July 27, 2010
Re: FTA Complaint Number 10-0190
Dear [name withheld]:
This letter responds to your complaint against North County Transit District (NCTD). 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.
In your complaint, you state that due to your cognitive disability, you forget to tap your Compass Card on the fare machine that is located near the parking area of several of the stations you frequently use. To accommodate persons with disabilities, you believe this machine needs to be right next to the train on the platform or inside the train close to the door.
After reviewing your complaint and material you sent us, we find we are not able to take further action. With respect to fare machines, the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) do contain design requirements to ensure accessibility, both in the original 1991 guidelines as well as the updated 2004 guidelines, which DOT incorporated as standards into its ADA regulations in November 2006. ADAAG also instructs that accessible gates and fare vending machines be placed in close proximity to other accessible elements when feasible so the facility is easier to use.
In ADAAG’s Chapter 2 titled “Scoping Requirements” section 206.3 states:
Accessible routes shall coincide with, or be located in the same area as general circulation paths. Where circulation paths are interior, required accessible routes shall also be interior. Elements such as ramps, elevators, or other circulation devices, fare vending or other ticketing areas, and fare collection areas shall be placed to minimize the distance which wheelchair users and other persons who cannot negotiate steps may have to travel compared to the general public.
ADAAG does not dictate that fare vending machines need to be placed right next to the train on the platform or inside the train by the door.
Because you have not received a ticket from NCTD for not tapping your Compass Card on the machine, we encourage you contact NCTD with your concerns and to work out a solution. In this situation, we have determined that no specific provisions of the DOT ADA regulations have been violated. Accordingly, we are taking no further action and are closing your complaint as of the date of this letter. If you have any questions regarding this determination, please contact me or Antoinette Davis of my staff at (202) 366-5190 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any further correspondence should reference FTA Complaint No. 10-0190. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.
John R. Day
Acting ADA Team Leader
Office of Civil Rights