated while the bus is in motion. However, BC Transit cannot mandate a passenger to sit (whether they have children with them or not). If a passenger chooses not to sit, BC Transit is not responsible for their safety.

The seats in the front of the bus are reserved for senior citizens and people with disabilities. Passengers should relinquish these seats if they are needed. If all seats are occupied, passengers should move to the back of the bus to allow additional passengers to board. If the passenger must stand then they will find poles or straps throughout the bus which they are responsible to hold on to while the bus is in motion. If a passenger chooses not to hold on to a pole or strap, BC Transit is not responsible for their safety.

All small children should be held securely when the bus is moving. Passengers should not allow small children to walk around the bus unattended. All personal items must be either on the customer’s lap or on the floor between their feet. Baby carriages and shopping carts must be folded and put between or under the customer’s feet or on their lap and cannot block the aisle in any way.

1.5 BUS STOPS WITH MULTIPLE BUS ROUTES

Coach Operators are instructed to stop at all bus stops where people are waiting. If a passenger is standing at a bus stop that is serviced by more than one bus route and they do not want the first bus, they are to wave the bus on, and wave down the next bus or the bus they need.

1.6 PAYING THE FARE

  • BC Transit strictly prohibits sharing of bus passes. Violators will be asked by the Coach Operator to present valid fare.
  • Passengers may not scan their pass for another person to ride.
  • Passengers may not share passes. We allow one limited ride pass per rider.
  • If a person does not pay the total fare or present a valid bus pass, the Coach Operator is to advise the patron that fare or a bus pass is needed to ride the bus.
  • Should the person continue to refuse to pay, the Coach Operator is to contact the on-duty supervisor. If present, the on-duty supervisor will board the bus or if not present will use radio communication to advise the rider of the policy that everyone must present fare or a pass to ride. Should the individual not cooperate, law enforcement may be called to have the individual removed from the bus.
  • Fare evasion may be subject to prosecution and/or suspending the offender from riding the department’s bus system.
  • BC Transit does not provide replacement passes or issue refunds for passes.
  • Passes reported lost or stolen will be voided. If a passenger attempts to use a voided pass, the Coach Operator will radio the on-duty supervisor for further instructions.

1.7 FARE OPTIONS

A passenger may:

  • Pay the fare with exact change.
  • Pay the fare with more money than the fare. However, Coach Operators cannot make change. The passenger will receive a change card for the rest of the amount. The change card can be used for future rides.
  • Pay the discounted fare for elderly persons or person with a disability.*
  • Transfer to another bus. In order to do so the passenger will need to ask the Coach Operator for a transfer card. Transfers are only good for going from one bus to the next in order to complete a trip without interruption. The agency has designated transfer locations which will be published on the agency’s website, passenger guide and in other pertinent literature.
  • Use a 31-day pass. All 31-day passes are good for unlimited trips for 31 consecutive days after first use.
  • Use a discounted 31-day pass for elderly persons or persons with a disability. All 31-day passes are good for unlimited trips for 31 consecutive days after first use.**
  • Use a 31-day pass for full or part time students.***
  • Children under age 5 ride free when accompanied by an adult.

*Must have appropriate ID to be eligible for the reduced fare. Appropriate ID for those who are elderly is an OFA Senior ID 65+ card or a Medicare card. Appropriate ID for those who are disabled is a Disabled Photo ID card or a BC Lift ID card.

**Must have appropriate ID to be eligible for the 31-day discounted pass. Appropriate ID for those who are elderly is a BC Transit Senior ID 65+ card. Appropriate ID for those who are disabled is the Disabled Photo ID card or a BC Lift ID card. Detailed descriptions regarding the ID cards are listed as 1.9, 1.10 and 1.11 of this manual.

***Students must be currently enrolled in a Broome County school/college. Must show proof of enrollment.

1.8 BC TRANSIT DISABLED PHOTO ID CARD

The BC Transit Disabled Photo ID card must be acquired from the Broome County Security Office. The Security Office is located on the first floor of the Broome County Office Building on Hawley Street, Binghamton. Photo ID hours are from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm (Noon), Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Consumers must bring legal ID. In addition, they will need a recent (cannot be more than one year old) letter from their medical professional (social worker not accepted) on their medical professional’s letterhead, stating that they are disabled. The letter must also state if the disability is permanent or temporary. If the disability is temporary, the letter must state a time frame for when the disability will end. SSI and SSD cards will also be accepted, but again legal identification is required with these cards.

