Regulatory Process Matters and Notes

Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review

This proposed rule is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866 and has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.  The Access Board prepared a report to estimate the costs of requiring public transit agencies that operate 100 or more buses in annual maximum service in fixed route systems to provide automated stop and route announcements on buses that are more than 6.7 m (22 feet) in length and operate in fixed route systems.  The report is available on the Access Board’s website at: http://www.access-board.gov/transit/.  The report is discussed under Proposed Changes That Received Substantial Comment.  Vehicle manufacturers and transit operators are requested to provide information in Questions 1 through 21 on the feasibility and costs of the other proposed changes.  The Access Board will consider this information along with other comments on the proposed rule when preparing the final rule and will prepare additional costs estimates based on the information provided, as appropriate.

Regulatory Flexibility Act: Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

The Access Board prepared the following initial regulatory flexibility analysis to describe how the proposed rule affects small entities.

Legal Basis, Objectives, and Reasons for Revising and Updating the Guidelines 
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires the Access Board to issue guidelines for transportation vehicles that are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.  The Access Board initially issued accessibility guidelines for transportation vehicles in 1991.  The proposed rule revises and updates the accessibility guidelines for buses, over-the-road buses, and vans.  The objectives for revising the guidelines are discussed in the preamble.  Proposed changes that received substantial comment when drafts of the proposed rule were made available are discussed at the beginning of the preamble, including the reasons for each of the proposed changes.  The other revisions to the guidelines are discussed after the proposed changes that received substantial comment.  Most of these revisions are editorial only and restate current requirements in plain language that is clear and easy to understand.

Small Entities Affected
Small public entities (i.e., State or local government units with a population of less than 50,000) and small private entities (i.e., small businesses that meet the size standards established by the Small Business Administration) are affected by the Access Board’s guidelines to the extent that they are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Department of Transportation regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The Department of Transportation regulations apply to the following entities:

  • Public entities that provide designated public transportation (i.e., general or special transportation service, including charter service, provided to the general public on a regular and continuing basis), excluding public school transportation.  49 CFR §§37.21 (a) (1) and 37.27 (a).
  • Private entities that provide specified public transportation (i.e., general or special transportation service, including charter service, provided to the general public on a regular and continuing basis).  49 CFR §37.21 (a) (2).
  • Private entities that are not primarily engaged in the business of transporting people but operate a demand responsive or fixed route system. 49 CFR §37.21 (a) (3).

Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements, Other Compliance Requirements, and Significant Alternatives
There are no reporting or recordkeeping requirements.  Proposed changes that received substantial comment when drafts of the proposed rule were made available are discussed at the beginning of the preamble.  Questions 1 through 21 request comments on the proposed changes, including information on the feasibility and costs on the proposed changes.  The following questions may be of interest to small entities:

  • Questions 1 through 6 request information on the feasibility and costs associated with the proposed 1:6 maximum slope requirement for buses and vans equipped with ramps, as well as alternatives.
  • Questions 7, 8, and 9 requests information on the feasibility and costs associated with the proposed 34 inches minimum clear width requirement for circulation paths connecting wheelchair spaces to doorways that provide accessible boarding, and alternative performance specifications and test methods.
  • Questions 11 and 12 request information on the feasibility and costs associated with the proposed requirements for maneuvering clearances at wheelchair spaces.
  • Questions 13 and 14 request information on costs associated with proposed changes to the technical requirements for wheelchair securement systems on large vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating 30,000 pounds or more.
  • Question 17 requests information from private entities who contract with public transit agencies that operate 100 or more buses in annual maximum service in fixed route systems and acquire buses to operate in the fixed route systems under contract with the public transit agencies regarding the proposed requirement for automated stop and route announcements.

Comments are also requested on alternatives to any of the new or modified requirements in the proposed rule.  The Access Board will consider the comments and information on the proposed changes when preparing the final rule and final regulatory flexibility analysis, and will prepare additional cost estimates, as appropriate.

Other Applicable Federal Rules 
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires the Department of Transportation to issue regulations to implement the transportation provisions of the statute.  The Department of Transportation regulations include accessibility standards for transportation vehicles that are consistent with the Access Board’s transportation vehicle guidelines.  The Department of Transportation’s regulations are legally enforceable.  The Department of Transportation will conduct a separate rulemaking to amend its regulations so that the accessibility standards included in the regulations are consistent with the revisions to Access Board’s transportation vehicle guidelines.  When the Department of Transportation amends its regulations, the Department of Transportation will establish the effective date for the revised accessibility standards.

Executive Order 13132: Federalism

The proposed rule adheres to the fundamental federalism principles and policy making criteria in Executive Order 13132.  The proposed rule revises and updates guidelines issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act, civil rights legislation that was enacted by Congress pursuant to its authority to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and to regulate commerce.  The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted “to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities” and “to ensure that the Federal government plays a central role in enforcing the standards established in this chapter on behalf of individuals with disabilities.  42 U.S.C. §12101 (b) (1) and (3).  The Americans with Disabilities Act recognizes the authority of State and local governments to enact and enforce laws that “provide for greater or equal protection for the rights of individuals with disabilities than are afforded by this chapter.” 42 U.S.C. §12201 (b).  The Access Board made drafts of the proposed rule available for public review and comment. State and local governments, including public transit agencies, provided comments on the proposed changes.  As discussed in the preamble, the comments were considered and changes were made to the proposed rule based on the comments.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act does not apply to proposed or final rules that enforce constitutional rights of individuals or enforce statutory rights that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or disability.  Since the proposed rule is issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, an assessment of the rule’s effect on State, local, and tribal governments, and the private sector is not required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 1192

Civil Rights, Individuals with disabilities, Transportation.

