September 11, 2007
Re: FTA Complaint Number 07-0252
Dear [name withheld]:
This letter responds to your complaint, filed by [name withheld] on your behalf, against Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA) alleging violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and/or the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) implementing regulations at 49 CFR Parts 27, 37, and 38. 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 the ADA, the DOT ADA regulations, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Specifically, your July 24, 2007, complaint alleged that RGRTA is unable to accommodate you because your wheelchair is too wide. In follow-up conversations with [name withheld] on August 16, 2007, we explained that providers of public transportation are required by 49 CFR § 37.165(b) at a minimum to accommodate all “common wheelchairs.” A common wheelchair is defined at 49 CFR § 37.3 as “a device which does not exceed 30 inches in width and 48 inches in length measured two inches above the ground, and does not weigh more than 600 pounds when occupied.”
In communicating with you, [name withheld] learned that your wheelchair is wider than 30 inches. If RGRTA’s vehicles are not able to accommodate your chair, and because it is wider than 30 inches, then they would not be required to do so under the ADA. I am sorry that we can not be of further assistance to you.
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 at the local level or privately in the appropriate court. If you have any questions regarding our determination, please contact me at (202) 366-4018 or at my 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
[Name withheld], BSW, Center for Disability Rights, Inc.
Brigid Hynes-Cherin, FTA Region II Administrator
John Prince, FTA Region II Civil Rights Officer