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Title 49Subtitle APart 37 → Subpart F


Title 49: Transportation
PART 37—TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES (ADA)


Subpart F—Paratransit as a Complement to Fixed Route Service


Contents
§37.121   Requirement for comparable complementary paratransit service.
§37.123   ADA paratransit eligibility: Standards.
§37.125   ADA paratransit eligibility: Process.
§37.127   Complementary paratransit service for visitors.
§37.129   Types of service.
§37.131   Service criteria for complementary paratransit.
§37.133   Subscription service.
§37.135   Submission of paratransit plan.
§37.137   Paratransit plan development.
§37.139   Plan contents.
§37.141   Requirements for a joint paratransit plan.
§37.143   Paratransit plan implementation.
§37.145   State comment on plans.
§37.147   Considerations during FTA review.
§37.149   Disapproved plans.
§37.151   Waiver for undue financial burden.
§37.153   FTA waiver determination.
§37.155   Factors in decision to grant an undue financial burden waiver.
§§37.157-37.159   [Reserved]

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§37.121   Requirement for comparable complementary paratransit service.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, each public entity operating a fixed route system shall provide paratransit or other special service to individuals with disabilities that is comparable to the level of service provided to individuals without disabilities who use the fixed route system.

(b) To be deemed comparable to fixed route service, a complementary paratransit system shall meet the requirements of §§37.123-37.133 of this subpart. The requirement to comply with §37.131 may be modified in accordance with the provisions of this subpart relating to undue financial burden.

(c) Requirements for complementary paratransit do not apply to commuter bus, commuter rail, or intercity rail systems.

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§37.123   ADA paratransit eligibility: Standards.

(a) Public entities required by §37.121 of this subpart to provide complementary paratransit service shall provide the service to the ADA paratransit eligible individuals described in paragraph (e) of this section.

(b) If an individual meets the eligibility criteria of this section with respect to some trips but not others, the individual shall be ADA paratransit eligible only for those trips for which he or she meets the criteria.

(c) Individuals may be ADA paratransit eligible on the basis of a permanent or temporary disability.

(d) Public entities may provide complementary paratransit service to persons other than ADA paratransit eligible individuals. However, only the cost of service to ADA paratransit eligible individuals may be considered in a public entity's request for an undue financial burden waiver under §§37.151-37.155 of this part.

(e) The following individuals are ADA paratransit eligible:

(1) Any individual with a disability who is unable, as the result of a physical or mental impairment (including a vision impairment), and without the assistance of another individual (except the operator of a wheelchair lift or other boarding assistance device), to board, ride, or disembark from any vehicle on the system which is readily accessible to and usable individuals with disabilities.

(2) Any individual with a disability who needs the assistance of a wheelchair lift or other boarding assistance device and is able, with such assistance, to board, ride and disembark from any vehicle which is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities if the individual wants to travel on a route on the system during the hours of operation of the system at a time, or within a reasonable period of such time, when such a vehicle is not being used to provide designated public transportation on the route.

(i) An individual is eligible under this paragraph with respect to travel on an otherwise accessible route on which the boarding or disembarking location which the individual would use is one at which boarding or disembarking from the vehicle is precluded as provided in §37.167(g) of this part.

(ii) An individual using a common wheelchair is eligible under this paragraph if the individual's wheelchair cannot be accommodated on an existing vehicle (e.g., because the vehicle's lift does not meet the standards of part 38 of this title), even if that vehicle is accessible to other individuals with disabilities and their mobility wheelchairs.

(iii) With respect to rail systems, an individual is eligible under this paragraph if the individual could use an accessible rail system, but—

(A) There is not yet one accessible car per train on the system; or

(B) Key stations have not yet been made accessible.

(3) Any individual with a disability who has a specific impairment-related condition which prevents such individual from traveling to a boarding location or from a disembarking location on such system.

(i) Only a specific impairment-related condition which prevents the individual from traveling to a boarding location or from a disembarking location is a basis for eligibility under this paragraph. A condition which makes traveling to boarding location or from a disembarking location more difficult for a person with a specific impairment-related condition than for an individual who does not have the condition, but does not prevent the travel, is not a basis for eligibility under this paragraph.

