37.29 Private entities providing taxi service
(a) Providers of taxi service are subject to the requirements of this Part
for private entities primarily engaged in the business of transporting people
which provide demand responsive service.
This section first recites that providers of taxi service are
private entities primarily engaged in the business of transporting people
which provide demand responsive service. For purposes of this section,
other transportation services that involve calling for a car and a driver
to take one places (e.g., limousine services, of the kind that provide luxury
cars and chauffeurs for senior proms and analogous adult events) are regarded
as taxi services.
(b) Providers of taxi service are not required to purchase or lease accessible
automobiles. When a provider of taxi service purchases or leases a
vehicle other than an automobile, the vehicle is required to be accessible
unless the provider demonstrates equivalency as provided in 37.105 of this
Part. A provider of taxi service is not required to purchase vehicles other
than automobiles in order to have a number of accessible vehicles in its
Under the ADA, no private entity is required to purchase an accessible
automobile. If a taxi company purchases a larger vehicle, like a van,
it is subject to the same rules as any other private entity primarily engaged
in the business of transporting people which operates a demand responsive
service. That is, unless it is already providing equivalent service,
any van it acquires must be accessible. Equivalent service is measured
according to the criteria of §37.105. Taxi companies are not required
to acquire vehicles other than automobiles to add accessible vehicles to
(c) Private entities providing taxi service shall not discriminate against
individuals with disabilities by actions including, but not limited to, refusing
to provide service to individuals with disabilities who can use taxi vehicles,
refusing to assist with the stowing of mobility devices, and charging higher
fares or fees for carrying individuals with disabilities and their equipment
than are charged to other persons.
Taxi companies are subject to nondiscrimination obligations.
These obligations mean, first, that a taxi service may not deny a ride to
an individual with a disability who is capable of using the taxi vehicles.
It would be discrimination to pass up a passenger because he or she was blind
or used a wheelchair, if the wheelchair was one that could be stowed in the
cab and the passenger could transfer to a vehicle seat. Nor could a
taxi company insist that a wheelchair user wait for a lift-equipped van if
the person could use an automobile.
It would be discrimination for a driver to refuse to assist with
stowing a wheelchair in the trunk (since taxi drivers routinely assist passengers
with stowing luggage). It would be discrimination to charge a higher
fee or fare for carrying a person with a disability than for carrying a non-disabled
passenger, or a higher fee for stowing a wheelchair than for stowing a suitcase.
(Charging the same fee for stowing a wheelchair as for stowing a suitcase
would be proper, however.) The fact that it may take somewhat more time and
effort to serve a person with a disability than another passenger does not
justify discriminatory conduct with respect to passengers with disabilities.
State or local governments may run user-side subsidy arrangements
for the general public (e.g., taxi voucher systems for senior citizens or
low-income persons). Under the DOJ Title II rule, these programs would
have to meet "program accessibility" requirements, which probably would require
that accessible transportation be made available to senior citizens or low-income
persons with disabilities. This would not directly require private
taxi providers who accept the vouchers to purchase accessible vehicles beyond
the requirements of this rule, however.