[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 73 (Wednesday, April 16, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 21402-21407]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-08525]



Office of the Secretary

49 CFR Parts 21, 27, 37, and 38

RIN 2105-AE25

Miscellaneous Civil Rights Amendments (RRR)

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary (OST), Department of Transportation 

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: This final rule revises some of the Department's civil rights 
regulations by removing obsolete and inconsistent language.

DATES: This rule is effective April 16, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jill Laptosky, Attorney-Advisor, 
Office of the General Counsel, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, 
DC 20590. She may also be reached by telephone at 202-493-0308 or by 
email at [email protected].


Part 21

    In 1991, Congress redesignated the Urban Mass Transportation 
Administration (UMTA) as the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), as 
part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, 
Public Law 102-240 (Dec. 18, 1991). To reflect this change, this final 
rule updates Part 21 of DOT's regulations by replacing references to 
UMTA and its programs with references to FTA and FTA's equivalent 
programs. This final rule also amends statutory authority citations, as 
appropriate, to reflect UMTA's designation as the FTA. These amendments 
are nonsubstantive.

Part 27

    The Department's regulations at 49 CFR Part 27 carry out section 
504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794), as amended, to 
ensure that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the 
United States shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be 
excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be 
subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving 
Federal financial assistance. This final rule updates terminology 
(e.g., changes ``handicapped person'' to ``person with a disability'') 
in Part 27 to make it consistent with current practice under the 
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This updated, ``person-first'' 
terminology is already being used elsewhere in the Department's 
regulations, including its ADA and Air Carrier Access Act regulations. 
This change is nonsubstantive.
    This final rule also corrects a reference to the subpart on 
Enforcement, which is subpart C. This correction removes a reference to 
subpart F in part 27, which no longer exists. This correction is 

Part 37

    The Access Board is a Federal agency whose primary mission is 
accessibility for individuals with disabilities. To facilitate the 
implementation of the ADA and related regulatory requirements, the 
Access Board publishes the Americans with Disabilities Act 
Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). Until October 30, 2006, DOT 
republished the Access Board's ADAAG as Appendix A to Part 37. Although 
DOT continues to require conformity with relevant ADAAG standards, DOT 
determined in 2006 that, because ``the entire text of the new ADAAG is 
available in materials published by the Access Board, the Department is 
not republishing the voluminous text'' as an appendix to Part 37. See 
71 FR 63263, 63264. Because DOT ceased publishing the ADAAG as an 
appendix to Part 37, and because the Access Board periodically revises 
the ADAAG, certain Part 37 provisions referencing the old Appendix A 
are now obsolete. For example, 49 CFR 37.47 and 37.51 each defined 
certain regulatory requirements by reference to the Department's old 
part 37 Appendix A. When these

[[Page 21403]]

