I have a non-apparent disability and need priority seating. Since people can’t tell that I have a disability, can I ask them to move?
If you need help with priority seating, you can always ask MBTA staff to assist you. When any customer makes a request for priority seating, MBTA staff are required to ask other customers sitting in the priority seating area to move. However, they can’t force anyone to do so. If no one gives up their priority seat, MBTA staff will offer to assist you to another seat, or will let you know when the next bus or train will arrive.
Why can’t T employees force customers to move out of priority seats?
A customer’s need to use priority seating may not be obvious, and they are under no obligation to share that information with anyone. Employees are therefore not permitted to ask any customers about the nature of their disability, or to force them to move.
Are T employees trained to assist and interact with people who have disabilities?
Yes. MBTA employees receive extensive training about how to assist and interact with customers with disabilities in general, and how to assist people with specific disabilities. They are also trained to assist people with disabilities in emergency situations.
Customer Assistance Areas (CAA) are a safe place to request and wait for assistance from MBTA staff. Access features at CAAs include, but are not limited to, callboxes, tactile surfacing, and improved lighting.