Home > 1994 Unified Agenda > ua14no94 DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY (TREAS)...

ua14no94 DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY (TREAS)...


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Timetable:
_______________________________________________________________________
Action                                 DFR Cite

_______________________________________________________________________
NPRM                                                           10/00/94
Small Entities Affected:


None


Government Levels Affected:


Federal


Analysis:


 Regulatory Evaluation 10/00/94


Agency Contact:
Ronald K. Gress
Deputy Associate Director
Office of Commercial Space Transportation
Department of Transportation
Office of the Secretary
400 Seventh Street SW.
Washington, DC 20590
202 366-2929
RIN: 2105-AB85
_______________________________________________________________________
DOT--OST
117. +TRANSPORTATION FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
Legal Authority:


 49 USC 322; PL 101-336, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)


CFR Citation:


 49 CFR 27


Legal Deadline:


 Final, Statutory, May 16, 1994.


Abstract:


The Department is seeking responses to questions concerning 
requirements for accessibility of over-the-road buses (OTRBs). DOT is 
required to consider the recent report of the Office of Technology 
Assessment in drafting OTRB access rules. This project is considered 
significant because of substantial public interest.


Statement of Need:





This regulation is necessary for the Department to comply with the ADA 
requirement that it issue a regulation governing accessibility in OTRB 
service for persons with disabilities.


Summary of the Legal Basis:





Under the ADA, the Department must issue regulations concerning OTRBs. 
OTRBs are buses with a high passenger deck and a below-deck baggage 
compartment, of the kind used by Greyhound, other intercity and local 
fixed-route operators, and charter and tour companies.


When Congress enacted the ADA, it directed DOT to establish limited 
interim regulations for OTRBs. These interim regulations, which DOT 
published as part of its 1991 ADA rules, call for OTRBs to provide 
boarding assistance to individuals with disabilities and to carry their 
wheelchairs in baggage. By statute, these interim rules could not 
require lifts or other specific boarding devices.


Based on concerns about the economic weakness of the intercity bus 
industry and the potential for reductions in OTRB service (particularly 
to rural areas), Congress directed the Office of Technology Assessment 
(OTA) to study issues relating to demand, technology, cost-
effectiveness, and service impacts of implementing OTRB access. OTA 
published its report in May 1993. OTA took the view that the ADA 
requires new OTRBs to be lift-equipped and requires passengers to be 
able to ride in their own wheelchairs (the highest cost approach to 
achieving OTRB accessibility). Under OTA's interpretation of the 
statute, DOT would have little regulatory discretion to fashion more 
flexible requirements.


Because OTA's study left many questions unanswered, DOT issued, in 
October 1993, an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to 
obtain views on the Department's discretion under the statute and 
technical, cost and service data critical to the development of a full 
range of OTRB regulatory options. The Department also held a public 
workshop, attended by bus industry and disability groups, to discuss 
OTRB accessibility options.


The gaps in the OTA study, and the Department's consequent need to 
begin the regulatory process with an ANPRM, have put the Department 
behind the timetable established in the ADA, which called for a final 
rule to be issued within one year of the OTA report (i.e., May 1994).


The next step in the process is for the Department to issue a notice of 
proposed rulemaking (NPRM).


Alternatives:





The Department analyzed comments to the docket in an advance notice of 
proposed rulemaking and held a workshop involving representatives of 
interested parties to obtain views on the Department's discretion under 
the statute for achieving accessibility in OTRB device and technical, 
costs, and service data. As a result of these activities, several 
options have been suggested for achieving accessible OTRB service. 
Option I assumes lift equipage of 100 percent of OTRB's. Option II 
assumes an accessible OTRB system based primarily on station-based 
lifts plus ramps and a boarding chair on 100 percent of OTRBs vs. one 
based on Scalamobiles (a powered stair climber device) on 100 percent 
of OTRBs. Option III assumes 25 percent lift-equipped OTRBs and 75 
percent Scalamobiles. All options assume a 10-year implementation 
period.


