37.21  Applicability - General

(a) This Part applies to the following entities, whether or not they receive Federal financial assistance from the Department of Transportation:
  1. Any public entity that provides designated public transportation or intercity or commuter rail transportation;
  2. Any private entity that provides specified public transportation; and
  3. Any private entity that is not primarily engaged in the business of transporting people but operates a demand responsive or fixed route system.
(b) For entities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Transportation, compliance with applicable requirements of this Part is a condition of compliance with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and of receiving financial assistance.

(c) Entities to which this Part applies also may be subject to ADA regulations of the Department of Justice (28 CFR Parts 35 or 36, as applicable).  The provisions of this Part shall be interpreted in a manner that will make them consistent with applicable Department of Justice regulations.  In any case of apparent inconsistency, the provisions of this Part shall prevail.
This section emphasizes the broad applicability of Part 37.  Unlike section 504, the ADA and its implementing rules apply to entities whether or not they receive Federal financial assistance.  They apply to private and public entities alike.  For entities which do receive Federal funds, compliance with the ADA and Part 37 is a condition of compliance with section 504 and 49 CFR Part 27, DOT's section 504 rule.

Virtually all entities covered by this rule also are covered by DOJ rules, either under 28 CFR Part 36 as state and local program providers or under 28 CFR Part 35 as operators of places of public accommodation.  Both sets of rules apply; one does not override the other.  The DOT rules apply only to the entity's transportation facilities, vehicles, or services; the DOJ rules may cover the entity's activities more broadly.  For example, if a public entity operates a transit system and a zoo, DOT's coverage would stop at the transit system's edge, while DOJ's rule would cover the zoo as well.

DOT and DOJ have coordinated their rules, and the rules have been drafted to be consistent with one another.  Should, in the context of some future situation, there be an apparent inconsistency between the two rules, the DOT rule would control within the sphere of transportation services, facilities and vehicles.