Dallas Area Transit Authority, Dallas, TX, 4-3-01

U.S. Department
of Transportation


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

Federal Transit
April 3, 2001


FTA Complaint No. 00-0269

Dear (Name Withheld):

This letter responds to your complaint on behalf of (name withheld) against the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), Dallas, Texas, alleging violations of 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 FTA identifies 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 we 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 who 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, the majority of 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 that:

The DOT ADA regulation at 49 CFR Section 37.129(a) states that, "Ö complementary paratransit service for ADA paratransit persons shall be origin-to-destination service."

The DOT ADA regulation Section 37.129 at the Appendix provides guidance saying that " The local planning process should decide whether, or in what circumstances, this service is to be provided as door-to-door or curb- to curb service."

DARTís Complementary Paratransit Service is a curb-to-curb shared-ride program. The exact locations of pick-up and drop-off sites are operational issues. DARTís publication, "Guide to Paratransit Service," explains how service is provided to all eligible riders. DART provided a copy of this publication to you in October 1999. According to DARTís policy, riders must be waiting at the sidewalk or at another safe waiting area in front or as close as possible to the entrance of the pick-up location. Bus operators will wait for a rider at the curb of a public street in front or as close as possible to the riderís house, building, or other designated pick-up location.

DART advises that its decision to discontinue alley pick-up service for your son, was based on the narrowness of the alleys and the obscureness of the van to oncoming and exiting vehicular traffic that presents an unsafe and hazardous condition to passengers and DART property. We note that, according to DART, it has never advocated alleyway service, due to the potential for unpreventable accidents, property damage, and unsafe passenger conditions. DART states that this practice has been individualized by driver personnel wanting to provide quality service, and that each instance of alleyway service that is brought to DARTís attention is addressed immediately and rescinded.

Based on our review of the facts, we do not find DARTís actions with respect to delivery of ADA complementary paratransit service to be deficient.

If you have any questions regarding our determinations, please contact Linda Wood King at our toll free FTA ADA Assistance Line, 1-888-446-4511, or at her electronic mail address: Linda.king@dot.gov. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.


Cheryl L. Hershey
ADA Group Leader
Office of Civil Rights