Anticipated Costs and Benefits:





Cost information is very sparse and our estimates are still in flux. 
Presently, the anticipated annual cost of option I would be $67-$78 
million. The high and low cost range reflects differences in lift 
types, other OTRB and terminal access features, personnel training and 
forgone revenue from seat and/or package loss. The anticipated annual 
cost of option II would be $16-$19 million. The high and low costs 
reflect differences between an accessible OTRB system based primarily 
on station-based lifts plus ramps and boarding chairs on 100 percent of 
OTRBs vs. one based on Scalamobiles on 100 percent of OTRBs.


Option III annual costs would be estimated at $40-$45 million based on 
25 percent lift-equipped OTRBs and 75 percent of the fleet with 
Scalamobiles.


Option I would permit persons with disabilities to schedule trips at 
the last minute and they could remain in their mobility devices while 
traveling. They would not have to transfer to a vehicle seat. This is 
the option that would be favored by the disability community, but is 
the most costly option to the OTRB industry. The high cost of complying 
with this option could drive some companies out of business.


Under option II, OTRB operators would not be required to purchase buses 
equipped with vehicle-based lifts or securement locations. They would 
be required to ensure, within a given period of time, that individuals 
with disabilities, including wheelchair users, could use all services 
the operator provides. Wheelchair users would transfer to a vehicle 
seat, rather than riding in their own mobility aids.


Under option III, OTRB operators, within a given period of time, would 
have to obtain a certain percentage of lift-equipped buses as part of 
their mix of services to passengers with disabilities. This approach 
combines the flexibility of option II with a requirement for a modest 
level of fleet accessibility, which would enable passengers to ride in 
their own wheelchairs but would require advance notice to schedule 
trips. This responds partially to concerns of disability community 
comments on the Department's ANPRM. Bus industry commenters expressed 
at least qualified support for this approach.


Risks:





Because of the economic weakness of the intercity bus industry, the 
Department is concerned that any one of the options for bringing about 
accessible OTRB service could potentially bring about a reduction in 
intercity bus service for all users. This could have a significant 
negative impact on current intercity bus users, most of whom have low 
incomes and may not have ready access to other means of affordable 
transportation.


Timetable:
_______________________________________________________________________
Action                                 DFR Cite

_______________________________________________________________________
ANPRM           58 FR 52735                                    10/12/93
ANPRM Comment Period End                                       11/26/93
NPRM                                                           10/00/94
Small Entities Affected:


Undetermined


Government Levels Affected:


Undetermined


Analysis:


 Regulatory Evaluation


Additional Information:


Telephone number for TDD is (202) 755-7687.


Agency Contact:
Robert C. Ashby
Deputy Assistant General Counsel for Regulation and Enforcement
Department of Transportation
Office of the Secretary
400 Seventh Street SW.
Washington, DC 20590
202 366-9306
RIN: 2105-AC00
_______________________________________________________________________
DOT--OST
            ___________________________________________________________
FINAL RULE STAGE
            ___________________________________________________________
118. +NONDISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF HANDICAP IN FEDERALLY ASSISTED 
PROGRAMS AND IN AIR TRAVEL (AIR CARRIER ACCESS ACT)
Legal Authority:


 29 USC 794


CFR Citation:


 49 CFR 27; 14 CFR 382


Legal Deadline:


None


Abstract:





This action would amend portions of the rule implementing section 504 
of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 concerning federally assisted airport 
facilities to comport with 14 CFR 382, implementing the Air Carrier 
Access Act of 1986. The proposed rule would also apply the section 504 
rule to air carriers receiving Federal financial assistance under the 
essential air service program. In addition, this action would amend 14 
CFR 382 to implement the Air Carrier Access Act with respect to lifts 
for small commuter aircraft and airport facility accessibility. This 
rulemaking is considered significant because of substantial public 
interest.


Statement of Need:


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