provisions were enacted, Appendix A was a republication of the ADAAG. 
Section 37.47(c)(1) required all ``key stations'' in light and rapid 
rail systems to achieve accessibility, defined as conformance with the 
ADAAG, by July 26, 1994. Similarly, 49 CFR 37.51(c)(1) required key 
stations in commuter rail systems to achieve accessibility by the same 
date. This final rule removes these provisions' specific references to 
Appendix A, but leaves intact the operators' obligation to conform to 
the Access Board's guidelines. This change is nonsubstantive.
    This final rule also removes obsolete language from Part 37's 
Appendix D. Specifically, certain language in Appendix D purported to 
explain the text of 49 CFR 37.9 concerning ``bus stop pads.'' In 2006, 
however, 49 CFR 37.9(c) was modified so that it no longer addresses bus 
stop pads. 71 FR 63263, 63265. In addition, the ADAAG has been 
reorganized such that several existing citations to the ADAAG in 
Appendix D are outdated or obsolete. See 36 CFR 1191.1. To reflect 
these changes, therefore, this final rule removes this outdated 
language. These changes are nonsubstantive.
    Additional revisions to Part 37 are necessary because of recent 
changes to the ADAAG. When the Department created Part 37 in 1991, 
Sec.  37.3 defined ``transit facility'' in order to clarify certain 
ADAAG requirements concerning telecommunications devices for the deaf 
(TDD). At the time, DOT stated that its transit facility ``definition 
relates only to the Access Board requirement for TDDs, which applies to 
transit facilities.'' 56 FR 45584, 45585-86. More recent versions of 
the ADAAG, however, do not define compliance with TDD provisions in 
terms of transit facilities; it is therefore appropriate for DOT to 
remove this unnecessary definition of transit facility from the 
Department's regulations and its appendix. This change is 
    Further nonsubstantive revisions to Part 37 are required to 
accommodate changes to DOT's statutory grant-making authority. 
Specifically, several FTA grant programs were originally authorized by 
the Urban Mass Transportation Act (UMT Act) of 1964, Public Law 88-365. 
As discussed above, however, Congress redesignated the UMTA as the FTA 
in 1991. Shortly thereafter, in 1994, statutory authorizations for the 
FTA's grant programs were recodified without substantive change. 
Revision of Title 49, United States Code Annotated, ``Transportation,'' 
Public Law 103-272, (July 5, 1994). As a result of this recodification, 
grants previously authorized under section 18 of the UMT Act became 
authorized under 49 U.S.C. 5311; grants previously authorized under 
section 9 of the UMT Act became authorized under 49 U.S.C. 5307; and 
grants previously authorized under section 3 of the UMT Act became 
authorized under 49 U.S.C. 5309. This final rule amends Part 37 to 
reflect these statutory changes; these changes are nonsubstantive.
    In addition, among the many provisions of the Department's 1991 
rule implementing the ADA, see 56 FR 45625, 49 CFR 37.7 sets forth 
compliance standards for accessible vehicles. Pursuant to this section, 
a vehicle is considered to be accessible if it complies with Access 
Board guidelines, which are incorporated into the Department's rules at 
49 CFR Part 38. Paragraph (b) of Sec.  37.7 allows an entity to 
petition the Administrator for a determination of equivalent 
facilitation, which, if granted, allows an entity to deviate from Part 
38 standards through the use of a comparable method of compliance. In 
the original 1991 final rule, Sec.  37.7(b) required an entity 
petitioning the Administrator to show an ``inability to comply'' with a 
particular standard in order to deviate from Part 38 requirements. 
Interpretive language appearing in Appendix D to Part 37 explains that 
this provision required an entity to ``make a case to the Administrator 
that it is unable to comply with a particular portion of Part 38, as 
written, for specified reasons, and that it is providing comparable 
compliance by some alternative method.'' However, the original rule was 
amended in 1996 to remove ``inability to comply'' with existing 
requirements as a condition of obtaining an equivalent facilitation 
determination. See 61 FR 25409. Notwithstanding this amendment, this 
interpretive language in Appendix D was not removed and, therefore, 
still implies that an entity may petition the Administrator if it is 
unable to comply with a particular Part 38 standard. This language is 
outdated and inconsistent with current regulation. Therefore, this 
final rule removes this obsolete language from Appendix D. This 
conforming change is nonsubstantive.
    This final rule will also update Part 37 by updating the addresses 
for the FTA regional offices in Appendix B. It will correct a 
typographical error by replacing direct ``treat'' with direct 
``threat'' in Appendix D.

Part 38

    The Department's final rule implementing the transportation 
provisions of the ADA also sets forth minimum accessibility standards 
for transportation vehicles. These standards, published in 49 CFR Part 
38, include minimum requirements for public information systems found 
on accessible vehicles, including buses, vans, rapid rail vehicles, 
light rail vehicles, commuter rail cars, and intercity rail cars.\1\ In 
order to be in compliance with Part 38 requirements, these vehicles 
must be ``equipped with a public address system permitting the driver, 
or recorded or digitized human speech messages, to announce stops and 
provide other passenger information within the vehicle.''

