APR 9 1993 The Honorable Larry Pressler United States Senate 133 Hart Senate Office Building Washington

, D.C. 20510-4101 Dear Senator Pressler: This letter is in response to your inquiry on behalf of Ms. (b)(6) concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). XX has asked about the nondiscrimination requirements applicable to transportation provided by hotels, motels, and airports. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities that have rights or responsibilities under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in responding to Ms. XX However, this technical assistance does not constitute a determination by the Department of the rights or responsibilities of any individual under the ADA, and it is not binding on the Department. Under the ADA, a transportation provider's obligations vary according to whether the service provider is a public or private entity, whether it offers fixed route or demand responsive service, and whether it is primarily engaged in the business of providing transportation. A hotel or motel is a "place of public accommodation" subject to the requirements of title III of the ADA, the Department of Justice regulation implementing title III (28 C.F.R. Part 36), and the applicable sections of the Department of Transportation regulation implementing titles II and III (49 C.F.R. Part 37). Places of public accommodation that provide transportation to their clients or customers must remove transportation barriers in existing vehicles to the extent that it is readily achievable to do so, but they are not required to retrofit existing vehicles with hydraulic lifts. cc: Records; Chrono; Wodatch; McDowney; Bowen; Blizard; FOIA. n:\udd\blizard\control\pressler

01-01988 2 If a place of public accommodation that provides transportation for its customers or clients acquires new vehicles, it must comply with the requirements established by the Department of Transportation. These requirements vary depending on both the capacity of the vehicle and its intended use, as follows: 1) Fixed route system: Vehicle capacity over 16. Any vehicle with a capacity over 16 that is purchased or leased for a fixed route system must be "readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs." 2) Fixed route system: Vehicle capacity of 16 or less. Vehicles of this description must meet the same "readily accessible and usable" standard described in (1) above, unless they are part of a system that already meets the "equivalent service" standard. 3) Demand responsive system: Vehicle capacity over 16. These vehicles must meet the "readily accessible and usable" standard, unless they are part of a system that already meets the "equivalent service" standard. 4) Demand responsive system: Vehicle capacity of 16 or less. Vehicles of this description are not subject to any requirements for purchase of accessible vehicles. However, "equivalent service" standard. A system is deemed to provide equivalent service if, when the system is viewed in its entirety, the service provided to individuals with disabilities, including those 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. The Department of Transportation regulation lists eight service characteristics that must be equivalent. These include schedules/response time, fares, and places and times of service availability. An airport's obligations will vary according to whether it is publicly or privately operated. An airport operated by a public entity is subject to title II of the ADA, and this Department's regulation implementing title II (28 C.F.R. Part 35), which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in the programs, activities, and services of public entities. A privately operated airport is subject only to title III's requirement that new construction or alterations at the airport facility are accessible. A privately owned airport is not a "place of public accommodation"; therefore, it is not subject to the nondiscrimination requirements of title III. 01-01989 3 Both public and private airports may also be recipients of Federal financial assistance, which would make them subject to the nondiscrimination requirements of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In addition, airline operations at both public and private airports may be subject to the nondiscrimination requirements of the Air Carrier Access Act. The Department of Transportation has the primary responsibility for enforcing section 504 as it applies to airports, and has the sole Federal enforcement responsibility for the Air Carrier Access Act. Title II of the ADA requires all public entities, including airports, to ensure that each program, activity, or service offered, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities, unless the public entity can demonstrate that the changes required to provide accessibility will constitute a fundamental alteration of the entity's program or activity, or will result in undue financial or administrative burdens. Covered services offered at a public airport may include services such as "off-airport" transportation provided through franchises or other contractual arrangements, as well as services provided directly by public employees at the airport.

For your information, I have enclosed copies of the Department's Technical Assistance Manuals for titles II and III of the ADA. These manuals contain additional information about the requirements of the ADA and the Act's enforcement procedures. I hope that this information is helpful to you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely, James P. Turner Acting Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures (2)

01-01990