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Disability alone does not determine paratransit eligibility; the decision is based on the applicant’s functional ability to use the fixed route bus and is not a medical decision. The Department of Transportation (DOT) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations in Appendix D to 49 C.F.R. Section 37.125 explain: “The substantive eligibility process is not aimed at making a medical or diagnostic determination. While evaluation by a physician (or professionals in rehabilitation or other relevant fields) may be used as part of the process, a diagnosis of a disability is not dispositive. What is needed is a determination of whether, as a practical matter, the individual can use fixed route transit in his or her own circumstances.” Transit agencies, with input from the communities they serve, devise the specifics of their individual eligibility processes. The DOT ADA regulations in Section 37.125 set only broad requirements that all agencies must incorporate, such as written notification of eligibility decisions and an opportunity for an appeal. This regulation may be accessed here.

Paratransit EligibilityHow is paratransit eligibility determined?

The Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Office of Civil Rights ensures the non-discriminatory use of federal funds through oversight of grantee implementation of required civil rights regulations and policy. Compliance reviews are conducted to ensure conformity under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program, the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. More information about each of the four programs administered by FTA’s Office of Civil Rights, as well as links to corresponding statutes and regulations, may be found by visiting the following website and selecting individual program links.

Regulations and GuidelinesWhat regulations does the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Office of Civil Rights enforce, and where may I access the regulations and information about programs enforced by the Office of Civil Rights?

Yes, under Department of Transportation (DOT) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations at 49 C.F.R. Section 37.167(b), the minimum requirement for fixed route stop announcements by a transit provider is that stops be announced (by personnel or a recording system) at least at transfer points with other fixed routes, other major intersections and destination points, and intervals along a route sufficient to permit individuals with visual impairments or other disabilities to be oriented to their location. Further, the transit personnel must announce any stop upon request of an individual with a disability. For the text of 49 C.F.R. Section 37.167(b) and its corresponding section in Appendix D, please visit this link.

Regulations and GuidelinesAre fixed route transit providers required to provide audible stop announcements?