Rail Vehicles Access Advisory Committee Charter

1.  PURPOSE:  This charter establishes the “Rail Vehicles Access Advisory Committee” (Committee) for the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. 2.

2.  AUTHORITY:  The establishment of the Committee is in the public interest and supports the Access Board in performing its duties and responsibilities under Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12204, and Section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 US.C. 792, which requires the Board to establish and maintain accessibility guidelines for transportation vehicles subject to the ADA.

3.  SPONSOR AND OFFICE SUPPORT:  The Committee shall report to the Access Board as its sponsor. Support services shall be provided or arranged by the Access Board.

4.  SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES:  The Access Board issued accessibility guidelines for transportation vehicles in 1991 and amended the guidelines in 1998 to include additional requirements for over-the-road buses (i.e., buses characterized by an elevated passenger deck located over a baggage compartment).  56 FR 45530, September 6, 1991; 63 FR 51694, September 28, 1998.  The Access Board’s transportation vehicle guidelines are codified at 36 CFR part 1192.  The guidelines apply to the acquisition of new, used, and remanufactured transportation vehicles, and the remanufacture of existing transportation vehicles to the extent required by regulations issued by the Department of Transportation.  The portion addressing transportation vehicles using fixed guideway systems (e.g., rapid rail, light rail, commuter rail, and intercity rail) has not been revised or updated since 1991.  The Committee shall advise the Access Board on matters related to the revision and update of the guidelines addressing transportation vehicles using fixed guideway systems subject to the ADA.  The Committee shall act solely in an advisory capacity to the Access Board and shall neither exercise any program management responsibility nor make decisions directly affecting the matters on which it provides advice.

5.  DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS:  Consistent with the scope and objectives described in paragraph 4 of this charter, the Committee is authorized to make recommendations to the Access Board on the rulemaking for revising and updating the portion of the guidelines which address transportation vehicles that use fixed guideway systems.

6.  MEMBERSHIP:  The membership will be balanced in terms of points of view represented, including manufacturers of transportation vehicles that use fixed guideway systems, transportation providers that operate fixed guideway systems, individuals with disabilities, and other interested parties.  Representatives of each of these interests shall be selected by the Chairperson of the Access Board and appointed as Committee members for the duration of the Committee’s existence. Federal agencies may serve as ex-officio members on the committee.

7.  SUBCOMMITTEES:  The Committee, with the approval of the Designated Federal Officer (DFO), may form subcommittees for any purpose consistent with this charter.  The subcommittees shall report to the Committee.

8.  CHAIRPERSON:  The Chairperson of the Committee shall be appointed by the Chairperson of the Access Board.  The Chairperson of any subcommittees shall be appointed by the Chairperson of the Committee.

9.  DESIGNATED FEDERAL OFFICER:  A full time member of the Access Board staff will serve as the DFO.  The DFO will approve all of the advisory committee’s and subcommittee’s meetings, prepare and approve all meeting agendas, attend all committee and subcommittee meetings, adjourn any meeting when the DFO determines adjournment to be in the public interest, and chair meetings when directed to do so by the Chairperson of the Access Board.

10.  MEETINGS:  Meetings shall be held as necessary at the call of the Chairperson of the Committee, with the approval of the DFO.  Meetings shall be open to the public and timely notice of each meeting shall be published in the Federal Register.  Meetings shall be conducted and records of the proceedings kept, as required by applicable laws and regulations.

11.  RECORDKEEPING:  The records of the committee, formally and informally established subcommittees, or other subgroups of the committee shall be handled in accordance with the General Records Schedule 26, Item 2 or other applicable Access Board records disposition schedules.  These records shall be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

11.  COMPENSATION OF MEMBERS:  The Access Board will not compensate Committee members for their service.  Committee members will be responsible for their own expenses for participation in the Committee, except that the Access Board may pay for a member’s reasonable travel expenses if the member certifies a lack of adequate financial resources to participate in the Committee and the Access Board determines that the member’s participation in the Committee is necessary to assure adequate representation of the various interests potentially affected by the accessibility guidelines.

12.  ESTIMATED ANNUAL COSTS:  The costs for the Committee, excluding the cost of Board staff, are estimated at $50,000.  The estimated annual person years of staff support required is 0.08 at an estimated annual cost of $16,000.

13.  DURATION:  The Committee will terminate a maximum of two years from the date of filing this charter with the appropriate Committees of Congress, unless the Committee is renewed or terminated sooner.

January 9, 2013
Board Approval Date

March 18, 2013
Date Filed with Congress