May a transit agency require a paratransit applicant to pay for rides to and from an assessment center for a paratransit eligibility evaluation?
No, under Department of Transportation (DOT) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations at 49 C.F.R. Section 37.5(d), an entity may not impose special charges, not authorized by this part, on individuals with disabilities for providing services required by this part or otherwise necessary to accommodate them. Section 37.125 requires each operator of complementary paratransit to establish an eligibility process. The details of the process are developed at the local level by transit operators and the communities they serve. As Appendix D to Section 37.125 explains, however, the process developed may not impose unreasonable administrative burdens on applicants, and may not involve “user fees” or application fees to the applicant. This section prohibits applicants from having to pay for transportation to and from an assessment, as the assessment is part of the eligibility process.