(ii) Architectural barriers not under the control of the public entity providing fixed route service and environmental barriers (e.g., distance, terrain, weather) do not, standing alone, form a basis for eligibility under this paragraph. The interaction of such barriers with an individual's specific impairment-related condition may form a basis for eligibility under this paragraph, if the effect is to prevent the individual from traveling to a boarding location or from a disembarking location.

(f) Individuals accompanying an ADA paratransit eligible individual shall be provided service as follows:

(1) One other individual accompanying the ADA paratransit eligible individual shall be provided service—

(i) If the ADA paratransit eligible individual is traveling with a personal care attendant, the entity shall provide service to one other individual in addition to the attendant who is accompanying the eligible individual;

(ii) A family member or friend is regarded as a person accompanying the eligible individual, and not as a personal care attendant, unless the family member or friend registered is acting in the capacity of a personal care attendant;

(2) Additional individuals accompanying the ADA paratransit eligible individual shall be provided service, provided that space is available for them on the paratransit vehicle carrying the ADA paratransit eligible individual and that transportation of the additional individuals will not result in a denial of service to ADA paratransit eligible individuals;

(3) In order to be considered as “accompanying” the eligible individual for purposes of this paragraph (f), the other individual(s) shall have the same origin and destination as the eligible individual.

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§37.125   ADA paratransit eligibility: Process.

Each public entity required to provide complementary paratransit service by §37.121 of this part shall establish a process for determining ADA paratransit eligibility.

(a) The process shall strictly limit ADA paratransit eligibility to individuals specified in §37.123 of this part.

(b) All information about the process, materials necessary to apply for eligibility, and notices and determinations concerning eligibility shall be made available in accessible formats, upon request.

(c) If, by a date 21 days following the submission of a complete application, the entity has not made a determination of eligibility, the applicant shall be treated as eligible and provided service until and unless the entity denies the application.

(d) The entity's determination concerning eligibility shall be in writing. If the determination is that the individual is ineligible, the determination shall state the reasons for the finding.

(e) The public entity shall provide documentation to each eligible individual stating that he or she is “ADA Paratransit Eligible.” The documentation shall include the name of the eligible individual, the name of the transit provider, the telephone number of the entity's paratransit coordinator, an expiration date for eligibility, and any conditions or limitations on the individual's eligibility including the use of a personal care attendant.

(f) The entity may require recertification of the eligibility of ADA paratransit eligible individuals at reasonable intervals.

(g) The entity shall establish an administrative appeal process through which individuals who are denied eligibility can obtain review of the denial.

(1) The entity may require that an appeal be filed within 60 days of the denial of an individual's application.

(2) The process shall include an opportunity to be heard and to present information and arguments, separation of functions (i.e., a decision by a person not involved with the initial decision to deny eligibility), and written notification of the decision, and the reasons for it.

(3) The entity is not required to provide paratransit service to the individual pending the determination on appeal. However, if the entity has not made a decision within 30 days of the completion of the appeal process, the entity shall provide paratransit service from that time until and unless a decision to deny the appeal is issued.

(h) The entity may establish an administrative process to suspend, for a reasonable period of time, the provision of complementary paratransit service to ADA eligible individuals who establish a pattern or practice of missing scheduled trips.

(1) Trips missed by the individual for reasons beyond his or her control (including, but not limited to, trips which are missed due to operator error) shall not be a basis for determining that such a pattern or practice exists.

(2) Before suspending service, the entity shall take the following steps:

(i) Notify the individual in writing that the entity proposes to suspend service, citing with specificity the basis of the proposed suspension and setting forth the proposed sanction.

(ii) Provide the individual an opportunity to be heard and to present information and arguments;

(iii) Provide the individual with written notification of the decision and the reasons for it.

(3) The appeals process of paragraph (g) of this section is available to an individual on whom sanctions have been imposed under this paragraph. The sanction is stayed pending the outcome of the appeal.

(i) In applications for ADA paratransit eligibility, the entity may require the applicant to indicate whether or not he or she travels with a personal care attendant.

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§37.127   Complementary paratransit service for visitors.

