The Americans with Disability Act of 1990, as codified below, requires that demand responsive services meet the same levels of service with wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs), if inaccessible vehicles are used to provide any of the service.
§37.77 Purchase or lease of new non-rail vehicles by public entities operating a demand responsive system for the general public.
(a) Except as provided in this section, a public entity operating a demand responsive system for the general public making a solicitation after August 25, 1990, to purchase or lease a new bus or other new vehicle for use on the system, shall ensure that the vehicle is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs.
(b) If the system, when viewed in its entirety, provides a level of service to individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs, equivalent to the level of service it provides to individuals without disabilities, it may purchase new vehicles that are not readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.
(c) For purposes of this section, a demand responsive system, when viewed in its entirety, shall be deemed to provide equivalent service if the service available to individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs, is provided in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the individual and is equivalent to the service provided other individuals with respect to the following service characteristics:
(1) Response time;
(3) Geographic area of service;
(4) Hours and days of service;
(5) Restrictions or priorities based on trip purpose;
(6) Availability of information and reservations capability; and
(7) Any constraints on capacity or service availability.(d) A public entity receiving FTA funds under 49 U.S.C. 5311 or a public entity in a small urbanized area which receives FTA funds under 49 U.S.C. 5307 from a state administering agency rather than directly from FTA, which determines that its service to individuals with disabilities is equivalent to that provided other persons shall, before any procurement of an inaccessible vehicle, file with the appropriate state program office a certificate that it provides equivalent service meeting the standards of paragraph (c) of this section. Public entities operating demand responsive service receiving funds under any other section of the FT Act shall file the certificate with the appropriate FTA regional office. A public entity which does not receive FTA funds shall make such a certificate and retain it in its files, subject to inspection on request of FTA. All certificates under this paragraph may be made and filed in connection with a particular procurement or in advance of a procurement; however, no certificate shall be valid for more than one year. A copy of the required certificate is found in appendix C to this part.
(e) The waiver mechanism set forth in §37.71(b)-(g) (unavailability of lifts) of this subpart shall also be available to public entities operating a demand responsive system for the general public.
Source: [56 FR 45621, Sept. 6, 1991, as amended at 79 FR 21406, Apr. 16, 2014]
Updated December 2017