May a transit provider require a rider to travel with a Personal Care Attendant (PCA)?
Under Department of Transportation (DOT) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations at 49 C.F.R. Section 37.5(e), a transit entity is prohibited from requiring that an individual with disabilities be accompanied by a personal care attendant (PCA). Transit entities are also not required to provide PCA services. This provision must be considered in light of the fact that under 49 C.F.R. 37.5(h), an entity may refuse service to someone who engages in violent, seriously disruptive, or illegal conduct. If an entity may legitimately refuse service to someone, it may condition service to him on actions that would mitigate the problem. The entity could require a PCA as a condition of providing service it otherwise had the right to refuse. However, a transit entity cannot refuse to provide service solely because an individual’s disability results in appearance or involuntary behavior that may offend, annoy, or inconvenience the entity or other persons.