Is Your NEMT Company ADA-Compliant?

Is Your NEMT Company ADA-Compliant?

Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) businesses cater to senior citizens and persons with disabilities. All of the vehicles must be suitable for their vulnerable passengers, and all NEMT companies must follow federal and state laws. 

One such law that affects NEMT operations is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)


What is the Americans With Disabilities Act?

The ADA was drafted to protect people with disabilities. After all, disability rights are civil rights. This includes having the right to vote for their protection and ensuring accessibility in public spaces. 

Some important ADA provisions include allowing service animals to accompany a person with disability wherever they go. There should be designated parking spaces near the entrances of commercial establishments. People with visual or auditory impairments should have easy access to mobility devices as well. 

The ADA also has provisions for transportation matters. 

What Does ADA Stand for in Transportation?

Persons with disabilities struggle with public transportation, especially during peak hours. It is difficult to keep up with dozens of other passengers going on and off public transit. 

ADA minimizes this disadvantage by mandating that vehicles must be accessible to persons with disabilities. These include the following:

  • Automated guideway vehicles
  • Buses
  • Rail cars
  • Trams
  • Vans
  • Others

According to ADA: Transportation must allow the use of wheelchairs and manually powered mobility aids and devices. Vehicles should be accessible to anyone who uses these support systems. 

ADA compliance is one of the main requirements for starting a NEMT business. 

What Does ADA Compliance Require?

What Does ADA Compliance Require?First, let’s discuss what ADA-compliant means. A business that provides transportation to the public and has at least 15 employees must be ADA-compliant. It means that their vehicles must follow ADA requirements for accessibility. 

ADA compliance requirements are as follows:

  • 56-inch door opening height
  • 30-inch wide wheelchair lift
  • Gear shift interlock that automatically applies brakes on the shift when no one is in the driver’s seat
  • Four tie-downs with lap and shoulder belt

What is the Difference Between ADA-Compliant and Accessible?

The difference is in technicality. A 55-inch door opening height may ensure accessibility for many persons with disabilities. However, it is not strictly ADA-compliant, which means the company will not be given a certification to that effect. 

Do NEMT Vehicles Need to be ADA-Compliant?

The fact that NEMT primarily caters to persons with mobility issues means vehicles must be ADA-compliant.

Some may argue that this is not an automatic requirement for companies with one or two NEMT vehicles and fewer than 15 employees. However, full-service NEMT providers with ADA-compliant operations and other optional equipment will surely make the business stand out. 

Here are other transport requirements for ADA compliance:

  • Lifts should have handrails and should accommodate at least 600 pounds of weight
  • The lift platform should be slip-resistant
  • Ramps that are fewer than 30 inches must have a 300-pound capacity, while longer ones must have at least a 600-pound capacity
  • Six inches of clear space
  • Interior handrails
  • Appropriate lighting 

Use of Technology in ADA-Compliant NEMT Business

Use of Technology in ADA-Compliant NEMT BusinessThe use of software is critical for smooth and efficient operations for NEMT businesses. It can help you keep up with requirements for ADA compliance and other mandates, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA compliance, which ensures patient or passenger information is kept secure. 

Cutting-edge software stores all vehicle information details and will prompt you of maintenance needs, including those that will ensure ADA compliance. For example, over time, floors may no longer be as slip-resistant and will need to be refurbished. The same goes for regular vehicle maintenance, such as oil changes, brake lining and pad changes, and others. 

RouteGenie is a modern NEMT software that can help providers with the following:

  • Scheduling
  • Billing
  • Routing 
  • Dispatching
  • Maintenance reminders


NEMT companies must comply with many requirements, both on the operational and healthcare sides. And because NEMT caters to senior citizens and persons with disabilities, compliance with ADA requirements is crucial. It is a matter of safety and security. And when passengers are safe and comfortable, they will continue to support your company and even recommend it to others.

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About the author

Yurii Martynov
Yurii Martynov

As RouteGenie's Marketing Director, Yurii gained deep knowledge in the NEMT industry. He is an expert in marketing, utilizing all marketing channels to build RouteGenie's brand and to make sure NEMT providers have access to powerful NEMT software that can boost their growth. Yurii shares his knowledge by writing content on topics related to marketing, and the healthcare industry: medical transportation, home care, and medical billing.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. The information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.