(a) Each public entity required to provide complementary paratransit service under §37.121 of this part shall make the service available to visitors as provided in this section.

(b) For purposes of this section, a visitor is an individual with disabilities who does not reside in the jurisdiction(s) served by the public entity or other entities with which the public entity provides coordinated complementary paratransit service within a region.

(c) Each public entity shall treat as eligible for its complementary paratransit service all visitors who present documentation that they are ADA paratransit eligible, under the criteria of §37.125 of this part, in the jurisdiction in which they reside.

(d) With respect to visitors with disabilities who do not present such documentation, the public entity may require the documentation of the individual's place of residence and, if the individual's disability is not apparent, of his or her disability. The entity shall provide paratransit service to individuals with disabilities who qualify as visitors under paragraph (b) of this section. The entity shall accept a certification by such individuals that they are unable to use fixed route transit.

(e) A public entity shall make the service to a visitor required by this section available for any combination of 21 days during any 365-day period beginning with the visitor's first use of the service during such 365-day period. In no case shall the public entity require a visitor to apply for or receive eligibility certification from the public entity before receiving the service required by this section.

[56 FR 45621, Sept. 6, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 25416, May 21, 1996]

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§37.129   Types of service.

(a) Except as provided in this section, complementary paratransit service for ADA paratransit eligible persons shall be origin-to-destination service.

(b) Complementary paratransit service for ADA paratransit eligible persons described in §37.123(e)(2) of this part may also be provided by on-call bus service or paratransit feeder service to an accessible fixed route, where such service enables the individual to use the fixed route bus system for his or her trip.

(c) Complementary paratransit service for ADA eligible persons described in §37.123(e)(3) of this part also may be provided by paratransit feeder service to and/or from an accessible fixed route.

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§37.131   Service criteria for complementary paratransit.

The following service criteria apply to complementary paratransit required by §37.121 of this part.

(a) Service Area—(1) Bus. (i) The entity shall provide complementary paratransit service to origins and destinations within corridors with a width of three-fourths of a mile on each side of each fixed route. The corridor shall include an area with a three-fourths of a mile radius at the ends of each fixed route.

(ii) Within the core service area, the entity also shall provide service to small areas not inside any of the corridors but which are surrounded by corridors.

(iii) Outside the core service area, the entity may designate corridors with widths from three-fourths of a mile up to one and one half miles on each side of a fixed route, based on local circumstances.

(iv) For purposes of this paragraph, the core service area is that area in which corridors with a width of three-fourths of a mile on each side of each fixed route merge together such that, with few and small exceptions, all origins and destinations within the area would be served.

(2) Rail. (i) For rail systems, the service area shall consist of a circle with a radius of 34 of a mile around each station.

(ii) At end stations and other stations in outlying areas, the entity may designate circles with radii of up to 112 miles as part of its service area, based on local circumstances.

(3) Jurisdictional boundaries. Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph, an entity is not required to provide paratransit service in an area outside the boundaries of the jurisdiction(s) in which it operates, if the entity does not have legal authority to operate in that area. The entity shall take all practicable steps to provide paratransit service to any part of its service area.

(b) Response time. The entity shall schedule and provide paratransit service to any ADA paratransit eligible person at any requested time on a particular day in response to a request for service made the previous day. Reservations may be taken by reservation agents or by mechanical means.

(1) The entity shall make reservation service available during at least all normal business hours of the entity's administrative offices, as well as during times, comparable to normal business hours, on a day when the entity's offices are not open before a service day.

(2) The entity may negotiate pickup times with the individual, but the entity shall not require an ADA paratransit eligible individual to schedule a trip to begin more than one hour before or after the individual's desired departure time.

(3) The entity may use real-time scheduling in providing complementary paratransit service.

(4) The entity may permit advance reservations to be made up to 14 days in advance of an ADA paratransit eligible individual's desired trips. When an entity proposes to change its reservations system, it shall comply with the public participation requirements equivalent to those of §37.137 (b) and (c).

(c) Fares. The fare for a trip charged to an ADA paratransit eligible user of the complementary paratransit service shall not exceed twice the fare that would be charged to an individual paying full fare (i.e., without regard to discounts) for a trip of similar length, at a similar time of day, on the entity's fixed route system.

