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4 CHAPTER TWO CURRENT STATUS OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS This chapter presents an overview of current federal regu- Section 37.125(h) also outlines steps that must be taken lations along with a summary of recent guidance and inter- by a transit agency before any suspension of service is pretation relevant to the discussion of ADA paratransit imposed. Specifically, 49 CFR 37.125(h)(2) states that no-show and late cancellation policies and practices. Before suspending service, the entity shall take the following steps: The chapter begins with a presentation of the relevant sec- (i) Notify the individual in writing that the entity proposes to tions of the regulations. Next, federal guidance and interpre- suspend service, citing with specificity the basis of the pro- tations drawn from recent ADA complementary paratransit posed suspension and setting forth the proposed suspension; compliance reviews are described. The chapter concludes (ii) Provide the individual an opportunity to be heard and to present information and arguments; with a brief description of other resources that were identi- (iii) Provide the individual with written notification of the deci- fied during the literature review. sion and the reasons for it. Regarding the appeals process that must be made avail- FEDERAL REGULATIONS able to individuals for whom a suspension is proposed, the regulation states that the requirements that apply to the Public entities that operate fixed-route transportation services process available to persons who are denied eligibility [as for the general public are required by the U.S.DOT regula- detailed in Section 37.125(g)] are to be used. These appeals tions implementing ADA to provide ADA complementary requirements include: paratransit service for persons who, because of disability, are unable to use the fixed-route system. These regulations · Allowing the person an opportunity to be heard and to (49 CFR Parts 27, 37, and 38) include six service criteria, present information and arguments, which must be met by ADA Complementary Paratransit ser- · A separation of functions (i.e., a decision on the appeal vice programs. Section 37.135(d) of the regulations required by a person not involved with the initial decision to sus- that ADA complementary paratransit services meet these cri- pend service), and teria by January 26, 1997. · A written notification of the appeal decision and the rea- sons for it. The U.S.DOT regulations implementing ADA address the issue of no-show policies in ADA complementary Finally, Section 37.125(h)(3) of the regulation states that paratransit programs. Specifically, 49 CFR 37.125(h) "The sanction is to be stayed pending the outcome of the states that appeal"; that is, ADA complementary paratransit service must continue to be made available to the person until the The entity may establish an administrative process to suspend, appeal of his or her proposed suspension is decided. for a reasonable period of time, the provision of complemen- tary paratransit service to ADA paratransit eligible individu- In the Construction and Interpretation of Provisions section als who establish a pattern or practice of missing scheduled trips. of the regulation (Appendix D), there is significant additional information interpreting the intent of Section 37.125. There Section 37.125(h) further states that transit systems must also is guidance on how several aspects of a no-show policy consider only missed trips (no-shows) that are within the should be implemented. The applicable section of Appendix D control of the rider and not count against the individual trips included in the Federal Register (Vol. 56, No. 173, p. 45747) that are missed for reasons beyond the person's control, provides the following additional guidance: which may include trips missed because of operator error. The rule also allows an entity to establish a process to suspend, for Specifically, 49 CFR 37.125(h)(1) states that a reasonable period of time, the provision of paratransit service to an ADA eligible person who establishes a pattern or practice of Trips missed by the individual for reasons beyond his or her con- missing scheduled trips. The purpose of this process would be to trol (including, but not limited to, trips which are missed due to deter or deal with chronic `no-shows.' The sanction system--artic- operator error) shall not be a basis for determining that such a ulated criteria for the imposition of sanctions, length of suspension pattern or practice exists. periods, details of the administrative process, etc.--would be