Reasonable Accommodation Procedures
The US DOT issued a Final Rule under the American Disability Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which takes effect on July 13, 2015, and can be found at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-03-13/pdf/2015-05646.pdf. Per this final rule, MuscaBus is required to make reasonable modifications or accommodations to policies, practices and procedures to ensure individuals with disabilities have equal access to its transit programs and services. “The real-world effect will be that the nature of an individuals’ disability cannot preclude a public transit entity from providing full access to their service unless some exception applies.”
Therefore beginning July 13, 2015, MuscaBus will consider requests for reasonable modifications so that individuals with disabilities can have equal access to our services as follows:
1. Modification Requests Submittals: The individual requesting the modification will describe what they need in order to use MuscaBus’ service. Individuals should state their impending trip date within their request, if possible. MuscaBus can take up to 21 days to process ADA applications and any ADA Reasonable Accommodation requests.
a. Requests can be made directly to Amy Fortenbacher, Transit Supervisor who is designated as the responsible employee to approve/deny pending reasonable modification requests. (See #2 below) Please submit the following form with your request: Reasonable Accommodation Form
b. Requests can be made during the MuscaBus (Paratransit) eligibility.
c. Requests can be made by emailing email@example.com or by calling MuscaBus at 563-263-8152 or mailing a request to MuscaBus, 1459 Washington Street, Muscatine, IA 52761.
2. Designated Responsible Employee: Amy Fortenbacher, Transit Supervisor is designated as the responsible MuscaBus employee to approve/deny pending reasonable modification requests. MuscaBus is committed to providing public transit service to all the general public including those individuals with disabilities. If you are an individual with a disability and believe an accommodation or modification in MuscaBus services, policies or programs would allow you to access MuscaBus’ transit services, please contact MuscaBus’ Transit Supervisor above via phone, letter or email and describe what is needed to be modified in order for you to utilize MuscaBus services.
3. Use of Term Reasonable Modification Not Required: The individual requesting modification is not required to use the term “reasonable modification” when making a request. General complaints concerning issues in accessing transit service or general information requests for modifications in service due to an individual’s disability would also be directed to the Transit Supervisor as part of the general complaint process. However, any suggested request for modification by an individual with a disability determined through a complaint investigation would also be forward to the Director of Public Works for the City of Muscatine.
4. Requests In Advance: Whenever feasible, requests for modifications will be made and determined in advance, before MuscaBus is expected to provide the modified service. Individuals should state their impending trip date within their request. However, this determination prior to service may not always be possible.
Depending on the complexity of the request and if any financial assistance is needed to grant the request, additional MuscaBus administrative/operational/mechanical staff could also be involved in providing more information for any modification approval/denial determinations.
5. Requests During Transit Trip: Where a request for modification cannot practicably be made and determined in advance, operating personnel will make a determination of whether the modification should be provided at the time of the request. If necessary, operators will consult with the MuscaBus Dispatcher before making a determination to deny the request. Any denials for modifications not granted in fixed route service shall be written up as an incident by the driver to forward to the Transit Supervisor to officially log the denial as stated in #9 below.
6. Reasonable Accommodation Approvals: MuscaBus fixed-route drivers are not expected to retain knowledge of each specific passenger’s accommodation. Any approved modification for a passenger with a disability shall be issued a Reasonable Accommodation card they can carry/show to MuscaBus drivers. Furthermore, any granted reasonable accommodation for ParaTransit passengers would be listed within the drivers’ instructions when picking up the passenger. Additionally, MuscaBus Dispatch will also have a listing of any passengers with approved reasonable accommodation(s). MuscaBus can take up to 21 days to process ADA application requests as well as Reasonable Accommodation requests
7. Grounds For Denial: Requests for modifications of policies and practices may be denied only on one or more of the following grounds:
a. Granting the request would fundamentally alter the nature of MuscaBus Transit services, programs, or activities
b. Granting the request would create a direct threat to the health or safety of others
c. Without the requested modification, the individual with a disability is able to fully use MuscaBus’ fixed route or ParaTransit services, programs, or activities for their intended purpose.
8. Other Actions Prior to Official Denial: In any case in which MuscaBus denies a request for a reasonable modification as requested by the passenger, MuscaBus will 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 benefits provided by MuscaBus.
Any request for accommodation that is denied prior to the trip would be confirmed with MuscaBus’ Transit Supervisor to ensure no other accommodations could be made to ensure the individual received transit service or benefits.
9. Reasonable Modification Denials: Any denials for reasonable accommodation by MuscaBus will be promptly communicated via written letter and/or e-mail to the individual requesting the accommodation including the reasons for the denial. All denials, including reasoning, will be logged/maintained for federal reporting purposes.
10. Decisions Guided by 49 CFR Appendix E: In determining whether to grant a requested modification, MuscaBus will be guided by the provisions of United States Department of Transportation 49 CFR Appendix E to Part 37.169.
11. Procedures Availability: MuscaBus’ complaint process and reasonable accommodation procedures are available on the City of Muscatine website at www.muscatineiowa.gov or by an individual’s request to MuscaBus. For a copy of these procedures, please call MuscaBus at 563-263-8152, email firstname.lastname@example.org.