    \1\ See 49 CFR 38.35, 38.61, 38.87, 38.103, 38.121.

    The Appendix to Part 38 provides guidance material to assist 
entities with the interpretation of these standards. Guidance language 
relating to public information systems is found in Section V of the 
Appendix. This guidance, which has remained unchanged since the 
original 1991 publication, states that ``there currently is no 
requirement that vehicles be equipped with an information system which 
is capable of providing the same or equivalent information to persons 
with hearing loss.''
    Notwithstanding this language, the Department encourages the use of 
public address systems which are accessible to persons who are deaf, 
hearing impaired, and those with hearing loss. Accordingly, the 
Appendix provides information regarding the use and implementation of 
both visual display systems and assistive listening systems on 
transportation vehicles. The regulatory text also leaves open the 
option of equipping some vehicles with an alternative system or device 
capable of providing such access.\2\ Therefore, the language in the 
Appendix which indicates that there is ``no requirement'' to use a 
public information system capable of providing information to persons 
with hearing loss is both unhelpful and outdated. This final rule 
removes this language from the Appendix. This change to the guidance is 

    \2\ See 49 CFR 38.121 (``Alternative systems or devices which 
provide equivalent access are also permitted.'')

    This final rule also removes language from the Appendix that 
discusses a technological study conducted during fiscal year 1992. The 
Department recognizes that technology has changed significantly since 
publication of the original rule and that technology which is capable 
of providing equivalent information now exists and is already in use in 
many cases. Therefore, this

[[Page 21404]]

outdated language will be removed from the Appendix. This change is 

Public Participation

    This final rule is exempt from Administrative Procedure Act (APA) 
notice and comment requirements. This final rule does not affect any 
substantive changes to the regulations or alter any existing compliance 
obligations. The revisions to Part 21 replace outdated references to 
UMTA with current references to FTA. With respect to Part 27, this 
final rule would only make editorial corrections to the regulations by 
replacing references to ``handicapped people'' with references to 
``persons with disabilities.'' Another edit to Part 27 corrects an 
outdated subpart designation without affecting the substance of the 
underlying rulemaking document. With respect to Part 37, the 
corrections contained in this final rule are consistent with the 
changes adopted by the Department in 1996. The Department already 
sought comment from the public on the deletion of the requirement that 
an entity demonstrate an inability to comply with existing requirements 
as a condition of obtaining a determination of equivalent facilitation. 
See 59 FR 37208. This final rule merely makes the guidance consistent 
with the regulations. This final rule is removing references in Part 37 
to an appendix that no longer exists and removes languages that is now 
obsolete due to Access Board revisions to the ADAAG. Part 37 is also 
revised to replace references to UMTA's programs to FTA's programs. As 
previously discussed, UMTA was redesignated by Congress as FTA in 1991. 
With respect to Part 38, this final rule will not affect any existing 
compliance obligations. The Department is removing language in the 
guidance regarding public information systems; however, the underlying 
compliance obligation remains the same. For the reasons stated above, 
notice and comment procedures are unnecessary within the meaning of the 
APA. See 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).
    The Department finds good cause for this final rule to become 
effective immediately under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1). This final rule is only 
removing outdated, obsolete, and inconsistent language in the 
regulations or revising the guidance material without altering any 
existing compliance obligations contained in the current regulations. 
Since this final rule is nonsubstantive and will not affect any 
regulated entity's compliance with the current regulations, the 
Department finds good cause for it to become effective immediately.

