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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Capital District Transportation Authority, Albany, NY, 5-02-08

May 2, 2008

Re: FTA Complaint Number 07-0242

Dear [name withheld]:

This letter responds to your complaint against the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) 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.   

Each response is developed based on the specific facts and circumstances at issue.  A determination resulting from a review of these facts is not intended to express an opinion as to the overall ADA compliance of that transit provider.

Specifically, your complaint of June 25, 2007, alleged that:

CDTA is failing to provide drivers with a public address system to announce stops on their fixed route system.

FTA investigated your allegation and sent an information request to CDTA.  We received a response from CDTA that addressed and provided relevant information on your allegations.  Your allegation is addressed in detail below.

You provided us with 51 CDTA Driver Problem Reports from one of your operating divisions.  These reports occurred on dates between July 1 and October 1, 2007. 

In reviewing the reports that you submitted, most days during the three month sample period have no inspection reports with broken public address systems or microphones.  For those days with problem reports, usually only one or two instances are reported.  The maximum number of broken public address systems or microphones at any given time was four, which only occurred twice (on July 2 and July 6, 2007).

CDTA reported that on a sample day (February 8, 2008), out of 120 reports, there were two malfunctioning public address systems, two malfunctioning annunciators, and two malfunctioning microphones.  While we recognize that you provided problem reports for only one of three divisions, the number of malfunctions provided at that division do not substantially  contradict CDTA’s system-wide report for the sample day.

In addition, according to your reports, most buses with a reported broken microphone and/or public address system are not thereafter reported on subsequent days as still broken.  There are occurrences where there are repeated malfunctions and/or breaks, but this is infrequent.  It is noted that two buses, 2090 and 2092, experienced repeated issues, and we are bringing that to CDTA’s attention by copy of this letter.

After reviewing all of the submitted materials, the documentation provided does not support a claim that CDTA fails to properly maintain accessible features in violation of the DOT ADA regulations.  As the investigation phase of this process has been completed, we are closing your complaint as of the date of this letter.

We appreciate your recognition that CDTA is required to call out major stop intersections, transfer points, and intervals along the route, and that this responsibility falls to the bus operator when accessible features are not present or are malfunctioning.  We will continue to follow-up with CDTA pursuant to the compliance review we conducted in March 2006.

This concludes our processing of this matter and no further action will be taken.  If new information comes to your attention, please contact us.  While FTA’s decision in your case is administratively final, it does not prevent you from pursuing this matter privately in the appropriate court.  If you have any questions regarding our determination, please contact Stephanie Sharer, at (202) 366-0272 or at her e-mail address:  Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.


David W. Knight
ADA Team Leader
Office of Civil Rights

cc: Stephen G. Bland, Executive Director, CDTA
Amanda A. Avery, General Counsel, CDTA
Brigid Hynes-Cherin, FTA Region II Administrator
John Prince, FTA Region II Civil Rights Officer