East Bay Paratransit Consortium (EBPC), San Francisco, CA, 4-3-01

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U.S. Department
of Transportation

    400 Seventh St. S.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20590

Federal Transit
Administration
April 3, 2001

 

Re: FTA Complaint No. 01-0055

 

Dear (Name Withheld):

This letter responds to your complaint against the East Bay Paratransit Consortium (EBPC) and potential noncompliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (the ADA) and/or the Department of Transportation's (DOT) implementing regulations at 49 CFR Parts 27, 37, and 38. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Office of Civil Rights is responsible for civil rights compliance and monitoring, which includes ensuring that providers of public transportation properly implement the ADA, the DOT ADA regulations, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

In the FTA complaint investigation process, we analyze the complainant's allegations for possible ADA deficiencies by the transit provider. If we identify what may be a violation, we first attempt to provide technical assistance to address it by assisting the transit provider to comply with the ADA. If FTA cannot resolve apparent violations of the ADA or the DOT ADA regulations by voluntary means, formal enforcement proceedings may be initiated against the public transportation provider which may result in the termination of Federal funds. FTA also may refer the matter to the U.S. Department of Justice for enforcement.

Because of the limitation in resources, complaint investigations are conducted by telephone and written inquiry. In a few circumstances, where time and resources permit, investigations may be complemented by other means, such as compliance reviews or other on-site action. A finding of no violation of a particular allegation should be understood to apply specifically to the facts and circumstances at issue. Such a determination is not intended to express an opinion as to the overall ADA compliance of that transit property.

We understand your allegation to be as follows:

  • Your eligibility is scheduled to expire in October 2001 and you feel that the transit property actions with regard to your eligibility status are discriminatory.

We informed EBPC of your allegation and requested information relating to your complaint; reviewed the information presented by EBPC and you; and made a determination on your allegation based on our analysis of the compiled information in relation to the DOT ADA regulations.

The DOT ADA regulation at 49 CFR 37.125(f) states that "The entity may require recertification of the eligibility of ADA paratransit eligible individuals at reasonable intervals." The Appendix at 49 CFR 37.125 offers guidance in saying:

The entity may certify eligibility at reasonable intervals to make sure that changed circumstances have not invalidated or changed the individual’s eligibility.

Often, persons who were at one time eligible for paratransit service no longer need ADA Complementary Paratransit service to the degree they once did because circumstances have changed—fixed route buses have become accessible or the person’s ability to travel on fixed route has improved—they no longer need paratransit service to the degree they once did.

  • We note that your original ADA re-certification application was received by EBPC on June 29, 2000, but it was returned to you on July 5, 2000, because it was incomplete.
  • On July 10, 2000, you resubmitted your application. EBPC reviewed your application and decided to interview you in person to clarify the information you provided and mailed you an in-person assessment letter.
  • EBPC did not receive a response from you by September 5, 2000, and your application was placed in an "incomplete" file.
  • On September 28, 2000, EBPC received a call from you asking why you were not certified ADA eligible. EBPC informed you that they needed to do an in-person assessment to determine your eligibility. Your response was that as soon as your wheelchair is repaired that you will call back to arrange for an in-person assessment.
  • On October 23, 2000, you submitted a new application.
  • On November 7, 2000, EBPC mailed a professional verification form to your clinic, Andrew and Associates, Inc. (AAI).
  • On December 19, 2000, you requested EBPC to mail another evaluation form to AAI. EBPC mailed the form on December 20, 2000.
  • EBPC called AAI on December 27, 2000, and was told that you will be evaluated by January 8, 2001. As of January 10, 2001, neither you or your physician has not provided the additional information requested by EBPC.
  • On January 18, 2001, you submitted needed additional information and agreed to come for an in-person interview and as a result you were found ADA complementary paratransit eligible for another three years.

Based on the above we find that EBPC acted in accordance with the DOT ADA regulation section 37.125, regarding the eligibility certification process, and that their actions were not discriminatory.

Thank you for bringing your concern to our attention. If you have any questions regarding this decision, please contact Roger Peralta, Equal Opportunity Specialist, at our toll free FTA ADA Assistance Line, 1-888-446-4511, or at his electronic mail address: roger.peralta@dot.gov.

 

Sincerely,
/signed/
Cheryl L. Hershey
ADA Group Leader
Office of Civil Rights