April 17, 2008
Re: FTA Complaint Number 07-0109
Dear [name withheld]:
This letter responds to your complaint against the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) 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 January 8, 2007, alleged that:
On January 5, 2007, a GCRTA fixed route driver informed you that when the bus is full, he could ask non-disabled persons to move from the priority seating area, but could not force them to move.
The DOT ADA regulations at 49 C.F.R. § 37.167 state that a transit entity “is not required to enforce the request that other passengers move from priority seating areas or wheelchair securement locations.”
Therefore, after reviewing your complaint, the FTA Office of Civil Rights has not found GCRTA to be in violation of 49 CFR § 37.167 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.
Please note that if your arthritis limits your ability to stand as you say it does, and because RTA has not adopted a policy that requires individuals to vacate priority seating, then you could be eligible for RTA’s next-day origin-to-destination paratransit service. Eligibility is available for riders such as yourself who might be unable, as the result of a physical impairment, to board, ride, or disembark any vehicle on the system. You may request an application by calling 216-566-5124.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.
David W. Knight
ADA Team Leader
Office of Civil Rights
Joseph A. Calabrese, RTA
Marisol Simon, FTA Region X Administrator
Dwight Sinks, FTA Region X Civil Rights Officer