The consumer’s picture will be taken for the ID card and they will need to provide their current address, phone number, and social security number. They will also be required to sign for their Disabled Photo ID card. There will be a $10.00 replacement fee for lost or stolen Disabled Photo ID cards. The ID card will only be issued to the bearer of the medical note and is non-transferrable.

If the consumer is a BC Lift client and has a BC Lift card, they do not need a BC Transit Disabled Photo ID card. Their BC Lift card will be accepted on all BC Transit buses for the discounted fare and will be accepted to purchase a 31-day discounted pass.

If the consumer requires special accommodations to access the Broome County Security Office, please call 778-2107.

1.9 OFA SENIOR ID 65+

Consumers may apply for their OFA Senior ID 65+ card at the Office for Aging on the fourth floor of the Broome County Office Building. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Consumers need to bring proof of age such as a birth certificate, driver’s license or Medicare card. The consumer will then receive their ID card which will be yellow in color.

1.10 BC LIFT ID CARD

Consumers may apply for their BC Lift ID card by filling out an application located on line at www.ridebctransit.com or by calling our Administrative Office at 763-4464 option 3 and one will be sent via mail.

1.11 STUDENT PASSES

BC Transit offers a discounted rate to students who meet all the following upon purchase:

  1. 1You must be attending an accredited school located within Broome County.
  2. You must be enrolled and currently attending classes.

1.12 HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT ID CARDS

Binghamton High School students may use their BHS issued pass to ride from their place of residence to the BC Junction and/or to Binghamton High School between the hours of 5:25 am to 6:00 pm (when school is in session from September to June).

When traveling to their place of residence students must board at the following stops:

  • 1Inbound 35 stop at Main St. and Oak St.
  • Inbound 15 stop at Beethoven St. and Seminary Ave.
  • Outbound 35 stop at Main St. and Oak St.
  • Outbound 15 stop at Oak St. and Main St.
  • Outbound 7 stop at Front St. and North St.
  • Outbound 8 stop at Front St. and North St.

Exceptions:

Students involved with extra-curricular activities are required to obtain the appropriate identifier to be placed on their pass by school administration. These students may board the bus at other school district locations (MacArthur, East Middle, etc).

Students involved with activities going beyond the school day are permitted to ride beyond the hours identified above while school is in session only. Students who attempt to board when school is not in session (i.e. snow days, holidays, vacations) will have to pay full fare, use a BC Transit issued pass, or a ride card. School administration will notify BC Transit of special extra-curricular activities as circumstances warrant.

Seton Catholic students who board at Chestnut St. and Main St. may have to transfer to another bus.

1.13 BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY/SUNY BROOME STUDENT ID CARDS

Binghamton University and SUNY Broome students and staff must have a current identification card in order to use the system. All parties can board anywhere, at any time and ride throughout the system.

1.14 FRAUDULANT, SEVERELY DAMAGED OR VOIDED PASSES

If a Coach Operator is presented with a pass that the fare box will not accept and it is in poor condition or registers as being voided (i.e. bad list), the Coach Operator will inform the individual that the pass cannot be accepted and that in order to ride the individual must pay the appropriate fare. The Coach Operator will then inform the individual to contact the BC Junction or a transit supervisor.

Sharing of unlimited use passes is strictly prohibited.

1.15 VALID BUS PASSES

If a Coach Operator is presented with a pass that the fare box will not accept and it is in good condition and does not register as being voided (i.e. bad list), the driver is to date and initial the pass with a ball point pen. The owner has 24 hours to get the pass checked by management staff. If accepted, management will use a permanent marker to write “Valid” on the pass and record the serial number.

1.16 LOST AND FOUND

Lost and found articles from the BC Junction office at the Greater Binghamton Transportation Center will be retrieved by the Security Officer on duty and transported to the main Security Office.

Lost and found articles from BC Transit will be accumulated by the Security Officer at night and will be picked up by patrol during the week. BC Transit is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.

BC Transit will keep any current identification cards for at least 24 hours. Any cards not claimed in this time frame are returned to the organization which issued the card. Any expired student identification cards which also can be used as a bus pass are immediately returned to the institution which issued the card.

1.17 ANIMALS ON BUSES

If a passenger brings an animal (other than a service animal) on the bus, the animal must be in a secured cage and either placed on the passenger’s lap or put between their feet on the floor. A cage is defined as an enclosed structure designed for the purpose of confining and carrying animals having at least one side by a grating of wires or bars that lets in air and light. The passenger cannot place the cage on another passenger’s seat. The animal cannot bite, or otherwise disturb other passengers. It is the passenger’s responsibility to clean up after the animal, should the animal throw-up or defecate on the bus.

