HRT Accessibility

HRT understands the critical role public transit has in making independence and mobility possible for senior, disabled or Medicare cardholder citizens of Hampton Roads. We are dedicated to making it easier for you to use our services through a comprehensive program of accessibility improvements. We also offer reduced fares for riders with disabilities, Medicare cardholders or senior riders. See all of HRT service accessibility features below:

Tide Wheelchair Users

The Tide

Tide light rail station platforms and vehicles meet or exceed ADA regulations with the following accessibility features:

  • Tactile strips on every platform for your safety
  • Audio/Braille/Raised Lettering Ticket Vending Machines (TVM)
  • Directional Braille tablets at each platform entrance
  • Exterior visual digital destination signage on all train vehicles
  • Visual and audio departure and arrival announcements inside each vehicle
  • Visual and audio indicators for vehicle arrivals and departures to and from every station
  • Visual and audio indicators for vehicle travel along entire city alignment
  • Visual and audio indicators for door opening and closing operations
  • Safety sensors on all train vehicle doors along with manual operation
  • Height accessible 911 emergency call buttons on every platform
  • Platform level train vehicles for easy boarding
  • Accessible elevator access specific to the NSU Station elevated platform
  • Smooth ride for stability and priority seating for those in need
  • Each train vehicle is equipped to accommodate four wheelchairs

Fixed Route Buses

Bus-Visually Impaired

  • Low Floor “Kneeling” Buses:
    • Eliminates steps when boarding
    • Allows operator to bring the entire bus down to the curb level
    • Wide doors and a generous front aisle width for easy path
  • Interior digital visual and audio destination and stop announcements
  • Exterior digital visual destination signage
  • Priority seating for those in need
  • Equipped to accommodate two wheelchairs at one time
  • Ability to transport mobility devices of any type that measure up to 30 inches wide, 48 inches long, and weigh up to 600 lbs. when occupied.

Note: Larger mobility devices are not able to be transported on our fixed route buses. For information on securement and transport, please call our customer service department at (757) 222-6100.

Ferry Wheelchair User

Paddlewheel Ferry Service

All HRT ferries traveling from are accessible. Ramps and boarding docks allow for level boarding.


Paratransit is a service mandated by the federal government in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This service is specifically provided only to those persons who, because of their disability (ies), are not able to utilize our fixed route transportation system.

All Paratransit riders must be certified through an eligibility application process.

Personal Care Assistants (PCA) are for the personal assistance of a Paratransit passenger. Passengers traveling with a PCA are not required to travel with the same PCA for every trip taken.

A PCA needs no formal certification or identification to be eligible. However, any Paratransit passenger accompanied by a PCA must be approved for such status through Paratransit eligibility, or by applying for an HRT Half Fare identification card.

Once PCA approved, you may be asked to present your Paratransit Eligibility card when boarding any HRT vehicle.  If either card is not presented to the operator at the time of boarding, the person accompanying the passenger will be considered a companion and will be charged the full applicable service fare. There are no exceptions to this. Proper ID and declaration of PCA status must be presented upon request to all Hampton Roads Transit operators for passengers to board since not all disabilities are obvious. When traveling on The Tide, please have your approved PCA status proof readily available as fare conductors may randomly ask for it.

Service Animals

Trained service animals boarding any HRT service are free of charge and are not limited to a specific breed of dog. A permit is not required. You may be asked, however, to confirm that your animal is a service animal.

You are responsible for the care and supervision of your service animal at all times.

Be aware that an operator may exclude a service animal from any service or HRT facility when that animal poses as a direct threat to the health and/or safety of others.

Service animals are permitted on any and all HRT services by following these guidelines:

  • Your animal must be on a leash, or in a closed carrier, and remain under your control at all times.
  • The animal must not be aggressive toward people or other animals on board and must display appropriate behavior at all times.
  • The animal must remain at your feet or on your lap for the entire trip and is not permitted to sit on a vehicle seat.
  • The animal must be housebroken as you are responsible for any damage or soiling caused by the animal.

Please note: As stated in the most recent amended Title II and Title III ADA regulations, the definition of a service animal will be as “… any dog … individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability …”. The Department of Justice has adopted such definition; however the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is awaiting adoption until additional public outreach is completed. This definition will become effective March 15, 2011 or the date the USDOT adopts such amendment, whichever comes first.

Materials in Alternative Formats

Materials that HRT makes readily available to the public are available in alternative formats upon request only. To submit a request, please call the Paratransit Department at (757) 222-6087 or TDD at (757) 222-6036. You may also email your request to

Please specify the materials needed and in which format. Depending on the nature of the request, your materials will be made available within ten (10) business days of the request.