This section contains amendments from May 21, 1996.
This section requires each entity having a complementary paratransit system to provide service to visitors from out of town on the same basis as it is provided to local residents. By "on the same basis," we mean under all the same conditions, service criteria, etc., without distinction. For the period of a visit, the visitor is treated exactly like an eligible local user, without any higher priority being given to either.(b) For purposes of this section, a visitor is an individual with disabilities who does not reside in the jurisdiction(s) served by the public entity or other entities with which the public entity provides coordinated complementary paratransit service within a region.
A visitor is defined as someone who does not reside in the jurisdiction or jurisdictions served by the public entity or other public entities with which it coordinates paratransit service. For example, suppose an five-county metropolitan area provides coordinated paratransit service under a joint plan. A resident of any of the five counties would not be regarded as a visitor in any of them. Note that the rule talks in terms of "jurisdiction" rather than "service area." If an individual lives in XYZ County, but outside the fixed route service area of that county's transit provider, the individual is still not a visitor for purposes of paratransit in PQR County, if PQR is one of the counties with which XYZ provides coordinated paratransit service.(c) Each public entity shall treat as eligible for its complementary paratransit service all visitors who present documentation that they are ADA paratransit eligible, under the criteria of 37.125 of this Part, in the jurisdiction in which they reside.
A visitor can become eligible in one of two ways. The first is to present documentation from his or her "home" jurisdiction's paratransit system. The local provider will give "full faith and credit" to the ID card or other documentation from the other entity.(d) With respect to visitors with disabilities who do not present such documentation, the public entity may require the documentation of the individual's place of residence and, if the individual's disability is not apparent, of his or her disability. The entity shall provide paratransit service to individuals with disabilities who qualify as visitors under paragraph (b) of this section. The entity shall accept a certification by such individuals that they are unable to use fixed route transit.
The second is, if the individual has no such documentation, the local provider may require the provision of proof of visitor status (i.e., proof of residence somewhere else) and, if the individual's disability is not apparent, proof of the disability (e.g., a letter from a doctor or rehabilitation professional). Once this documentation is presented and is satisfactory, the local provider will make service available on the basis of the individual's statement that he or she is unable to use the fixed route transit system.(e) A public entity shall make the service to a visitor required by this section available for any combination of 21 days during any 365- day period beginning with the visitor's first use of the service during such 365-day period. In no case shall the public entity require a visitor to apply for or receive eligibility certification from the public entity before receiving the service required by this section.
The local provider need serve someone based on visitor eligibility for no more than 21 days. After that, the individual is treated the same as a local person for eligibility purposes. This is true whether the 21 days are consecutive or parceled out over several shorter visits. The local provider may require the erstwhile visitor to apply for eligibility in the usual local manner. A visitor who expects to be around longer than 21 days should apply for regular eligibility as soon as he arrives.The same approach may be used for a service of requested visits totaling 21 days or more in a relating compact period of time. Preferably, this application process should be arranged before the visitor arrives, by letter, telephone or fax, so that a complete application can be processed expeditiously.