If the animal does become unruly, or disturbs other passengers, the Coach Operator will request that the passenger control the animal. If the passenger is unwilling or unable to control the animal, the Coach Operator will call the on-duty supervisor, who will call the appropriate agency to have the animal removed from the bus.

1.18 FISH AND WILD GAME

Fish and wild game meant for consumption are allowed on the bus and treated as food. The item must be enclosed in packaging and may not be consumed on the bus.

Live animals are not permitted on the bus unless:

  1. They are a service animal for a person with disabilities.
  2. They are a pet which is enclosed in a carrier designed for animal transport.

SECTION 2 - AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) POLICIES

2.1 BOARDING MOBILITY DEVICE PASSENGERS

The Coach Operator, upon seeing a mobility device passenger at a bus stop, must prepare the mobility device station before the doors are open. The passenger seat at the mobility device station must be lifted and locked into place. The mobility device passenger must maneuver onto the lift/ramp. If the person in the mobility device requests help boarding onto the lift or ramp, the Coach Operator must give appropriate assistance. The mobility device must be locked in place or turned off before the lift is engaged. The Coach Operator must help the person in the mobility device if help is requested.

When a passenger is boarding as a mobility device passenger they must be seated in the mobility device. If the boarding device is a lift, no one but the person in the mobility device may be lifted on the lift. The Coach Operator is to tell the person in the mobility device to lock it in place or turn it off before they are lifted. The Coach Operator should check to make sure it has been done before engaging the lift. Once the passenger is level with the floor of the bus, the mobility device passenger must maneuver into the mobility device station. Again, if the person in the mobility device requests help to maneuver into the station, the Coach Operator must help. Once the mobility device passenger is in the mobility device station facing forward, the Coach Operator will secure the mobility device to the floor of the bus. The Coach Operator must also recommend the shoulder restraint for the passenger’s safety. If the mobility device passenger refuses the shoulder restraint, the Coach Operator should not offer again, nor try to persuade the passenger any further. If the mobility device passenger does not want to wear the shoulder restraint, they are not required to.

BC Transit fixed route service will transport any mobility device that fits on the bus without compromising safety, damaging the bus or obstructing the aisle in a way that would prevent other passengers from safely walking past the device.

BC Transit will only secure a mobility device facing forward. If a mobility device passenger refuses to be secured facing forward, the passenger will not be allowed to ride.

2.2 DIFFICULTY WITH BOARDING MOBILITY DEVICES

If the Coach Operator cannot board a mobility device passenger at a bus stop, they must contact dispatch, the BC Junction or the garage immediately to let someone know, so arrangements may be made to pick that person up and take him/her to their destination. The Coach Operator must also tell the passenger that a person in charge has been called and that they will be picked up.

In addition, if a Coach Operator is out on a night run and the lift or ramp does not work, they must call dispatch, the BC Junction or the garage to have their bus changed off.

Lastly, if a Coach Operator has a defect with their bus, specifically with the lift or ramp, they must report it before they leave the garage and put it on their defect sheet. If the ramp cannot deploy on its own, the Coach Operator will need to engage the manual over-ride. If the lift is inoperable, the Coach Operator must report it as mentioned above and obtain a replacement bus.

2.3 KNEELERS, RAMPS AND LIFTS

Any passenger, with or without a mobility device, walker or cane, has the right to request that the Coach Operator lower the kneeler, ramp or the lift. Coach Operators must lower it, and not ask to see if the passenger has a disabled bus pass or a BC Transit Disabled Photo ID card. Coach Operators must lower kneelers, ramps or lifts when requested. Coach Operators are to use good judgment when approaching a bus stop. If the person waiting seems to be elderly or infirm, the Coach Operator is to lower the kneeler. When letting passengers board while standing on the lift, the Coach Operator must use good judgment. If the person looks unsteady or unable to hold onto the lift handrail and the Coach Operator feels they might injure themselves, the Coach Operator should not let them ride the lift to board; the Coach Operator is to call a supervisor to get instructions.

2.4 ADA RESTRAINT SYSTEM

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), mobility device passengers do not have to wear a seatbelt or shoulder harness restraints. They do have to allow the transit entity to restrain the mobility device to the floor of the bus. It is BC Transit’s policy that the Coach Operator must offer and recommend the passenger wear the shoulder/seatbelt harness for their own safety. However, the passenger is allowed to refuse the offer.