David M. Capozzi (signature)
David M. Capozzi, 
Executive Director.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Access Board proposes to amend 36 CFR part 1192 as follows:

PART 1192 – AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) ACCESSEBILITY GUIDELINES FOR TRANSPORTATION VEHICLES

1.  The authority citation for 36 CFR Part 1192 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 12204.

2.  Amend Subpart B by revising the subpart heading, removing §§1192.21 through 1192.39, and adding new §1192.21 to read as follows:

Subpart B – Buses, Over-the-Road Buses, and Vans

§1192.21 Accessibility Guidelines.

The accessibility guidelines for buses, over-the-road buses, and vans covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act are set forth in the Appendix to this part. The guidelines serve as the basis for accessibility standards adopted by the Department of Transportation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Subpart G [§§1192.151 – 1192.161] [Removed]

3.  Remove Subpart G [§§1192.151 – 1192.161].

Subpart F [§§1192.171 – 1192.179] [Redesignated as Subpart G]

4.  Subpart F [§§1192.171 – 1192.179] is redesignated as new Subpart G.

5.  Amend the Appendix to Part 1192 by revising the appendix heading, removing the advisory guidance, adding new pages – to – as set forth below.  The revisions and additions read as follows:

Appendix to Part 1192 – Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles

Notes

1  The Americans with Disabilities Act requires barriers in existing transportation vehicles used by public accommodations for transporting individuals and by private entities to provide specified public transportation to be removed where readily achievable.  42 U.S.C §§12182(b) (2) (A) (iv) and 12184(b) (2) (C).  The Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation are responsible for issuing regulations implementing this requirement.  28 CFR §36.310 and 49 CFR §37.5 (f).

2  36 CFR §§1192.23 (c) (5) and 1192.159 (c) (5).

3  The Transbus prototype for the low floor ramped bus had a17 inch high floor that kneeled to approximately 13 inches and a 48 inch long ramp.  Low floor ramped buses available today have floors that are 14 to 15 inches high and can kneel to as low as 10 inches, and ramps that are as long as 60 inches.

4  J. Templer, Provisions for Elderly and Handicapped Pedestrians, Vol. 3: The Development and Evaluation of Countermeasures, Report No. FHWA-RD-79-3 Prepared for the Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation (May 1980) pp. 2 – 34.

5  The transit agency reported 155 adverse incidents involving passengers who use wheelchairs during a six year period from 2000 to 2005.  In 49 of the incidents (42.6 percent), the passengers were going up or down bus ramps.  In 29 of the incidents (25.7 percent), the wheelchairs tipped over on the bus ramps and/or the passenger fell.  Frost K. & Bertocci, G., Retrospective review of adverse incidents involving passengers seated in wheeled mobility devices while traveling in large accessible transit vehicles, 32 Medical Engineering & Physics 230 -236 (2010).

6  49 CFR §37.3 (definition of “ wheelchair” and “common wheelchair”) and §37.165 (b).

7  36 CFR §§1192.23 (a) and 1192.159 (a) (1). 

The 1991 guidelines require large buses that are more than 22 feet and over-the-road buses to provide at least two wheelchair spaces; and small buses and vans that are 22 feet or less to provide at least one wheelchair space.  Id.  The wheelchair spaces are required to be located as near as practicable to doorways that provide accessible boarding, and to be identified by the International Symbol of Accessibility. 36 CFR §§1192.23 (d) (2), 1192.27 (b), and 1192.159 (d) (2).  The proposed rule does not change these requirements.

8  The overhead clearances for circulation paths specified in T502.2 are the same as in the 1991 guidelines.  36 CFR §§1192.29 (f) and 1192.153 (d).  The requirement in T502.3 that features such as stanchions and fare collection devices not interfere with the maneuvering of wheelchairs is the same as in the 1991 guidelines.  36 CFR §§1192.23 (a) and (e), and 1192.33.

9  See note 6.

10  36 CFR §§1192.23 (d) (2) and 1192.159 (d) (2).

11  See note 7.

12  The accessibility guidelines for buildings and facilities require 12 inches minimum maneuvering clearance for parallel approach into and out of an alcove, and 6 inches minimum maneuvering clearance for forward approach into and out of an alcove.  36 CFR part 1191, Appendix D, 305.7.

13  36 CFR §§1192.23 (a) and 1192.159 (a) (1).  The proposed rule does not change this requirement.

14  36 CFR §§1192.23 (d) (4) and 1192.159 (d) (4).  The proposed rule does not change this requirement.

15  Id.  The proposed rule does not change this requirement.

16  The research is referenced in comments submitted by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America and Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wheelchair Transportation Safety.  The comments are available on the Access Board’s website at: http://www.access-board.gov/transit/.

17  The dimensions for the forward excursion barrier are based on comments submitted by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America.  The comments are available on the Access Board’s website at: http://www.access-board.gov/transit/.

18  SAE Recommended Practice J2249 is being revised and updated, and will be published as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) WC-18 standard.

19  36 CFR §1192.35 (a).

20  49 CFR §37.167 (b) and (c).

21  49 CFR §37.23 (b).

22  49 CFR §37.3 (definition of “wheelchair” and “common wheelchair”) and §37.165 (b).  This proposed rule does not use the term “common wheelchair” because the relevant technical requirements for lift platforms, ramps and bridgeplates, circulation paths, and wheelchair spaces specify the appropriate dimensions for those features.

23  Use of “Segways” on Transportation Vehicles [http://www.fta.dot.gov/civilrights/ada/civil_rights_3893.html].

24  49 CFR §37.7 (b).

25  The Department of Transportation regulations define these terms in 49 CFR §37.3.

26  36 CFR §1192.161.