(1) In calculating the full fare that would be paid by an individual using the fixed route system, the entity may include transfer and premium charges applicable to a trip of similar length, at a similar time of day, on the fixed route system.

(2) The fares for individuals accompanying ADA paratransit eligible individuals, who are provided service under §37.123 (f) of this part, shall be the same as for the ADA paratransit eligible individuals they are accompanying.

(3) A personal care attendant shall not be charged for complementary paratransit service.

(4) The entity may charge a fare higher than otherwise permitted by this paragraph to a social service agency or other organization for agency trips (i.e., trips guaranteed to the organization).

(d) Trip purpose restrictions. The entity shall not impose restrictions or priorities based on trip purpose.

(e) Hours and days of service. The complementary paratransit service shall be available throughout the same hours and days as the entity's fixed route service.

(f) Capacity constraints. The entity shall not limit the availability of complementary paratransit service to ADA paratransit eligible individuals by any of the following:

(1) Restrictions on the number of trips an individual will be provided;

(2) Waiting lists for access to the service; or

(3) Any operational pattern or practice that significantly limits the availability of service to ADA paratransit eligible persons.

(i) Such patterns or practices include, but are not limited to, the following:

(A) Substantial numbers of significantly untimely pickups for initial or return trips;

(B) Substantial numbers of trip denials or missed trips;

(C) Substantial numbers of trips with excessive trip lengths.

(ii) Operational problems attributable to causes beyond the control of the entity (including, but not limited to, weather or traffic conditions affecting all vehicular traffic that were not anticipated at the time a trip was scheduled) shall not be a basis for determining that such a pattern or practice exists.

(g) Additional service. Public entities may provide complementary paratransit service to ADA paratransit eligible individuals exceeding that provided for in this section. However, only the cost of service provided for in this section may be considered in a public entity's request for an undue financial burden waiver under §§37.151-37.155 of this part.

[56 FR 45621, Sept. 6, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 25416, May 21, 1996; 71 FR 63266, Oct. 30, 2006]

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§37.133   Subscription service.

(a) This part does not prohibit the use of subscription service by public entities as part of a complementary paratransit system, subject to the limitations in this section.

(b) Subscription service may not absorb more than fifty percent of the number of trips available at a given time of day, unless there is non-subscription capacity.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, the entity may establish waiting lists or other capacity constraints and trip purpose restrictions or priorities for participation in the subscription service only.

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§37.135   Submission of paratransit plan.

(a) General. Each public entity operating fixed route transportation service, which is required by §37.121 to provide complementary paratransit service, shall develop a paratransit plan.

(b) Initial submission. Except as provided in §37.141 of this part, each entity shall submit its initial plan for compliance with the complementary paratransit service provision by January 26, 1992, to the appropriate location identified in paragraph (f) of this section.

(c) Annual Updates. Except as provided in this paragraph, each entity shall submit an annual update to its plan on January 26 of each succeeding year.

(1) If an entity has met and is continuing to meet all requirements for complementary paratransit in §§37.121-37.133 of this part, the entity may submit to FTA an annual certification of continued compliance in lieu of a plan update. Entities that have submitted a joint plan under §37.141 may submit a joint certification under this paragraph. The requirements of §§37.137 (a) and (b), 37.138 and 37.139 do not apply when a certification is submitted under this paragraph.

(2) In the event of any change in circumstances that results in an entity which has submitted a certification of continued compliance falling short of compliance with §§37.121-37.133, the entity shall immediately notify FTA in writing of the problem. In this case, the entity shall also file a plan update meeting the requirements of §§37.137-37.139 of this part on the next following January 26 and in each succeeding year until the entity returns to full compliance.

(3) An entity that has demonstrated undue financial burden to the FTA shall file a plan update meeting the requirements of §§37.137-37.139 of this part on each January 26 until full compliance with §§37.121-37.133 is attained.

(4) If FTA reasonably believes that an entity may not be fully complying with all service criteria, FTA may require the entity to provide an annual update to its plan.

