Shared Mobility Frequently Asked Questions
In response to increasing interest from the transit industry in partnering with on-demand, shared mobility services such as ride-hailing companies, the FTA has identified FAQs about:
- Shared Mobility Eligibility Under FTA’s grant programs
- Shared Mobility and the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Shared Mobility Controlled Substance and Alcohol Testing Requirements
To enhance understanding of the issue, we assembled Shared Mobility definitions. FTA encourages you to send your comments and questions to TransitInnovations@dot.gov.
Shared Mobility Eligibility Under FTA’s grant programs
- Can FTA’s programs provide funding for emerging shared mobility services?
- What is the difference between “shared-ride” and “exclusive-ride” services?
- Who may be a recipient, subrecipient or contractor?
- Is bike sharing an eligible expense?
- Is car sharing an eligible expense?
- Are micro-transit services eligible?
- Are private shuttle services eligible?
- Is ridesharing, such as vanpools and carpools eligible?
- Are ride-sourcing services eligible?
- Is ride-splitting or dynamic carpooling eligible?
- What are other potential eligible ways a transit agency may support the use of shared mobility services?
- How can mobility management assist with coordination?
Shared Mobility and the Americans with Disabilities Act
- If a shared mobility project doesn’t use Federal funding, does it still have to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements?
- Aren’t private companies like ride-sourcing entities exempt from U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) ADA requirements?
- If a shared mobility project only involves non-ADA transportation; does it still have to comply with the service criteria?
- If a transit system partners with a ride-sourcing entity to provide first-mile/last-mile service, what ADA regulations apply?
- What are the requirements for demand-responsive service?
- Who would be responsible for providing equivalent service, the transit system or the ridesourcing entity?
- If a transit operator contracts out its shared mobility service to a ride-sourcing entity; would that make it subject to the requirements for public or private transportation?
- If a transit system offers real-time service to its paratransit passengers using ride-sourcing, can it provide real-time service to eligible passengers? Wheelchair users would still have access to next-day paratransit service.
- Can a transit system use ride-sourcing to provide a portion of its ADA paratransit service?
- If a ride-sourcing entity plans to acquire a fleet of vans to provide fixed-route service under contract to a local transit system, do these vehicles have to be accessible?
- A major automaker wants to implement a small fixed-route transportation system in a local community using vans it provides for this purpose. The vehicles will have no established stops, but will be “hailed” by riders through a smartphone app; do any of these vans have to be accessible?
- A county wants to use ride-sourcing as part of its Guaranteed Ride Home program, but none of the ride-sourcing entities have accessible vehicles available. The county wants to contract with a taxi company that has accessible vans in order to meet the equivalent service requirement; however, the taxi company wants to charge riders using their vans twice as much as the ride-sourcing entity charges. Can the county pass this difference along to those passengers?
Shared Mobility Controlled Substance and Alcohol Testing Requirements
Under federal transit law (49 U.S.C. § 5331), public transportation operations that receive financial assistance under FTA’s Urbanized Area, Capital Investment Grant program and Rural Area programs must conduct controlled substance and alcohol testing of employees responsible for safety-sensitive functions, such as operating, dispatching, and maintaining revenue service vehicles. These FAQs describe the extent to which ride-sourcing companies are subject to the drug and alcohol testing requirements. For questions, contact Iyon Rosario, FTA’s Drug and Alcohol Program Manager.
- When do the drug and alcohol rules apply?
- Does the testing requirement apply to employees and independent drivers of contractors not otherwise providing public transportation?
- Are private companies like ride-sourcing companies exempt from DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements?
- What is the taxicab exception and when does it apply?
- When does the taxicab exception not apply?
- Does the taxicab exception apply to ride-sourcing companies?
- If my project is funded with Public Transportation Innovation (§ 5312) research funds, does the drug and alcohol testing requirement apply?
- Do the drug and alcohol rules apply to pilot programs that do not use any FTA funds?