Regulatory Analyses and Notices

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), Executive Order 
13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), and DOT Regulatory 
Policies and Procedures

    The DOT has determined that this action is not a significant 
regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 12866, and 
within the meaning of the Department of Transportation's regulatory 
policies and procedures. Since this rulemaking merely removes obsolete 
and inconsistent language and makes editorial corrections and does not 
have any substantive impact on the regulated community, the DOT 
anticipates that this rulemaking will have no economic impact.
    Additionally, this action fulfills the principles of Executive 
Order 13563, specifically those relating to retrospective analyses of 
existing rules. This rule is being issued as a result of the reviews of 
existing regulations that the Department periodically conducts. In 
addition, these changes will not interfere with any action taken or 
planned by another agency and would not materially alter the budgetary 
impact of any entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs. 
Consequently, a full regulatory evaluation is not necessary.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Since notice and comment rulemaking is not necessary for this rule, 
the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Pub. L. 96-354, 5 
U.S.C. 601-612) do not apply. However, the DOT has evaluated the 
effects of this action on small entities and has determined that the 
action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. The rule removes obsolete guidance language 
and updates outdated terminology and, therefore, does not add to or 
alter any existing obligations.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This final rule would not impose unfunded mandates as defined by 
the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4, 109 Stat. 48, 
March 22, 1995) as it will not result in the expenditure by State, 
local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private 
sector, of $148.1 million or more in any one year (2 U.S.C. 1532).

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism Assessment)

    Executive Order 13132 requires agencies to ensure meaningful and 
timely input by State and local officials in the development of 
regulatory policies that may have a substantial, direct effect on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. This action has been analyzed in 
accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive 
Order 13132, dated August 4, 1999, and the DOT has determined that this 
action would not have a substantial direct effect or sufficient 
federalism implications on the States. The DOT has also determined that 
this action would not preempt any State law or regulation or affect the 
States' ability to discharge traditional State governmental functions. 
Therefore, consultation with the States is not necessary.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501, et 
seq.), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of 
Management and Budget for each collection of information they conduct, 
sponsor, or require through regulations. The DOT has analyzed this 
final rule under the PRA and has determined that this rule does not 
contain collection of information requirements for the purposes of the 

National Environmental Policy Act

    The agency has analyzed the environmental impacts of this proposed 
action pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and has determined that it is categorically 
excluded pursuant to DOT Order 5610.1C, Procedures for Considering 
Environmental Impacts (44 FR 56420, Oct. 1, 1979). Categorical 
exclusions are actions identified in an agency's NEPA implementing 
procedures that do not normally have a significant impact on the 
environment and therefore do not require either an environmental 
assessment (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS). See 40 CFR 
1508.4. In analyzing the applicability of a categorical exclusion, the 
agency must also consider whether extraordinary circumstances are 
present that would warrant the preparation of an EA or EIS. Id. 
Paragraph 3.c.5 of DOT Order 5610.1C incorporates by reference the 
categorical exclusions for all DOT Operating Administrations. This 
action is covered by the categorical exclusion listed in the Federal 
Highway Administration's implementing procedures, ``[p]romulgation of 
rules, regulations, and directives.'' 23 CFR

[[Page 21405]]

771.117(c)(20). The purpose of this rulemaking is to make editorial 
corrections and remove obsolete and inconsistent language in the 
Department's civil rights regulations. The agency does not anticipate 
any environmental impacts, and there are no extraordinary circumstances 
present in connection with this rulemaking.

Executive Order 13175 (Tribal Consultation)

    The DOT has analyzed this action under Executive Order 13175, dated 
November 6, 2000, and believes that the action would not have 
substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, would not 
impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal 
governments, and would not preempt tribal laws. This final rule merely 
updates outdated terminology, and removes inconsistent language 
relating to compliance with the Department's accessible vehicle 
standards and equivalent facilitation determinations. It does not 
impose any new requirements on Indian tribal governments. Therefore, a 
tribal summary impact statement is not required.

Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

    The DOT has analyzed this action under Executive Order 13211, 
Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use. The DOT has determined that this is not a 
significant energy action under this order since it is not a 
significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866 and is not 
likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution, or use of energy. Therefore, a Statement of Energy 
Effects is not required.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Parts 21, 27, 37 and 38

    Administrative practice and procedure, Buildings and facilities, 
Buses, Civil rights, Government contracts, Grant programs-
transportation, Individuals with disabilities, Intermodal 
transportation, Mass transportation, Minority businesses, Railroads, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on April 9, 2014, under authority 
delegated in 49 CFR part 1.27(a) and (c):
Kathryn B. Thomson,
General Counsel.

