Title VI Requirements for ADA Paratransit
Question and Answer Concerning FTA’s Circular 4702.1B, “Title VI Requirements and Guidelines for FTA Recipients”
Q: How does Circular 4702.1B apply to providers of ADA Complementary Paratransit Service?
A: Title VI and the U.S. DOT Title VI regulations apply institutionwide to all recipients of Federal financial assistance. Therefore, a transit agency’s ADA complementary paratransit service as well as its fixed route service must comply with Title VI.
Fixed route operators may include both their fixed route and ADA complementary paratransit in one Title VI program. Providers of public transportation that only operate demand response service (such as ADA paratransit service) are responsible for completing a Title VI program as described in chapter III of the Circular.
The Circular contains requirements and guidance that should be implemented in the context of an agency’s ADA complementary paratransit program. For example, the Circular’s chapter III part 9 requires recipients to take responsible steps to ensure meaningful access to the benefits, services, information, vital documents, and other important portions of their programs or activities for individuals who are limited English proficient (LEP). Recipients who provide ADA complementary paratransit service should implement this requirement for their paratransit service, consistent with the U.S. DOT’s Policy Guidance Concerning Recipients’ Responsibilities to Limited English Proficient Persons (70 FR 74087, December 14, 2005). Recipients are also encouraged to review DOJ’s guidelines on self-assessment, Language Access Assessment and Planning Tool for Federally Conducted and Federally Assisted Programs (May 2011), as well as other materials, available at www.lep.gov.
Likewise, the Circular’s chapter III part 5 requires recipients to apprise members of the public of the protections against discrimination afforded to them by Title VI. Recipients that provide ADA complementary paratransit service should ensure that paratransit riders are apprised of their rights under Title VI.
Additionally, States, transit agencies and metropolitan planning organizations that pass funds through to subrecipients must monitor their subrecipients to ensure the subrecipients are in compliance with Title VI. These subrecipients may include ADA paratransit companies that perform the fixed route operator’s ADA paratransit responsibilities.
As stated in FTA’s April 13, 2007 Federal Register notice, “If FTA receives specific complaints that ADA complementary paratransit providers are engaging in disparate treatment or disparate impact discrimination, we will investigate such complaints and work with the transit provider to ensure that paratransit service is being administered consistent with Title VI.” (72 FR 18736, April 13, 2007).