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Who Would be Responsible for Providing Equivalent Service, the Transit System or the Ridesourcing Entity?

In general, the public entity that enters into the partnership with the ridesourcing entity would be responsible for ensuring that equivalent service is provided. In an instance where the fare structure for the provider of accessible vehicles differs from (is greater than) that used by the ridesourcing entity, the transit operator must offset those costs to ensure that they are not borne by the passenger.

What Are the Requirements for Demand-Responsive Service?

The level of service provided to people with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs, must be equivalent to that provided to people without disabilities. The service characteristics for determining whether the service is equivalent are:
Response time
Geographic area of service
Hours and days of service
Restrictions or priorities based on trip purpose
Availability of information and reservations capability
Any constraints on capacity or service availability

If a Transit System Partners With a Ride-Sourcing Entity to Provide First-Mile/Last-Mile Service, What ADA Regulations Apply?

Such service would most likely be regarded as demand-responsive service to the general public. The service, though not necessarily the ridesourcing vehicles themselves, would have to be accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs.

If a transit system offers real-time service to paratransit passengers using ride-sourcing, can it provide real-time service to eligible passengers? Wheelchair users would still have access to next-day paratransit service.

If real-time service is provided to eligible ADA paratransit passengers, it must be provided to all eligible ADA paratransit riders, including wheelchair users. This can be accomplished by ensuring that the ridesourcing entity has sufficient accessible vehicles available to provide equivalent service; by contracting with a separate entity to provide accessible vehicles; or most easily by simply incorporating your own accessible paratransit vehicles into the service to be provided by the ridesourcing entity.

If a transit operator contracts out its shared mobility service to a ride-sourcing entity; would that make it subject to the requirements for public or private transportation?

The requirements for public entities would apply.
The public entity remains responsible for ensuring that the service provided is in compliance with DOT ADA regulations. This can be accomplished by ensuring that the private entity has sufficient accessible vehicles in its own fleet to provide equivalent service; by contracting with a separate entity to provide equivalent service, or by employing accessible vehicles from its own fleet.

If a Shared Mobility Project Only Involves Non-ADA Transportation; Does It Still Have to Comply With the Service Criteria?

If the term "non-ADA transportation" is being used to refer to transportation services that are not ADA complementary paratransit, such services would be covered by the requirements for fixed-route or demand-responsive service for the general public, not by the ADA complementary paratransit service criteria.
It should be noted that the term "non-ADA transportation" is a misnomer; all modes of transportation, other than by aircraft, are covered by DOT ADA regulations.

If a Shared Mobility Project Doesn’t Use Federal Funding, Does It Still Have to Comply With Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Requirements?

Yes. The ADA applies regardless of whether there is federal funding involved. The applicable requirements may depend upon the nature of the project and the service that will result, such as fixed route, general public demand responsive, or ADA paratransit.

If a Ride-Sourcing Entity Plans to Acquire a Fleet of Vans to Provide Fixed-Route Service Under Contract to a Local Transit System, Do Those Vehicles Have to be Accessible?

For fixed route service, vehicles must be accessible.
A private entity that purchases or leases new, used, or remanufactured vehicles for use, or in contemplation of use, in fixed route or demand responsive service under contract or other arrangement or relationship with a public entity must acquire accessible vehicles in all situations in which the public entity itself would be required to do so (49 CFR 37.23(b)).

Can a Transit System Use Ride-Sourcing to Provide a Portion of its ADA Paratransit Service?

Yes. It’s important to remember, though, that all ADA paratransit service criteria apply:
Origin-to-destination service
Service area (at least ¾-mile on either side of a fixed route)
Response time (next-day, with advance reservation and real-time scheduling permitted)
Fares (not more than twice the regular fixed-route fare for a comparable trip)
No restrictions on trip purpose
Hours and days of service (at least the same as fixed route)
No capacity constraints

Aren’t Private Companies Like Ride-Sourcing Entities Exempt From U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) ADA Requirements?

No. The DOT ADA regulations cover transportation provided by both public and private entities, whether or not they are primarily engaged in the provision of transportation service.
For example, if a hotel wants to provide shuttle service to its guests along a fixed route serving local attractions, because hotels are not primarily engaged in transportation, the vehicles used may not need to be accessible as long as equivalent service is provided for persons with disabilities, including wheelchair users.


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