After the disabled passenger leaves the bus, the Coach Operator is responsible for making sure that all of the restraint straps are properly secured and stored away.

2.5 PASSENGERS TRANSFERRING TO A SEAT

If a passenger with a mobility aid (of a wheelchair or scooter) would like to transfer to a seat, the Coach Operator will secure the mobility aid in the securement area as the passenger takes a seat. The Coach Operator can suggest to the passenger that they transfer to a seat however the Coach Operator cannot make them.

2.6 SEATING FOR DISABLED AND ELDERLY

If there are able-bodied passengers sitting in the seating reserved for the elderly and disabled, the Coach Operators are required to politely ask them to move to another seat if an elderly or disabled person boards the bus or, in a case of a full seated load, to give up their seat to the elderly and or disabled person. If that passenger refuses, the Coach Operator cannot make them give up their seat.

2.7 MOVEMENT OF BUS

Coach Operators will give passengers with or without a disability ample time to sit before moving the bus. However it is the passenger’s obligation to take a seat, when seats are available. BC Transit strongly encourages passenger to remain seated while the bus is in motion. If seats are not available and the passenger must stand, it is the passenger’s obligation to hold on to a pole or strap while the bus is in motion. BC Transit cannot mandate a passenger to sit (whether they have children with them or not) or hold on to a pole or strap while standing. If a passenger chooses not to sit or hold on to a pole or strap while standing, BC Transit is not responsible for their safety.

2.8 SERVICE ANIMALS

BC Transit recognizes under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that service animals are not pets, but rather, perform vital functions, which result in more independence for persons with disabilities. Accordingly, BC Transit has implemented the following policies regarding service animals.

A person with a service animal is encouraged to go to the Broome County Security Office, (Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday between 8 am and 12 pm) located on the street entrance level of the Broome County Office Building. They will need to bring proof that they are disabled, and tell security that they have a service animal. They will then be issued a free BC Transit Disabled Photo ID card, with the words “Service Animal” printed on the card. In order to better serve the disabled person with a service animal, we ask that when boarding the bus, the disabled person show their Disabled Photo ID card to the Coach Operator.

BC Transit recognizes the need for service animals. The definition of a service animal is any animal that has been individually trained to perform a specific task for a disabled person. All service animals will be allowed to ride. All service animals must be either held by the passenger, or put between their feet. The service animal may not block an aisle. Service animals may not occupy a passenger seat. The service animal may not bite, or otherwise disturb other passengers. It is the service animal owner’s responsibility to clean up after the service animal, should the service animal throw-up or defecate on the bus.

If the service animal does become unruly, or disturb other passengers, the Coach Operator will request that the owner of the service animal control the animal. If the owner is unwilling or unable to control the service animal, the Coach Operator will call dispatch, and the on-duty supervisor will call the appropriate agency to have the service animal removed from the bus.

2.9 ADA CALL OUTS

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations at 49 CFR sections 37.167 (b) and (c) require that stop announcements must be made on fixed route systems as follows:

(b) On fixed route systems, the entity shall announce stops as follows:

  1. The entity shall announce at least at transfer points with other fixed routes, other major intersections and destination points, and intervals along a route sufficient to permit individuals with visual impairments or other disabilities to be oriented to their location.
  2. The entity shall announce any stop on request of an individual with a disability.

(c) Where vehicles or other conveyances for more than one route serve the same stop, the entity shall provide a means by which an individual with a visual impairment or other disability can identify the proper vehicle to enter or be identified to the vehicle operator as a person seeking a ride on a particular route.

SECTION 3 - ACCIDENT, SAFETY AND EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

3.1 DRIVER ACCIDENT INSTRUCTIONS

An accident is defined as any circumstance where a public transit vehicle makes contact with a fixed object such as another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, road debris, or other geographical or architectural object. When involved in an accident:

  • The Coach Operator is to stop their vehicle immediately and put on their emergency flashers.
  • The Coach Operator is to check if anyone is injured.
  • The Coach Operator is to notify the supervisor on duty by radio or phone immediately. Give the supervisor the following information: location, whether or not there are injuries and if an ambulance is needed.
  • The Coach Operator is to secure the accident scene and put out reflective triangles. They are not to move their vehicle until told to by the police or a supervisor.
  • The Coach Operator is to obtain the following information about the other driver and vehicle as soon as possible: driver’s name, address, telephone number, driver’s license identification number, insurance company name and policy number, vehicle license plate number and state, vehicle make, model, year and registration number.

