U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Disability Rights Section P.O.

Box 66738 Washington, DC 20035-6738 XX XX Glen Burnie, Maryland XX Dear Mr. XX Senator Barbara Mikulski has forwarded your complaint regarding the Delaware River and Bay Authority, which operates the Cape May - Lewes Ferry, to this office for response. Your letter indicates that the Cape May - Lewes Ferry encourages reservations, requires such reservations to be made during business hours, and requires reservations to be made at least 24 hours in advance. Your letter contends that the reservation system should provide extended reservation hours for people with disabilities and should accept short-notice reservations from people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by State and local governments and places of public accommodation. It requires covered entities to reasonably modify their policies, practices, or procedures when such modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability. Your letter does not indicate that the Cape May - Lewes Ferry's reservation policies distinguish between people with disabilities and people without disabilities or that the policies affect people with disabilities differently from people without disabilities. Rather, the hours and policies apply identically to both. Because the reservation system does not appear to discriminate on the basis of disability in violation of the ADA, we will take no further action in this matter.

01-04305 -2For your future reference, complaints of disability-related discrimination against fixed-route transportation systems, such as the Cape May - Lewes Ferry, are investigated by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Such complaints may be submitted directly to that department at the following address: Departmental Office of Civil Rights Office of the Secretary Department of Transportation 400 7th Street, S.W. Room 10215 Washington, D.C. 20590 Telephone: (202) 366-4648. I hope this information is helpful to you. Sincerely, John L. Wodatch Chief Disability Rights Section cc: Senator Barbara Mikulski

01-04306 XX Glen Burnie, MD XX The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski United States Senate World Trade Center, Suite 253 Baltimore, MD 21202-3041 Dear Senator Mikulski: I wrote the Cape May-Lewes Ferry on March 5, 1996 with a complaint that their Reservation System failed to take into consideration the needs of the Handicapped; and I proposed a very easy and inexpensive way to eliminate the problem (copy enclosed). The reply I received from the Delaware River and Bay Authority (a bi-State Agency of Delaware and New Jersey) dated March 18, 1996 in no way directly responded to my complaint (copy enclosed). Under the Constitution, Rivers and Navigable Waterways are under Federal jurisdiction usually by the Army Corps of Engineers or the U. S. Coast Guard. Bi-State compacts such as the Delaware River and Bay Authority need the approval of Congress; and the Ferry is obviously engaged in Interstate

Commerce, also a Constitutional matter. I would very much appreciate it if you would direct my complaint to the proper Federal Agency that would handle this bi-State matter under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 [42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.]. Sincerely XX

01-04307 THE DELAWARE RIVER AND BAY AUTHORITY Post Office Box 827 DELAWARE MEMORIAL BRIDGE Cape May, New Jersey 08204 MAY-LEWES FERRY 609-889-7200 Fax: 609-886-1021 CAPE MAY FERRY TERMINAL March 18, 1996 XX XX Glen Burnie, MD XX Reference (a) Your letter dated March 5, 1996 Dear Mr. XX CAPE

Thank you for your recent letter concerning our reservation system policy and the specific needs of disabled customers. The Cape May Lewes Ferry system encourages feedback from our patrons and it is such input from concerned customers like yourself that has helped us improve in recent years. This is the second year of a very intricate reservation system and we are making progress each season. As to your specific observations, although our reservation line has limited hours during the slower winter season, they are open and available to take reservations on weekends from early May to mid-October, with expanded daily hours of 7:00 a.m. 8:00 p.m. during most of our busy summer season, May through September. Same day reservations are not available at this time. Although I cannot be specific with dates, the Ferry is proceeding with plans for new terminal facilities and refurbished vessels, all which will better address the needs of the disabled traveler. Once again, thank you for your comments and suggestions. We will examine possible solutions and look forward to serving you even better in the future. Sincerely, Larry Sharp Director of Marketing Cape May Lewes Ferry

01-04308 5 March 1996 XX Glen Burnie, MD XX Cape May - Lewes Ferry P. O. Box 517 Lewes, DE 19958

Gentlemen: Last month, I tried to make Ferry reservations, but I wasn't able to do so. Your brochure (1996 Winter Schedule, January 2 - April 3, 1996) says in part: "Reservations are encouraged. Call 1-800-717-SAIL (7245) to guarantee your space. Reserve at least 24 hours in advance. Processing fee: $5. No same-day reservations accepted". ... "Reservation line hours - 8:30 am - 4:30 pm (Mon-Fri)". This means that after 4:30 pm on a Friday, I can't get reservations for that Saturday, Sunday or Monday. The earliest reservation I can get is for Tuesday (if I call on Monday). I am handicapped/disabled and your reservation requirements are unacceptable for my needs. Being disabled means that I have physical limitations as to when and how and with whom I can travel; and your extremely severe reservation requirements do not take my needs into account. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) requires that business, industry, state and local government and quasi-governmental units accommodate individuals with disabilities to the fullest extent possible. Since you have a reservation system already set up, I am asking that you make only a slight modification to it for your disabled customers. Have your telephone announcement add something to the effect that if the caller is disabled, then reservations will be accepted for the same-day, and on Saturday and Sunday also. You already have employees who can cover this small additional duty. To make sure that the non-disabled do not impose on you, you could require that the Handicapped auto license plate or window ID card number be given at the time of reservation. On arrival, verify the Handicapped license or ID number; and if a non-disabled person is abusing the system, he could be given a ticket as if he parked in a reserved Handicapped parking space.

01-04309 Please let me know as soon as possible when you will implement this or a better reservation system for the disabled. Sincerely, XX