[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 39 (Wednesday, February 27, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 13298-13299]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-04309]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Office of the Secretary

49 CFR Part 37

[Docket No. DOT-OST-2013-0014]


Notice of Retrospective Review of the Americans With Disabilities 
Act Regulations for Over-the-Road Bus Operators; Request for Comments

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary (OST), U.S. Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The DOT is seeking comments to help conduct a review of some 
of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 
(ADA) implementing regulations for over-the-road bus (OTRB) operators. 
The DOT will review regulations specified in the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section. Your comments will assist DOT with making 
decisions to modify or retain certain requirements found in these ADA 
regulations.

DATES: Please send your comments by April 29, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments to 
assist in our review of 49 CFR part 37 subpart H to the Office of 
General Counsel. Mail or hand deliver comments to the Docket Management 
Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue 
SE., Washington, DC 20590; submit electronically at http://www.regulations.gov; or fax comments to 202-366-9313. All comments 
should include the docket number that appears in the heading of this 
document. All comments received will be available for examination and 
copying at the above address from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays. Those desiring notification of 
receipt of comments must include a self-addressed, stamped postcard or 
may print the acknowledgment page that appears after submitting 
comments electronically. Anyone is able to search the electronic form 
of all comments in any one of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, or labor union). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jill Laptosky, Attorney-Advisor, 
Office of Regulation and Enforcement (C-50), U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, 202-
493-0308 (telephone), 202-366-9313 (fax), jill.laptosky@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On September 28, 1998, the U.S. Department 
of Transportation (DOT or the Department) issued final regulations, in 
response to the ADA (Pub. L. 101-336, 104 Stat. 327, 42 U.S.C. 225 and 
611), which required the accessibility of new over-the-road buses 
(OTRBs) and accessible OTRB service. An OTRB is defined as ``a bus 
characterized by an elevated passenger deck located over a baggage 
compartment.'' 49 CFR 37.3. The regulations require commercial OTRB 
operators to ensure that passengers with disabilities have access to 
OTRB transportation. The DOT is required by 49 CFR 37.215 to review 
various requirements within the ADA regulations for OTRB operators. 
These requirements include the following: the purchase and lease 
requirements of new OTRBs by operators of fixed-route systems (Sec.  
37.183), the fleet accessibility requirements for OTRB fixed-route 
systems of large operators (Sec.  37.185), the interline service 
requirements (Sec.  37.187), the service requirement for OTRB demand-
responsive systems (Sec.  37.189), the special provision for small 
mixed-service operators (Sec.  37.191), and the interim service 
requirements for fixed-route operators (Sec.  37.193(a)). We are not 
reviewing any other requirements in the ADA regulations for OTRB 
operators at this time.
    As part of this review, DOT is required to consider certain 
factors, including the percentage of accessible OTRBs in the fleets of 
OTRB operators, the success of such operators at meeting the requests 
of passengers with disabilities for accessible OTRBs in a timely 
manner, ridership of OTRBs by passengers with disabilities, volume of 
complaints by passengers with disabilities, and the cost and service 
impacts of these requirements. After the review, DOT will decide 
whether it is appropriate to revise the part 37 ADA regulations for 
OTRB operators or retain the current regulations without change. The 
DOT will publish a notice, after the review is complete, that announces 
our decision and our justification.
    To this end, DOT requests comments and information so the 
Department can better review such ADA regulations and make an informed 
decision on whether to initiate a rulemaking to propose revisions to 
any of the regulations involving OTRBs and, if so, how to develop a 
notice of proposed rulemaking. Specifically, comments about OTRB fleet 
accessibility, fulfillment of accessible OTRB service requests, and 
ridership and volume of complaints by passengers with disabilities, 
would be helpful. The DOT welcomes comments from the public, including 
OTRB operators and individuals with disabilities, on any aspect of this 
notice. The Department is particularly interested in comments from OTRB 
operators, both large and small, on the following:
    1. The accessibility of your OTRB fleet. How many OTRBs do you own? 
Of the OTRBs that you own, how many are accessible? How many OTRBs are 
term-leased longer than 30 days? Of the OTRBs that are term-leased, how 
many are accessible? Have you been successful at meeting the requests 
of passengers with disabilities for accessible OTRBs in a timely 
manner, and what challenges continue to exist in meeting these 
requests?
    2. Accessibility arrangements. If your company does not own or 
lease an accessible OTRB, what arrangements have you made to meet the 
requirements to provide accessible transportation? For example, has 
your company made arrangements with another company that operates an 
accessible OTRB to provide accessible OTRB service on behalf of your 
company when a 48-hour advance notice request for accessible OTRB 
service is received?
    3. Received requests. Within the previous 12 months, have you 
received any of the following inquiries, requests, or complaints, and, 
if so, how many?
     Inquiries regarding whether your company owns or leases an 
accessible OTRB,
     Inquiries regarding whether your company can provide 
accessible OTRB service,
     Requests for accessible OTRB service that were received 
with a minimum of 48-hour advance notice and satisfied according to the 
requested provisions,
     Number of passengers with disabilities who have used your 
company's accessible OTRB service, and
     Complaints regarding denial of accessible OTRB service to 
an individual with a disability.

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    4. Costs and Service Impacts. What are your company's costs of 
providing accessible OTRB service? Please provide specific cost data 
broken down into various cost categories (e.g., maintenance). What 
effect does accessible transportation compliance have on your overall 
operation?
    5. Other Comments. The Department is also interested in your input 
on whether any specific requirement under review should be changed and 
why. Please provide supporting information for your recommended change, 
and explain whether the recommended regulatory change would affect all 
types of OTRB operators or just one type, such as large fixed-route, 
small fixed-route, or all demand-responsive operators.
    Your comments will help the Department conduct a review of its ADA 
regulations for OTRB operators and decide whether to propose any 
regulatory revisions. At this time, there are no pending proposed 
revisions to DOT's ADA regulations for OTRB operators.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 19, 2013.
Robert S. Rivkin,
General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2013-04309 Filed 2-25-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P