The Coach Operator may give the following information to the other driver: their name, driver’s license identification number, our agency’s dispatch number (763-4472), our insurance code number (994) and the year, make and model of the vehicle. The Coach Operator is not to make any admissions of guilt or discuss responsibility with anyone at the scene, other than a supervisor, the County Attorney or a representative for the Broome County Office of Risk and Insurance. If media are present, the Coach Operator is to tell them the accident is under investigation, a supervisor will be available for questions when they get to the scene.

  • The Coach Operator is to distribute courtesy cards to everyone in their vehicle first and to anyone at the scene who may have seen the accident.
  • The Coach Operator is not to leave the scene until they are released by the police or a supervisor.
  • The Coach Operator is required to fill out an accident report as soon as possible, but no later than the next business day by 5:00 pm close of business.
  • Remember, no matter how small the accident, the Coach Operator must report it to a supervisor immediately. The supervisor will direct the Coach Operator how to proceed.
  • The Coach Operator is never to leave the scene until a supervisor has given them permission to do so.

3.2 DRIVER FIRE INSTRUCTIONS

When involved in a fire:

  • The Coach Operator is to stop their vehicle immediately (in a safe location) and put on their emergency flashers.
  • The Coach Operator is to check if anyone is injured and the extent of the fire.
  • The Coach Operator is to contact the on-duty supervisor by radio or phone and advise them of the situation. Give the supervisor the following information: location, whether or not there are injuries and if the fire department and/or ambulance is needed.
  • The Coach Operator is then to evacuate all passengers from the vehicle to a safe location.
  • If able do so, the Coach Operator may attempt to extinguish the fire with the on-board fire extinguisher.
  • The Coach Operator is required to fill out an accident report as soon as possible, but no later than the next business day by 5:00 pm close of business.
  • The Coach Operator is never to leave the scene until a supervisor has given them permission to do so.

3.3 DRIVER TRAINING

  • New Coach Operators must attend and satisfactorily complete a four week training program through the Federal Transit Administration’s Transit Safety Institute Bus Operator Training Program.
  • Once every two years BC Transit provides all Coach Operators training through the National Safety Council’s six-hour Defensive Driving Training Course.
  • Remedial training is provided to any Coach Operator as needed. Training will be provided by BC Transit.

SECTION 4 - HEALTH INCIDENT PROCEDURES

4.1 BLOOD BORNE PATHEGENS

  • Whenever a Coach Operator has a passenger injury that results in the release of blood on their vehicle, they are to immediately notify the on-duty supervisor.
  • The Coach Operator is to give their location and a brief description of the problem and amount of blood.
  • If needed, an ambulance will be sent to the location.
  • The Coach Operator’s vehicle will be replaced and the maintenance staff will take the soiled vehicle and clean up the blood. In the event that there is no other vehicle to replace the soiled one, maintenance will come to the vehicle and clean up the blood spill.
  • The Coach Operator will not attempt to clean up blood. If the Coach Operator has access to paper towels, the paper towel may be placed over the blood spill.
  • The Coach Operator is not to come into contact with the blood.
  • The Coach Operator is not to let passengers step on the blood spill. They must wait for maintenance to clean up the spill before allowing passengers to board or alight from the vehicle.
  • From the first aid kit on the vehicle, the Coach Operator should offer bandages or gauze pads to the injured passenger, for them to apply to help stop the bleeding. The Coach Operator is not to attempt to apply any bandages themselves.
  • The Coach Operator is not to allow a customer to board their vehicle if that person is bleeding. The Coach Operator is to call the on-duty supervisor if they are not sure about boarding that individual.
  • Coach Operators are to complete an incident report within the given time frame.

4.2 ILL PASSENGERS

Should a person become ill on the bus or demonstrate other behavior or actions posing a potential medical emergency, Coach Operators are to do as follows:

  • Assess the situation - look for signs that medical attention may be warranted. The Coach Operator may safely pull the bus to the side of the road to ask the person if they need medical attention. If the Coach Operator finds that immediate medical attention is needed, they are to contact the on-duty supervisor and advise them of the situation and their location and to have them call 911.
  • Should emergency services be needed, the Coach Operator is to wait patiently for the emergency medical staff to take the person off the bus before proceeding. Once the ill passenger is off the bus, the Coach Operator is to then contact the on-duty supervisor for further instruction.
  • Coach Operators are to complete an incident report within the given time frame.

