49 CFR § 37.169 - Process to be used by public entities providing designated public transportation service in considering requests for reasonable modification.

§ 37.169 Process to be used by public entities providing designated public transportation service in considering requests for reasonable modification.

(a)

(1) A public entity providing designated public transportation, in meeting the reasonable modification requirement of § 37.5(i)(3) with respect to its fixed route, demand responsive, and complementary paratransit services, shall respond to requests for reasonable modification to policies and practices consistent with this section.

(2) The public entity shall make information about how to contact the public entity to make requests for reasonable modifications readily available to the public through the same means it uses to inform the public about its policies and practices.

(3) This process shall be in operation no later than July 13, 2015.

(b) The process shall provide a means, accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, to request a modification in the entity's policies and practices applicable to its transportation services.

(1) Individuals requesting modifications shall describe what they need in order to use the service.

(2) Individuals requesting modifications are not required to use the term “reasonable modification” when making a request.

(3) Whenever feasible, requests for modifications shall be made and determined in advance, before the transportation provider is expected to provide the modified service, for example, during the paratransit eligibility process, through customer service inquiries, or through the entity's complaint process.

(4) Where a request for modification cannot practicably be made and determined in advance (e.g., because of a condition or barrier at the destination of a paratransit or fixed route trip of which the individual with a disability was unaware until arriving), operating personnel of the entity shall make a determination of whether the modification should be provided at the time of the request. Operating personnel may consult with the entity's management before making a determination to grant or deny the request.

(c) Requests for modification of a public entity's policies and practices may be denied only on one or more of the following grounds:

(1) Granting the request would fundamentally alter the nature of the entity's services, programs, or activities;

(2) Granting the request would create a direct threat to the health or safety of others;

(3) Without the requested modification, the individual with a disability is able to fully use the entity's services, programs, or activities for their intended purpose.

(d) In determining whether to grant a requested modification, public entities shall be guided by the provisions of Appendix E to this Part.

(e) In any case in which a public entity denies a request for a reasonable modification, the entity shall take, to the maximum extent possible, any other actions (that would not result in a direct threat or fundamental alteration) to ensure that the individual with a disability receives the services or benefit provided by the entity.

(f)

(1) Public entities are not required to obtain prior approval from the Department of Transportation for the process required by this section.

(2) DOT agencies retain the authority to review an entity's process as part of normal program oversight.

[80 FR 13261, Mar. 13, 2015, as amended at 80 FR 26196, May 7, 2015]

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