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PARATRANSIT SYSTEM COMPLIANCE WITH AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) REVIEW. Ohio Department of Transportation January 23, 2007 Presented by: Robbie L. Sarles RLS & Associates, Inc. Dayton, Ohio Based on a position paper prepared by: Russell Thatcher Multisystems, Inc.

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paratransit system compliance with americans with disabilities act ada review
PARATRANSIT SYSTEM COMPLIANCE WITH AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) REVIEW

Ohio Department of Transportation

January 23, 2007

Presented by:

Robbie L. Sarles

RLS & Associates, Inc.

Dayton, Ohio

Based on a position paper prepared by:

Russell Thatcher

Multisystems, Inc.

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Revised 10/29/98

the americans with disabilities act of 1990
THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990

Goal:

To assure that persons with disabilities have

equal opportunity, a chance to fully participate in

society, are able to live independently, and can

be economically self-sufficient.

according to ada
ACCORDING TO ADA

Disability:

Physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment.

impact of ada
IMPACT OF ADA
  • Established a clear national goal
  • Defines a specific and detailed course of action
  • Requires much greater degree of affirmative action
  • Provides accessibility standards for vehicles and facilities
  • Elevates the importance of access and nondiscrimination
  • Interrelated with Section 504
    • Entities cannot discriminate against persons with disabilities as a condition of Federal funding
range of issues
RANGE OF ISSUES
  • Employment
  • Provision of services
  • Access to facilities and places of public accommodation
  • Access to the nation’s telecommunication systems
accessibility means
ACCESSIBILITY MEANS
  • Physical access to vehicles and buildings
  • Proper training of personnel
  • Proper maintenance of equipment
  • Operating policies and procedures
  • Public information and communication accessible
implementation regulations
IMPLEMENTATION REGULATIONS
  • Law sets goals, defines general types of discrimination, and creates a framework for addressing discrimination
  • Implementing agency provides specific definitions, interpretations, and requirements in regulations
  • Open to interpretation
implementing agencies
IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES
  • Title I - employment
    • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Title II and Title III - public services and public accommodations excluding transportation
    • Department of Justice
  • Title II and Title III - public and private transportation
    • Department of Transportation
  • Title IV - telecommunications
    • Federal Communications Commission
title ii public services
TITLE II: PUBLIC SERVICES
  • Discrimination against persons with disabilities or activities provided by public entities
  • Includes “standing in shoes” contractors
  • Prohibits public entities from denying individuals with disabilities the opportunity to use public transportation services
  • Prohibits public entities from providing services which discriminate against persons with disabilities
position paper based on
POSITION PAPER BASED ON:
  • Opinions of the authors of the USDOT regulations
  • Recent guidance issued by the FTA (letters of interpretation)
  • Information and assistance of DHHS and U. S. Department of Justice
title ii of the ada
TITLE II OF THE ADA
  • Services and benefits provided by public entities must be offered in a way that does not discriminate against persons with disabilities
  • Implementing Federal agencies define:
    • What constitutes discrimination
    • What actions are required to ensure services are non-discriminatory
title ii continued
TITLE II (CONTINUED)
  • Subtitle A - applies to all service provided by public entities except transportation
    • Implementing agency is the USDOJ
    • 49 CFR Part 35
  • Subtitle B - applies to transportation services provided by public entities
    • Implementing agency is the USDOT
    • 49 CFR Parts 27, 37, and 38
title iii
TITLE III
  • Applies to private entities providing services to the public
    • Includes provisions for transportation provided by private citizens
  • Regulations issued by USDOJ and USDOT are consistent and coordinated in terms of defining discrimination and actions required
  • Regulations refer to each other
  • USDOJ defers to USDOT for transportation related issues
title iii continued
TITLE III (CONTINUED)
  • Even though not specifically addressed, USDOJ and DHHS have determined that public human service agency transportation is covered by the USDOT
  • USDOT has determined that public human service agency transportation falls under Section 37.77 if demand responsive or 37.73 if fixed route
  • Section 37.77 covers the “purchase or lease of new non-rail vehicles by public entities operating demand responsive services for the general public”
    • “General public” applies to not only theentire public, but to sub-groups of thegeneral public
usdot transportation regulations
USDOT TRANSPORTATION REGULATIONS
  • Facility access
  • Accessibility of vehicles
  • Complementary paratransit services for fixed-route provider
  • Operating policies and procedures
types of entities
TYPES OF ENTITIES
  • Public entities
  • Private entities primarily engaged in the business of transportation
  • Private entities not primarily engaged in the business of transportation
types of services
TYPES OF SERVICES
  • Fixed-route transportation service
  • Demand responsive transportation service
  • Complementary paratransit service