(d) Phase-in of implementation. Each plan shall provide full compliance by no later than January 26, 1997, unless the entity has received a waiver based on undue financial burden. If the date for full compliance specified in the plan is after January 26, 1993, the plan shall include milestones, providing for measured, proportional progress toward full compliance.

(e) Plan implementation. Each entity shall begin implementation of its plan on January 26, 1992.

(f) Submission locations. An entity shall submit its plan to one of the following offices, as appropriate:

(1) The individual state administering agency, if it is—

(i) A recipient of funding under 49 U.S.C. 5311;

(ii) A small urbanized area recipient of funding under 49 U.S.C. 5307 administered by the State;

(iii) A participant in a coordinated plan, in which all of the participating entities are eligible to submit their plans to the State; or

(2) The FTA Regional Office (as listed in appendix B to this part) for all other entities required to submit a paratransit plan. This includes an FTA recipient under 49 U.S.C. 5307; entities submitting a joint plan (unless they meet the requirements of paragraph (f)(1)(iii) of this section), and a public entity not an FTA recipient.

[56 FR 45621, Sept. 6, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 25416, May 21, 1996; 61 FR 26468, May 28, 1996; 79 FR 21406, Apr. 16, 2014]

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§37.137   Paratransit plan development.

(a) Survey of existing services. Each submitting entity shall survey the area to be covered by the plan to identify any person or entity (public or private) which provides a paratransit or other special transportation service for ADA paratransit eligible individuals in the service area to which the plan applies.

(b) Public participation. Each submitting entity shall ensure public participation in the development of its paratransit plan, including at least the following:

(1) Outreach. Each submitting entity shall solicit participation in the development of its plan by the widest range of persons anticipated to use its paratransit service. Each entity shall develop contacts, mailing lists and other appropriate means for notification of opportunities to participate in the development of the paratransit plan;

(2) Consultation with individuals with disabilities. Each entity shall contact individuals with disabilities and groups representing them in the community. Consultation shall begin at an early stage in the plan development and should involve persons with disabilities in all phases of plan development. All documents and other information concerning the planning procedure and the provision of service shall be available, upon request, to members of the public, except where disclosure would be an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

(3) Opportunity for public comment. The submitting entity shall make its plan available for review before the plan is finalized. In making the plan available for public review, the entity shall ensure that the plan is available upon request in accessible formats;

(4) Public hearing. The entity shall sponsor at a minimum one public hearing and shall provide adequate notice of the hearing, including advertisement in appropriate media, such as newspapers of general and special interest circulation and radio announcements; and

(5) Special requirements. If the entity intends to phase-in its paratransit service over a multi-year period, or request a waiver based on undue financial burden, the public hearing shall afford the opportunity for interested citizens to express their views concerning the phase-in, the request, and which service criteria may be delayed in implementation.

(c) Ongoing requirement. The entity shall create an ongoing mechanism for the participation of individuals with disabilities in the continued development and assessment of services to persons with disabilities. This includes, but is not limited to, the development of the initial plan, any request for an undue financial burden waiver, and each annual submission.

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§37.139   Plan contents.

Each plan shall contain the following information:

(a) Identification of the entity or entities submitting the plan, specifying for each—

(1) Name and address; and

(2) Contact person for the plan, with telephone number and facsimile telephone number (FAX), if applicable.

(b) A description of the fixed route system as of January 26, 1992 (or subsequent year for annual updates), including—

(1) A description of the service area, route structure, days and hours of service, fare structure, and population served. This includes maps and tables, if appropriate;

(2) The total number of vehicles (bus, van, or rail) operated in fixed route service (including contracted service), and percentage of accessible vehicles and percentage of routes accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, including persons who use wheelchairs;

(3) Any other information about the fixed route service that is relevant to establishing the basis for comparability of fixed route and paratransit service.

(c) A description of existing paratransit services, including:

(1) An inventory of service provided by the public entity submitting the plan;

(2) An inventory of service provided by other agencies or organizations, which may in whole or in part be used to meet the requirement for complementary paratransit service; and

(3) A description of the available paratransit services in paragraphs (c)(2) and (c)(3) of this section as they relate to the service criteria described in §37.131 of this part of service area, response time, fares, restrictions on trip purpose, hours and days of service, and capacity constraints; and to the requirements of ADA paratransit eligibility.

