Vanpool systems which are operated by public entities, or in which public
entities own or purchase or lease the vehicles, are subject to the requirements
of this Part for demand responsive service for the general public operated
by public entities. A vanpool system in this category is deemed
to be providing equivalent service to individuals with disabilities if a
vehicle that an individual with disabilities can use is made available to
and used by a vanpool in which such an individual chooses to participate.
This provision applies to public vanpool systems the requirements
for public entities operating demand responsive systems for the general public.
A public vanpool system is one operated by a public entity, or in which a
public entity owns or purchases or leases the vehicles. Lesser degrees
of public involvement with an otherwise private ridesharing arrangement (e.g.,
provision of parking spaces, HOV lanes, coordination or clearinghouse services)
do not convert a private into a public system.
The requirement for a public vanpool system is that it purchase or lease
an accessible vehicle unless it can demonstrate that it provides equivalent
service to individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs,
as it provides to individuals without disabilities. For a public vanpool
system, the equivalency requirement would be met if an accessible vehicle
is made available to and used by a vanpool when an individual with a disability
needs such a vehicle to participate. Public vanpool systems may meet
this requirement through obtaining a percentage of accessible vehicles that
is reasonable in light of demand for them by participants, but this is not
required, so long as the entity can respond promptly to requests for participation
in a vanpool with the provision of an accessible van when needed.
There is no requirement for private vanpools, defined as a voluntary arrangement
in which the driver is compensated only for expenses.