Note: transportation services provided by religious organizations are exempt

contracts for service
CONTRACTS FOR SERVICE
  • Contractors must comply with the requirements that would apply to the contracting entity
    • “Standing in the shoes”
public entities operating demand responsive services for the general public
PUBLIC ENTITIES OPERATING DEMAND RESPONSIVE SERVICES FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC
  • All newly purchased or leased vehicles must be accessible unless it can be demonstrated that the system, when viewed in its entirety, provides equivalent service to persons with disabilities
equivalent services
EQUIVALENT SERVICES
  • Services must be provided in the most integrated setting possible
  • Response time
    • Trip request procedures and timelines must be the same
    • Same access to the services
fares
FARES
  • Cannot charge more for accommodating accessibility aids
  • Fare distinctions that do not adversely impact persons with disabilities are permissible as long as they are then available to riders with and without disabilities
service area
SERVICE AREA
  • Geographic service area throughout which transportation is provided must be the same
  • If a contracted service is based on its own defined service area, all clients must have the same access to the defined service area
hours and days of service
HOURS AND DAYS OF SERVICE
  • Accessible service must be offered during the same days and hours as the remainder of the transportation services
trip purpose restrictions or priorities
TRIP PURPOSE RESTRICTIONS OR PRIORITIES
  • Trip priorities or restrictions must apply equally to all
access to information
ACCESS TO INFORMATION
  • Information on how to register for and obtain services must be available in alternative accessible formats
  • Document describing the program should be provided in accessible formats upon request
  • TTY/TDD or relay
capacity constraints
CAPACITY CONSTRAINTS
  • Trips must be provided on the same basis
  • Measures of capacity constraint
    • Trip denials
    • Excessively long trip time
      • 2 times the scheduled ride time for a comparable fixed route ride equal to or less than 45 minutes
      • More than 90 minutes for comparable fixed route rides greater than 45 minutes
    • Excessively long wait time
    • Missed trips
public entities operating fixed route bus services
PUBLIC ENTITIES OPERATING FIXED-ROUTE BUS SERVICES
  • All newly purchased or leased vehicles must be accessible unless:
    • Waiver from administrator
    • Demonstrate good faith effort – purchase non-accessible used vehicles
  • Public entities operating demand response service
  • Must purchase accessible vehicle unless certify equivalent service is provided
private entities primarily engaged in the business of transportation
PRIVATE ENTITIES PRIMARILY ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS OF TRANSPORTATION
  • Fixed-route - must be accessible if vehicle seats 8 or more people; equivalent service if vehicles are smaller
  • Demand responsive - new purchases must be accessible unless the system, when viewed in its entirety, provides equivalent services to persons with disabilities
private entities primarily not engaged in the business of transportation
PRIVATE ENTITIES PRIMARILY NOT ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS OF TRANSPORTATION
  • Fixed-route - new vehicle must be accessible if vehicle seats more than 16 passengers; accessible or equivalent service if smaller vehicle is used
  • Demand responsive - new purchases must be accessible unless the system, when viewed in its entirety, provides equivalent services to persons with disabilities
facility requirements
FACILITY REQUIREMENTS
  • New construction and alterations must be accessible - ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG)
    • General design standard for building and site elements
    • “Scoping” requirements
    • Construction contracts must include ADA requirements
public transportation provider requirements
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION PROVIDER REQUIREMENTS
  • New facilities must be fully accessible
  • Existing facilities - when viewed in its entirety must be readily accessible
  • Altered facilities - alterations must be accessible to the maximum extent possible - primary functions
private entity requirements
PRIVATE ENTITY REQUIREMENTS
  • New facilities must be accessible to the extent it is not structurally impractical
  • Existing facilities’ physical barriers must be removed if readily achievable
    • If not readily achievable, alternative steps must be taken to make services accessible
  • Alterations must be accessible to the maximum extent feasible
provision of service requirements all providers
PROVISION OF SERVICE REQUIREMENTS - ALL PROVIDERS*
  • Access to information - all print materials must be available in accessible formats
    • Accessible material must be available upon request and in a form that the person can use
  • Access to communication - provide access to information provided by telephone (TTY/TDD/Relay services)
  • Public hearing must be held in accessible location

* Must include in policy statement

provision of service requirements all providers continued
PROVISION OF SERVICE REQUIREMENTS - ALL PROVIDERS (CONTINUED)*
  • Employee training - personnel must be trained to proficiency, as appropriate to their duties, so that they may operate vehicles and equipment safely and properly and treat individuals with disabilities in a respectful and courteous way

* Must include in policy statement

provision of service requirements all providers continued1
PROVISION OF SERVICE REQUIREMENTS - ALL PROVIDERS (CONTINUED)*
  • Equipment maintenance - lifts, securements, public address systems, and other access-related equipment must be maintained in operating condition
  • Lift and securement use:
    • All “common wheelchairs” must be transported
    • Common wheelchairs must be secured during transport – must be in policy
    • Service cannot be denied on the grounds that a mobility device cannot be secured to the provider’s satisfaction

* Must include in policy statement

provision of service requirements all providers continued2
PROVISION OF SERVICE REQUIREMENTS - ALL PROVIDERS (CONTINUED)*
  • Common Wheelchair:

Mobility aid belonging to any class of 3 or 4 wheeled devices, usable indoors, designed for and usable by individuals with mobility impairments whether operated manually or powered -

