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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

FTA clarifies rule pertaining to riders with disabilities


The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) last week issued a final rule that requires public transportation agencies to make reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The rule, which takes effect July 13, clarifies that agencies make reasonable "modifications/accommodations to their polices, practices and procedures to ensure accessibility," according to a notice filed March 13 in the Federal Register.

Although requiring agencies to accommodate riders with disabilities is not new under the ADA, the new rule attempts to address court-identified gaps in the law.

"The real-world effect will be that the nature of an individual's disability cannot preclude a public transportation entity from providing full access to the entity's service unless some exception applies," the rule notice states.

Those exceptions include when the modification/accommodation would cause a threat to the health or safety of others; result in fundamental alteration of the service; would not be necessary for the person to access service; or result in an "undue financial and administrative burden."

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More News from 3/16/2015