Randolph-Sheppard Act

Q. Does the Randolph–Sheppard Act apply to Regional Transit Authorities since if restoration of a building is 80 percent federally funded? What is this Act and are transit authorities impacted by it?

A.  The Randolph-Sheppard Act, 20 U.S.C. § 107, et seq., is a Federal law that gives priority to blind persons to operate vending facilities on Federal property. Federal property is defined by section 107e of the Act as:

“any building, land, or other real property owned, leased, or occupied by any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States (including the Department of Defense and the United States Postal Service) or any other instrumentality wholly owned by the United States, or by any department or agency of the District of Columbia or any territory or possession of the United States.”

Accepting a grant or loan from FTA does not transform a State-owned or -managed property into a Federal property. Therefore, the Randolph–Sheppard Act does not apply to State or local transit properties.

While States may license or approve certified vendors to participate in the Federal Randolph–Sheppard program (see 34 CFR Part 395), the program does not apply to State or local properties unless the State voluntarily chooses to participate. (Revised: August 12, 2009)

Q. Does the Randolph-Sheppard Act apply to interstate highway rest areas?

A. The Randolph-Sheppard Act (Title 20 USC Code, Chapter 107) applies only to Federal properties, which are defined by section 107e as "any building, land, or other real property owned, leased, or occupied by any department, agency, or instrumentality wholly owned by the United States, or by any department or agency of the District of Columbia or any territory or possession of the United States."  Interstate highway rest areas are typically owned and maintained by states, so the Act would not apply to those facilities. (Posted: December 2009)