(d) A description of the plan to provide comparable paratransit, including:

(1) An estimate of demand for comparable paratransit service by ADA eligible individuals and a brief description of the demand estimation methodology used;

(2) An analysis of differences between the paratransit service currently provided and what is required under this part by the entity(ies) submitting the plan and other entities, as described in paragraph (c) of this section;

(3) A brief description of planned modifications to existing paratransit and fixed route service and the new paratransit service planned to comply with the ADA paratransit service criteria;

(4) A description of the planned comparable paratransit service as it relates to each of the service criteria described in §37.131 of this part—service area, absence of restrictions or priorities based on trip purpose, response time, fares, hours and days of service, and lack of capacity constraints. If the paratransit plan is to be phased in, this paragraph shall be coordinated with the information being provided in paragraphs (d)(5) and (d)(6) of this paragraph;

(5) A timetable for implementing comparable paratransit service, with a specific date indicating when the planned service will be completely operational. In no case may full implementation be completed later than January 26, 1997. The plan shall include milestones for implementing phases of the plan, with progress that can be objectively measured yearly;

(6) A budget for comparable paratransit service, including capital and operating expenditures over five years.

(e) A description of the process used to certify individuals with disabilities as ADA paratransit eligible. At a minimum, this must include—

(1) A description of the application and certification process, including—

(i) The availability of information about the process and application materials inaccessible formats;

(ii) The process for determining eligibility according to the provisions of §§37.123-37.125 of this part and notifying individuals of the determination made;

(iii) The entity's system and timetable for processing applications and allowing presumptive eligibility; and

(iv) The documentation given to eligible individuals.

(2) A description of the administrative appeals process for individuals denied eligibility.

(3) A policy for visitors, consistent with §37.127 of this part.

(f) Description of the public participation process including—

(1) Notice given of opportunity for public comment, the date(s) of completed public hearing(s), availability of the plan in accessible formats, outreach efforts, and consultation with persons with disabilities.

(2) A summary of significant issues raised during the public comment period, along with a response to significant comments and discussion of how the issues were resolved.

(g) Efforts to coordinate service with other entities subject to the complementary paratransit requirements of this part which have overlapping or contiguous service areas or jurisdictions.

(h) The following endorsements or certifications:

(1) A resolution adopted by the board of the entity authorizing the plan, as submitted. If more than one entity is submitting the plan there must be an authorizing resolution from each board. If the entity does not function with a board, a statement shall be submitted by the entity's chief executive;

(2) In urbanized areas, certification by the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) that it has reviewed the plan and that the plan is in conformance with the transportation plan developed under the Federal Transit/Federal Highway Administration joint planning regulation (49 CFR part 613 and 23 CFR part 450). In a service area which is covered by more than one MPO, each applicable MPO shall certify conformity of the entity's plan. The provisions of this paragraph do not apply to non-FTA recipients;

(3) A certification that the survey of existing paratransit service was conducted as required in §37.137(a) of this part;

(4) To the extent service provided by other entities is included in the entity's plan for comparable paratransit service, the entity must certify that:

(i) ADA paratransit eligible individuals have access to the service;

(ii) The service is provided in the manner represented; and

(iii) Efforts will be made to coordinate the provision of paratransit service by other providers.

(i) A request for a waiver based on undue financial burden, if applicable. The waiver request should include information sufficient for FTA to consider the factors in §37.155 of this part. If a request for an undue financial burden waiver is made, the plan must include a description of additional paratransit services that would be provided to achieve full compliance with the requirement for comparable paratransit in the event the waiver is not granted, and the timetable for the implementation of these additional services.

(j) Annual plan updates. (1) The annual plan updates submitted January 26, 1993, and annually thereafter, shall include information necessary to update the information requirements of this section. Information submitted annually must include all significant changes and revisions to the timetable for implementation;

(2) If the paratransit service is being phased in over more than one year, the entity must demonstrate that the milestones identified in the current paratransit plans have been achieved. If the milestones have not been achieved, the plan must explain any slippage and what actions are being taken to compensate for the slippage.

