Will I be denied access to transport vehicles if I do not have a WC19 compliant wheelchair?
No. The ADA specifies that access to public transit vehicles cannot be denied to people using wheelchairs and that they must be provided with wheelchair securement stations meeting specific size and securement strength requirements. They also note that transportation cannot be denied because people do not have particular equipment.
In addition, the Foreward of the standard indicates that it was never the intent that WC19 would be used to limit or restrict wheelchair user’s access to motor-vehicle transportation. Rather, the purpose of WC19 is to establish reasonable design and performance requirements for wheelchairs related to transportation safety so that wheelchair users have the opportunity to travel in motor vehicles more safely. It would be ideal if all occupied wheelchairs in motor vehicles complied with WC19, but only a small fraction of today’s wheelchairs are WC19 compliant even though the standard was issued in 2000. Thus, transport vehicles will need to accommodate non-WC19-compliant wheelchairs for the foreseeable future.