The Final Rule

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Office of the Secretary 
amends 49 CFR Part 21, 49 CFR Part 27, 49 CFR Part 37, and 49 CFR Part 
38 as follows:


1. The authority citation is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 2000d-2000d-6.

2. Amend Appendix A to Part 21 by:
a. Revising paragraph 13 as set out below,
b. Removing paragraphs 14-17, and
c. Redesignating paragraph 18 as paragraph 14.

Appendix A to Part 21--Activities to Which This Part Applies

    13. Use of grants and loans made in connection with public 
transportation programs (49 U.S.C. chapter 53).
* * * * *

3. Amend Appendix C to Part 21 by revising paragraphs (a)(1)(ix) and 
(a)(3) to read as follows:

Appendix C to Part 21--Application of Part 21 to Certain Federal 
Financial Assistance of the Department of Transportation

    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ix) Employment at obligated airports, including employment by 
tenants and concessionaires shall be available to all regardless of 
race, creed, color, sex, or national origin. The sponsor shall 
coordinate his airport plan with his local transit authority and the 
Federal Transit Administration to assure public transportation, 
convenient to the disadvantaged areas of nearby communities to 
enhance employment opportunities for the disadvantaged and minority 
* * * * *
    (3) Federal Transit Administration.
* * * * *


4. The authority citation for part 27 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority:  Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as 
amended (29 U.S.C. 794); 49 U.S.C. 322.

5. In 49 CFR Part 27:
a. The term ``handicapped person'' is revised to read ``person with a 
disability'' wherever it occurs;
b. The term ``handicapped persons'' is revised to read ``persons with a 
disability'' wherever it occurs;
c. The term ``qualified handicapped person'' is revised to read 
``qualified person with a disability'' wherever it occurs;
d. The term ``qualified handicapped persons'' is revised to read 
``qualified persons with a disability'' wherever it occurs;
e. The term ``handicapped and nonhandicapped persons'' is revised to 
read ``persons with and without a disability'' wherever it occurs;
f. The term ``the handicapped'' when not followed by ``person'' or 
``persons'' is revised to read ``persons with a disability'' wherever 
it occurs;
g. The term ``handicapped'', when not followed by ``person'' or 
``persons'' or preceded by ``the'', is revised to read ``disabled'' 
where it appears; and
h. The term ``nonhandicapped'' is revised to read ``persons without a 
disability'' wherever it occurs.

Sec.  27.19  [Amended]

6. In the last sentence of Sec.  27.19(a), remove the term ``subpart 
F'' and add in its place ``subpart C''.


7. The authority for part 37 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 12101-12213; 49 U.S.C. 322.

Subpart A--General

Sec.  37.3  [Amended]

8. Amend Sec.  37.3 by removing the definition of ``transit facility.''

Subpart C--Transportation Facilities

9. In Sec.  37.47, revise paragraph (c)(1) to read as follows:

Sec.  37.47  Key stations in light and rapid rail systems.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (1) Unless an entity receives an extension under paragraph (c)(2) 
of this section, the public entity shall achieve accessibility of key 
stations as soon as possible, but in no case later than July 26, 1994.
* * * * *

10. In Sec.  37.51, revise paragraph (c)(1) to read as follows:

Sec.  37.51  Key stations in commuter rail systems.

* * * * *

[[Page 21406]]

    (c)(1) Except as provided in this paragraph, the responsible 
person(s) shall achieve accessibility of key stations as soon as 
possible, but in no case later than July 26, 1994.
* * * * *

Subpart D--Acquisition of Accessible Vehicles by Public Entities

11. In Sec.  37.77, revise paragraph (d) to read as follows:

Sec.  37.77  Purchase or lease of new non-rail vehicles by public 
entities operating a demand responsive system for the general public.

