October 13, 2009
Re: FTA Complaint Number 08-0180
Dear [name withheld]:
This letter responds to your complaint against the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA). 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 are in compliance with 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. Each response to a particular complaint 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. We apologize for the delay in our response.
In your complaint, you describe difficulty finding accessible parking at RTA’s Brookpark Station. Specifically, you state, that there are not enough accessible parking spaces to meet demand and that snow was not sufficiently cleared from the parking lot last winter. Correspondence between you and RTA is included in your complaint and shows you raised concerns about snow removal efforts in February 2008.
We regret your difficulty accessing parking at the station. Based upon a review of your concerns, however, we find that we are not able to take action on your complaint for the following reasons:
Specifications for accessible parking spaces are found in the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) adopted as regulatory standards by DOT. The minimum number of accessible spaces depends on the total number of parking spaces provided in the parking facility. Your complaint states that while the Brookpark Station may have the required number of accessible spaces, more could be utilized. In October 2005, FTA reviewed the Brookpark Station as part of its ADA Key Station Assessment process and concluded, as suggested in your complaint, that the parking area has 28 accessible parking spaces, exceeding the required 24. Although a transit provider may decide to add more accessible spaces based on demand, FTA cannot compel an agency to exceed regulatory requirements.
Regarding snow removal, we cannot verify the condition of the parking lot on the days you had difficulty. It is important to recognize, however, that the ADA regulations allow for isolated or temporary interruptions in service or access due to maintenance. The duration and extent of the snow issues you encountered are unclear from the correspondence provided, but appear to have occurred in late February 2008. The correspondence shows that you reported your concerns regarding snow pileup to RTA’s Office of Equal Opportunity on February 26 and 27, 2008. RTA responded on February 27, 2008, that it would forward your concerns to the Facility Manager responsible for the snow removal efforts to determine if improvements could be made. The complaint record does not support a finding that RTA was unresponsive to your concerns or suggest that the problem was ongoing.
If you believe that RTA is not making reasonable efforts to clear snow this upcoming winter, we encourage you to contact RTA and give the transit agency an opportunity to resolve the situation prior to filing a complaint with our office. If you find that RTA’s complaint process is unresponsive, you may wish to file another complaint with this office.
Based on the above, we are taking no further action and are closing your complaint as of the date of this letter. If you have any questions, please contact me or Dawn Sweet of my staff at (202) 366-0529 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any further correspondence should reference FTA Complaint No. 08-0180. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention, and we trust this information is helpful.
John R. Day
Acting ADA Team Leader
Office of Civil Rights