April 2, 2008
Re: FTA Complaint Number 07-0105
Dear [name withheld]:
This letter responds to your complaint against the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) 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 December 28, 2006, alleged that:
TANK does not test for cognitive ability for ADA complementary paratransit eligibility, and since your disability is cognitive and not physical in nature, TANK consistently only gave you temporary eligibility for paratransit.
FTA investigated your allegations and sent an information request to TANK. We received a response from TANK that provided relevant information. Your allegation is addressed in detail below.
You provided us with a summary of the problems you had encountered while attempting to receive Regional Area Mobility Program (RAMP) eligibility. You also provided us with a copy of a letter dated November 8, 2007, from TANK that indicated that you were only temporarily eligible for RAMP and that you would need to reapply to be eligible past April 8, 2008.
After originally denying giving you only temporary eligibility, TANK has acknowledged this based on their letter of November 8, 2007. As a result, Terri Pierce, Director of Operations at TANK, informed us that since TANK does not currently have a cognitive evaluation process, your eligibility will continue indefinitely until such time that a cognitive evaluation can be performed. According to Ms. Pierce, TANK is currently in the process of arranging with Cincinnati Metro to perform all of TANK’s functional evaluations, including cognitive evaluations. TANK does not expect that this arrangement will be in place for some time. Ms. Pierce sent you a letter on February 20, 2008, providing this information.
Your complaint appears to have been adequately addressed by TANK, and therefore we are closing your complaint as of the date of this letter. However, we will place TANK in follow-up status to ensure that no other TANK riders have inappropriately been given temporary eligibility when a cognitive evaluation is necessary. 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
Terri Pierce, Director of Operations, TANK
John Santavicca, Manager, Special Services, TANK
Yvette G. Taylor, FTA Region IV Administrator
Frank Billue, FTA Region IV Civil Rights Officer