* * * * *
    (d) A public entity receiving FTA funds under 49 U.S.C. 5311 or a 
public entity in a small urbanized area which receives FTA funds under 
49 U.S.C. 5307 from a state administering agency rather than directly 
from FTA, which determines that its service to individuals with 
disabilities is equivalent to that provided other persons shall, before 
any procurement of an inaccessible vehicle, file with the appropriate 
state program office a certificate that it provides equivalent service 
meeting the standards of paragraph (c) of this section. Public entities 
operating demand responsive service receiving funds under any other 
section of the FT Act shall file the certificate with the appropriate 
FTA regional office. A public entity which does not receive FTA funds 
shall make such a certificate and retain it in its files, subject to 
inspection on request of FTA. All certificates under this paragraph may 
be made and filed in connection with a particular procurement or in 
advance of a procurement; however, no certificate shall be valid for 
more than one year. A copy of the required certificate is found in 
appendix C to this part.
* * * * *

Subpart F--Paratransit as a Complement to Fixed Route Service

12. In Sec.  37.135, revise paragraphs (f)(1)(i) and (ii) and (f)(2) to 
read as follows:

Sec.  37.135  Submission of paratransit plan.

* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) A recipient of funding under 49 U.S.C. 5311;
    (ii) A small urbanized area recipient of funding under 49 U.S.C. 
5307 administered by the State;
* * * * *
    (2) The FTA Regional Office (as listed in appendix B to this part) 
for all other entities required to submit a paratransit plan. This 
includes an FTA recipient under 49 U.S.C. 5307; entities submitting a 
joint plan (unless they meet the requirements of paragraph (f)(1)(iii) 
of this section), and a public entity not an FTA recipient.

13. In Sec.  37.145, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:

Sec.  37.145  State comment on plans.

* * * * *
    (a) Ensure that all applicable recipients of funding under 49 
U.S.C. 5307 or 49 U.S.C. 5311 have submitted plans.
* * * * *

14. Revise appendix B to part 37 to read as follows:

Appendix B to Part 37--FTA Regional Offices

Region 1, Federal Transit Administration, Transportation Systems 
Center, Kendall Square, 55 Broadway, Suite 920, Cambridge, MA 02142
Region 2, Federal Transit Administration, One Bowling Green, Room 
429, New York, NY 10004
Region 3, Federal Transit Administration, 1760 Market Street, Suite 
500, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Region 4, Federal Transit Administration, 230 Peachtree NW., Suite 
800, Atlanta, GA 30303
Region 5, Federal Transit Administration, 200 West Adams Street, 
Suite 320, Chicago, IL 60606
Region 6, Federal Transit Administration, 819 Taylor Street, Room 
8A36, Fort Worth, TX 76102
Region 7, Federal Transit Administration, 901 Locust Street, Suite 
404, Kansas City, MO 64106
Region 8, Federal Transit Administration, 12300 West Dakota Avenue, 
Suite 310, Lakewood, CO 80228
Region 9, Federal Transit Administration, 201 Mission Street, Suite 
1650, San Francisco, CA 94105
Region 10, Federal Transit Administration, Jackson Federal Building, 
915 Second Avenue, Suite 3142, Seattle, WA 98174

15. In Appendix C to Part 37, revise the final full paragraph under the 
heading ``Certification of Equivalent Service'' to read as follows:

Appendix C to Part 37--Certifications

* * * * *
    In accordance with 49 CFR 37.77, public entities operating 
demand responsive systems for the general public which receive 
financial assistance under 49 U.S.C. 5311 must file this 
certification with the appropriate state program office before 
procuring any inaccessible vehicle. Such public entities not 
receiving FTA funds shall also file the certification with the 
appropriate state program office. Such public entities receiving FTA 
funds under any other section of the FT Act must file the 
certification with the appropriate FTA regional office. This 
certification is valid for no longer than one year from its date of 
* * * * *

