March 13, 2008
Re: FTA Complaint Number 08-0156
Dear [name withheld]:
This letter responds to your complaint against Access Services Inc. (Access) alleging discrimination on the basis of disability. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Office of Civil Rights is responsible for civil rights compliance and monitoring, which includes ensuring that providers of public transportation properly implement Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Department of Transportation's (DOT) implementing regulations at 49 CFR Parts 27, 37, and 38.
In the FTA complaint investigation process, we analyze allegations for possible ADA deficiencies by the transit provider. If FTA identifies what may be a violation, we first attempt to provide technical assistance to assist the public transit provider in complying with the ADA. If FTA cannot resolve apparent violations of the ADA or the DOT ADA regulations by voluntary means, formal enforcement proceedings may be initiated against the public transit provider which may result in the termination of Federal funds. FTA also may refer the matter to the U.S. Department of Justice for enforcement.
Your complaint is premature at this time. The DOT ADA regulations at 49 CFR § 37.125 require Access to have an administrative appeal process so that disputes such as yours may be addressed at the local level. We are not able to investigate eligibility complaints until the appeals process has been completed. If you wish to pursue this matter in the future, you must send us both your denial letter and the letter denying your appeal. In the event that you submit a new complaint, please note that we will only be able to investigate allegations that Access’ process is flawed. For example we would investigate allegations that your denial was not based on your functional ability to utilize the fixed route bus service or that the process did not evaluate all the barriers you experience when trying to access fixed route service from any point in the service area. As a reminder, neither an inability to drive nor previous eligibility can be a basis for eligibility by itself.
This concludes our processing of this matter and no further action will be taken. If new information comes to your attention, please contact us. If you have any questions regarding our determination, please contact Stephanie Sharer, at (202) 366-0272 or at her e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.
David W. Knight
ADA Team Leader
Office of Civil Rights