(3) The annual plan must describe specifically the means used to comply with the public participation requirements, as described in §37.137 of this part.

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§37.141   Requirements for a joint paratransit plan.

(a) Two or more entities with overlapping or contiguous service areas or jurisdictions may develop and submit a joint plan providing for coordinated paratransit service. Joint plans shall identify the participating entities and indicate their commitment to participate in the plan.

(b) To the maximum extent feasible, all elements of the coordinated plan shall be submitted on January 26, 1992. If a coordinated plan is not completed by January 26, 1992, those entities intending to coordinate paratransit service must submit a general statement declaring their intention to provide coordinated service and each element of the plan specified in §37.139 to the extent practicable. In addition, the plan must include the following certifications from each entity involved in the coordination effort:

(1) A certification that the entity is committed to providing ADA paratransit service as part of a coordinated plan.

(2) A certification from each public entity participating in the plan that it will maintain current levels of paratransit service until the coordinated plan goes into effect.

(c) Entities submitting the above certifications and plan elements in lieu of a completed plan on January 26, 1992, must submit a complete plan by July 26, 1992.

(d) Filing of an individual plan does not preclude an entity from cooperating with other entities in the development or implementation of a joint plan. An entity wishing to join with other entities after its initial submission may do so by meeting the filing requirements of this section.

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§37.143   Paratransit plan implementation.

(a) Each entity shall begin implementation of its complementary paratransit plan, pending notice from FTA. The implementation of the plan shall be consistent with the terms of the plan, including any specified phase-in period.

(b) If the plan contains a request for a wavier based on undue financial burden, the entity shall begin implementation of its plan, pending a determination on its waiver request.

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§37.145   State comment on plans.

Each state required to receive plans under §37.135 of this part shall:

(a) Ensure that all applicable recipients of funding under 49 U.S.C. 5307 or 49 U.S.C. 5311 have submitted plans.

(b) Certify to FTA that all plans have been received.

(c) Forward the required certification with comments on each plan to FTA. The plans, with comments, shall be submitted to FTA no later than April 1, 1992, for the first year and April 1 annually thereafter.

(d) The State shall develop comments to on each plan, responding to the following points:

(1) Was the plan filed on time?

(2) Does the plan appear reasonable?

(3) Are there circumstances that bear on the ability of the grantee to carry out the plan as represented? If yes, please elaborate.

(4) Is the plan consistent with statewide planning activities?

(5) Are the necessary anticipated financial and capital resources identified in the plan accurately estimated?

[56 FR 45621, Sept. 6, 1991, as amended at 79 FR 21406, Apr. 16, 2014]

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§37.147   Considerations during FTA review.

In reviewing each plan, at a minimum FTA will consider the following:

(a) Whether the plan was filed on time;

(b) Comments submitted by the state, if applicable;

(c) Whether the plan contains responsive elements for each component required under §37.139 of this part;

(d) Whether the plan, when viewed in its entirety, provides for paratransit service comparable to the entity's fixed route service;

(e) Whether the entity complied with the public participation efforts required by this part; and

(f) The extent to which efforts were made to coordinate with other public entities with overlapping or contiguous service areas or jurisdictions.

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§37.149   Disapproved plans.

(a) If a plan is disapproved in whole or in part, FTA will specify which provisions are disapproved. Each entity shall amend its plan consistent with this information and resubmit the plan to the appropriate FTA Regional Office within 90 days of receipt of the disapproval letter.

(b) Each entity revising its plan shall continue to comply with the public participation requirements applicable to the initial development of the plan (set out in §37.137 of this part).

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§37.151   Waiver for undue financial burden.

If compliance with the service criteria of §37.131 of this part creates an undue financial burden, an entity may request a waiver from all or some of the provisions if the entity has complied with the public participation requirements in §37.137 of this part and if the following conditions apply:

(a) At the time of submission of the initial plan on January 26, 1992—

(1) The entity determines that it cannot meet all of the service criteria by January 26, 1997; or

(2) The entity determines that it cannot make measured progress toward compliance in any year before full compliance is required. For purposes of this part, measured progress means implementing milestones as scheduled, such as incorporating an additional paratransit service criterion or improving an aspect of a specific service criterion.