16. Amend Appendix D to Part 37 by:
a. Revising the tenth paragraph under the heading ``Section 37.3 
b. Removing the sixteenth paragraph under the heading ``Section 37.3 
Definitions'' that begins, ``The definition of `transit facility' 
applies only with reference to the TDD requirement . . . .'';
c. In the eighth paragraph under the heading ``Section 37.5 
Nondiscrimination'' by removing the phrase ``direct treat'' and adding 
in its place ``direct threat'';
d. Revising the first paragraph under the heading ``Section 37.7 
Standards for Accessible Vehicles'';
e. Removing the seventh paragraph under the heading ``37.9 Standards 
for Transportation Facilities'',
f. Revising the eighth paragraph under the heading ``37.23 Service 
Under Contract''; and
g. Revising the first paragraph under the heading ``37.143 Paratransit 
Plan Implementation''.
    The revisions read as follows:

Appendix D to Part 37--Construction and Interpretation of Provisions of 
49 CFR Part 37

* * * * *
    On the other hand, we would regard a system that permits user-
initiated deviations from routes or schedules as demand-responsive. 
For example, if a rural public transit system (e.g., a recipient of 
funds under 49 U.S.C. 5311) has a few fixed routes, the fixed route 
portion of its system would be subject to the requirements of 
subpart F for complementary paratransit service. If the entity 
changed its system so that it operated as a route-deviation system, 
we would regard it as a demand responsive system. Such a system 
would not be subject to complementary paratransit requirements.
* * * * *
    This section makes clear that, in order to meet accessibility 
requirements of this rule, vehicles must comply with Access Board 
standards, incorporated in DOT rules as 49 CFR part 38. Paragraph 
(b) of Sec.  37.7 spells out a procedure by which an entity (public 
or private) can deviate from provisions of part 38 with respect to 
vehicles. The entity would have to describe how its alternative mode 
of compliance would meet or exceed the level of access to or 
usability of the vehicle that compliance with part 38 would 
otherwise provide.
* * * * *
    In addition, the requirement that a private entity play by the 
rules applicable to a public entity can apply in situations 
involving an ``arrangement or other relationship'' with a public 
entity other than the traditional contract for service. For example, 
a private

[[Page 21407]]

utility company that operates what is, in essence, a regular fixed 
route public transportation system for a city, and which receives 
funding under 49 U.S.C. 5307 or 49 U.S.C. 5309 via an agreement with 
a state or local government agency, would fall under the provisions 
of this section. The provider would have to comply with the vehicle 
acquisition, paratransit, and service requirements that would apply 
to the public entity through which it receives the FTA funds, if 
that public entity operated the system itself. The Department would 
not, however, construe this section to apply to situations in which 
the degree of FTA funding and state and local agency involvement is 
considerably less, or in which the system of transportation involved 
is not a de facto surrogate for a traditional public entity fixed 
route transit system serving a city (e.g., a private non-profit 
social service agency which receives funds under 49 U.S.C. 5310 to 
purchase a vehicle).
* * * * *
    As already discussed under Sec.  37.135, the states will receive 
FTA recipient plans for recipients of funding under 49 U.S.C. 5311 
administered by the State or any small urbanized area recipient of 
funds under 49 U.S.C. 5307 administered by a state. Public entities 
who do not receive FTA funds will submit their plans directly to the 
applicable Regional Office (listed in appendix B to the rule).


17. The authority for Part 38 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 12101-12213; 49 U.S.C. 322.

18. In the appendix to part 38, revise the first paragraph under the 
heading ``V. Public Information Systems'' to read as follows:

Appendix to Part 38--Guidance Material

* * * * *
    Entities are encouraged to employ any available services, 
signage, or alternative systems or devices that are capable of 
providing the same or equivalent information to persons with hearing 
loss. Two possible types of devices are visual display systems and 
listening systems. However, it should be noted that while visual 
display systems accommodate persons who are deaf or are hearing 
impaired, assistive listening systems aid only those with a partial 
loss of hearing.
* * * * *

[FR Doc. 2014-08525 Filed 4-15-14; 8:45 am]