DOT Announces Rule to Improve Transit Access for Disabled

The rule says providers are required to make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices, and procedures.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the publication of a final rule stating that public transportation providers are required to make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices, and procedures to avoid discrimination and ensure programs and services are accessible to individuals with disabilities.

This applies to public entities providing fixed route, dial-a-ride and complementary paratransit services. It clarifies that an individual's disability cannot preclude a public transportation entity from providing full access to its service except where doing so would fundamentally alter the service.

"Ensuring equal access to public transportation enables individuals with disabilities to have access to jobs, school, medical care and a better quality of life," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Making reasonable modifications to transit services helps bring everyone on the path to access the ladders of opportunities that all Americans strive for."

The rule provides 27 examples of what a reasonable modification is and is not, and clarifies the definition of origin-to-destination service.

"Today's rule simply codifies and clarifies what many in the transit community are already doing to accommodate their riders who have disabilities," said Acting Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan.  "We are making sure that reasonable modifications are part of transit provider policies and more uniformly applied while keeping decision-making in their hands."

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