(b) At the time of its annual plan update submission, if the entity believes that circumstances have changed since its last submission, and it is no longer able to comply by January 26, 1997, or make measured progress in any year before 1997, as described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

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§37.153   FTA waiver determination.

(a) The Administrator will determine whether to grant a waiver for undue financial burden on a case-by-case basis, after considering the factors identified in §37.155 of this part and the information accompanying the request. If necessary, the Administrator will return the application with a request for additional information.

(b) Any waiver granted will be for a limited and specified period of time.

(c) If the Administrator grants the applicant a waiver, the Administrator will do one of the following:

(1) Require the public entity to provide complementary paratransit to the extent it can do so without incurring an undue financial burden. The entity shall make changes in its plan that the Administrator determines are appropriate to maximize the complementary paratransit service that is provided to ADA paratransit eligible individuals. When making changes to its plan, the entity shall use the public participation process specified for plan development and shall consider first a reduction in number of trips provided to each ADA paratransit eligible person per month, while attempting to meet all other service criteria.

(2) Require the public entity to provide basic complementary paratransit services to all ADA paratransit eligible individuals, even if doing so would cause the public entity to incur an undue financial burden. Basic complementary paratransit service in corridors defined as provided in §37.131(a) along the public entity's key routes during core service hours.

(i) For purposes of this section, key routes are defined as routes along which there is service at least hourly throughout the day.

(ii) For purposes of this section, core service hours encompass at least peak periods, as these periods are defined locally for fixed route service, consistent with industry practice.

(3) If the Administrator determines that the public entity will incur an undue financial burden as the result of providing basic complementary paratransit service, such that it is infeasible for the entity to provide basic complementary paratransit service, the Administrator shall require the public entity to coordinate with other available providers of demand responsive service in the area served by the public entity to maximize the service to ADA paratransit eligible individuals to the maximum extent feasible.

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§37.155   Factors in decision to grant an undue financial burden waiver.

(a) In making an undue financial burden determination, the FTA Administrator will consider the following factors:

(1) Effects on current fixed route service, including reallocation of accessible fixed route vehicles and potential reduction in service, measured by service miles;

(2) Average number of trips made by the entity's general population, on a per capita basis, compared with the average number of trips to be made by registered ADA paratransit eligible persons, on a per capita basis;

(3) Reductions in other services, including other special services;

(4) Increases in fares;

(5) Resources available to implement complementary paratransit service over the period covered by the plan;

(6) Percentage of budget needed to implement the plan, both as a percentage of operating budget and a percentage of entire budget;

(7) The current level of accessible service, both fixed route and paratransit;

(8) Cooperation/coordination among area transportation providers;

(9) Evidence of increased efficiencies, that have been or could be effectuated, that would benefit the level and quality of available resources for complementary paratransit service; and

(10) Unique circumstances in the submitting entity's area that affect the ability of the entity to provide paratransit, that militate against the need to provide paratransit, or in some other respect create a circumstance considered exceptional by the submitting entity.

(b)(1) Costs attributable to complementary paratransit shall be limited to costs of providing service specifically required by this part to ADA paratransit eligible individuals, by entities responsible under this part for providing such service.

(2) If the entity determines that it is impracticable to distinguish between trips mandated by the ADA and other trips on a trip-by-trip basis, the entity shall attribute to ADA complementary paratransit requirements a percentage of its overall paratransit costs. This percentage shall be determined by a statistically valid methodology that determines the percentage of trips that are required by this part. The entity shall submit information concerning its methodology and the data on which its percentage is based with its request for a waiver. Only costs attributable to ADA-mandated trips may be considered with respect to a request for an undue financial burden waiver.

(3) Funds to which the entity would be legally entitled, but which, as a matter of state or local funding arrangements, are provided to another entity and used by that entity to provide paratransit service which is part of a coordinated system of paratransit meeting the requirements of this part, may be counted in determining the burden associated with the waiver request.

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§§37.157-37.159   [Reserved]

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