4.3 INTOXICATED PASSENGERS

Coach Operators are to transport passengers who are under the influence of medication, alcohol or who appear to be in an altered state as long as they abide by the BC Transit rules of passenger conduct. If the passenger becomes belligerent or non-responsive, the Coach Operator is to safely pull the bus to the side of the road and contact the on-duty supervisor for further instructions. If the on-duty supervisor is not available, the Coach Operator is to contact the garage. Coach Operators are to complete an incident report within the given time frame.

4.4 BODILY FLUIDS

Stool, blood and other bodily fluids may contain pathogens or harbor disease potentially posing a health hazard for other passengers and the Coach Operator. Coach Operators are to make efforts to assess these risks prior to boarding passenger(s). Should a Coach Operator observe any signs of stool, blood, or other bodily fluids prior to a passenger boarding, that operator may deny that passenger a ride due to health hazard(s). If a passenger releases stool, blood or other bodily fluids after being boarded, the driver is to assess the situation, instruct other passengers to stay away from the health hazard and contact the on-duty supervisor who will then either send maintenance to clean the bio-hazard or deliver another bus.

SECTION 5 - BC TRANSIT FACILITY AND GREATER BINGHAMTON TRANSPORTATION CENTER ACCESS SECURITY POLICY

5.1 BC TRANSIT FACILITY

The scope and purpose of this policy is to safeguard the well being of all BC Transit personnel and property.

The BC Transit facility and its grounds are closed to the public at all times except for business conducted through the Administrative offices during their normal hours of operation.

At any such time the Administrative offices are closed no unauthorized person(s) shall gain access to the property or the buildings located at 413 Old Mill Road, Vestal NY at any time.

There are no exceptions.

An authorized person is one who currently is employed by BC Transit and is on-duty, on-call, or otherwise has a legitimate gainful purpose to be here.

Additionally, vendor representatives, delivery services, or other contracted entities with legitimate business to conduct on the premises are considered authorized when granted appropriate access at appropriate times. Unsolicited sales calls are not considered authorized.

If on-duty personnel become aware of or are approached by any unauthorized person(s) on the property they are hereby directed to immediately:

  • Make clear notification to the person(s) that they must leave the property.
  • Notify the first on-duty or on-call supervisor available.

In the event the person(s) in question appears belligerent, threatening, or non-responsive to legitimate direction to leave the facility and its grounds, Broome Security, Vestal Police, Broome County Sheriff, NYS Troopers, or 911 may be contacted at any time to alert authorities of a need for immediate assistance.

On-duty maintenance personnel are further directed to secure the building except for the driver’s entry door during any evening, weekend or holiday operations that leave the property unattended by maintenance personnel for any period of time.

5.2 GREATER BINGHAMTON TRANSPORTATION CENTER

BC Transit also operates the Greater Binghamton Transportation Center located at 81 Chenango St., Binghamton NY. The Greater Binghamton Transportation Center is the main transfer point for our fixed route operations. This facility doors are open to the public seven days a week. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 6:00 am to 9:45 pm, Friday from 6:00am to 10:45am, Saturday from 6:00am to 9:45am and Sunday from 6am to 10:45pm. Located at the Greater Binghamton Transportation Center is the BC Transit Junction Office. Hours are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, and Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Also located at the transportation center are offices for Broome County Security, Greyhound and Coach USA. Information regarding Greyhound may be obtained by calling 607-723-2325. Information regarding Coach USA may be obtained by calling

607-722-7553.

BC Transit has put into effect the following passenger behavior

guidelines for the transportation center:

  • No smoking.
  • No spitting.
  • No unruly, disruptive, unsafe or inappropriate behavior.
  • No gambling.
  • No foul language.
  • No soliciting or loitering of any kind.
  • No vandalism or destruction of property, County or otherwise.
  • Passengers must be fully clothed, meaning at least a torso-covering shirt, shorts, pants, or a dress, sandals, sneakers, or some other kind of footwear. No one will be allowed to ride shirtless, pantless, shoeless or dressed so as to reveal body parts so as to be offensive to other passengers or the Coach Operator.
  • No riding of bicycles.
  • No pets unless confined to a pet carrier.

Please report any suspicious activity or unattended packages or bags to Broome County Security, BC Transit, Greyhound or Coach USA personnel.