      • < 30 inches in width
      • < 48 inches in length
      • measured 2 inches above the ground
      • < 600# when occupied
  • Should accommodate larger wheelchairs if capable* Must include in policy statement
provision of service requirements all providers continued3
PROVISION OF SERVICE REQUIREMENTS - ALL PROVIDERS (CONTINUED)*
  • Lift and securement use (continued)
    • 3-point passenger restraint system is required
    • Restraint can only be required when and if all other passengers are required seat belts
    • Does not preempt State law that requires children to be secured with an approved restraint system

* Must include in policy statement

provision of service requirements all providers continued4
PROVISION OF SERVICE REQUIREMENTS - ALL PROVIDERS (CONTINUED)*
  • Lift and securement use (continued)
    • Individuals that have mobility devices that pose securement problems can be requested to transfer, but cannot be required to transfer
    • Individuals who cannot enter a vehicle using the stairs must be allowed to enterthe vehicle using the lift

* Must include in policy statement

accommodating mobility aids and life support systems
ACCOMMODATING MOBILITY AIDS AND LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS*
  • Riders must be permitted to travel with service animals that are trained to assist them
    • May ask if pet
    • May ask what services the animal has been trained to perform
    • May not ask about disability
    • May not ask for proof of certification or other documentation

* Must include in policy statement

accommodating mobility aids and life support systems continued
ACCOMMODATING MOBILITY AIDS AND LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS (CONTINUED)*
  • Riders must be allowed to travel with respirators and portable oxygen
    • Service can be denied if transporting hazardous materials

* Must include in policy statement

attendant policies refusing services
ATTENDANT POLICIES/REFUSING SERVICES*
  • Personal Care Attendants must be permitted to ride and should not be charged a fare
  • Cannot require the use of a PCA
  • Service can only be refused if a rider engages in “violent, seriously disruptive, or illegal conduct”
  • Service cannot be denied because an individual offends, annoys, or inconveniences another rider

* Must include in policy statement

attendant policies refusing services continued
ATTENDANT POLICIES/REFUSING SERVICES (CONTINUED)*
  • Service cannot be refused even if insurance companies condition coverage or set rates contrary to the regulation
  • Suspension of disruptive rider requires due process – notification of appeal

* Must include in policy statement

additional charges
ADDITIONAL CHARGES*
  • Additional charges cannot be imposed even if additional services are required
  • Boarding/Disembarking time - adequate time must be provided

* Must include in policy statement

additional requirements for public entities
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR PUBLIC ENTITIES*
  • Maintenance of lifts - public providers must institute regular and frequent maintenance checks of lifts
    • Repair made next business day
    • Vehicles with inoperable lifts can be put into service only if there is no spare
    • Vehicles with inoperable lifts can be kept in service for no more than 3 days (if the service area population is greater than 50,000) or 5 days (if the service area population is less than 50,000)

* Must include in policy statement

service related issues
SERVICE RELATED ISSUES
  • System assessment
    • Service standards
    • Capacity constrained
    • Recordkeeping
    • Review and analysis
  • Customer satisfaction
    • Surveys
    • Complaint policies - procedures
    • Administration oversight
equivalent service
EQUIVALENT SERVICE
  • Must document equivalent service when buying or leasing new vehicles that are not accessible
  • Must be made each time
  • Public entity or private contractor must complete certificate of equivalent service before acquiring an inaccessible vehicle
  • Private entities do not submit
transportation function impacted by ada
TRANSPORTATION FUNCTION IMPACTED BY ADA
  • Management
  • Human Resources
  • Labor Relations
  • Planning
  • Purchasing/Procurement
  • Scheduling & Dispatching
  • Facilities
  • Operations
  • Maintenance
  • Customer Service
  • Marketing & Public Relations
  • Community Relations
  • Civil Rights & Legal Counsel
  • Board of Directors
states responsibilities
STATES’ RESPONSIBILITIES
  • Comply with certification requirements
  • Comply with vehicle accessibility requirements
  • Monitor subrecipients’ compliance with vehicle accessibility requirement
  • Ensure new/rehabilitated facilities comply with ADA
  • Comply with ADA service provisions (direct operation)
  • Monitor subrecipients’ compliance with ADA service provisions
states responsibilities continued
STATES’ RESPONSIBILITIES (CONTINUED)
  • Provide complementary paratransit service (fixed route system)
  • Monitor complementary paratransit service
enforcement
ENFORCEMENT
  • Complaints alleging discrimination should be filed with the appropriate Federal agency
  • All transportation related complaints go to USDOT
  • Powers, remedies, and procedures of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 apply to Title I Employment Provisions and Title III Public Accommodation and Service Accommodation
  • Powers, remedies, and procedures of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 apply to Title II
enforcement procedure
ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURE
  • Complaint filed with USDOT Office of Civil Rights
  • USDOT investigates
  • Attempt to resolve issue
  • Violations not corrected - cut off Federal funds
  • Subject to further administrative or judicial action by Department of Justice
enforcement procedure continued
ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURE (CONTINUED)
  • USDOT focuses enforcement on ensuring that entities meet their obligations, rather than on the imposing of sanctions
  • Priority of enforcement - where there is a “pattern or practice” of discrimination
  • In addition to administrative enforcement, private legal actions can be initiated