37.161 Maintenance of accessible features - general.
(a) Public and private entities providing transportation services shall maintain
in operative condition those features of facilities and vehicles that are
required to make the vehicles and facilities readily accessible to and usable
by individuals with disabilities. These features include, but are not
limited to, lifts and other means of access to vehicles, securement devices,
elevators, signage and systems to facilitate communications with persons
with impaired vision or hearing.
This section applies to all entities providing transportation
services, public and private. It requires those entities to maintain
in operative condition those features or facilities and equipment that make
facilities and vehicles accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.
(b) Accessibility features shall be repaired promptly if they are damaged
or out of order. When an accessibility feature is out of order, the
entity shall take reasonable steps to accommodate individuals with disabilities
who would otherwise use the feature.
The ADA requires that, to the maximum extent feasible, facilities be accessible
to and usable by individuals with disabilities. This section recognizes
that it is not sufficient to provide features such as lift-equipped vehicles,
elevators, communications systems to provide information to people with vision
or hearing impairments, etc. if these features are not maintained in a manner
that enables individuals with disabilities to use them. Inoperative
lifts or elevators, locked accessible doors, accessible paths of travel that
are blocked by equipment or boxes of materials are not accessible to or usable
by individuals with disabilities.
Allowing obstructions or out of order accessibility equipment
to persist beyond a reasonable period of time would violate this Part, as
would mechanical failures due to improper or inadequate maintenance.
Failure of the entity to ensure that accessible routes are free of obstruction
and properly maintained, or failure to arrange prompt repair of inoperative
elevators, lifts, or other accessibility-related equipment, would also violate
(c) This section does not prohibit isolated or temporary interruptions in
service or access due to maintenance or repairs.
The rule also requires that accommodations be made to individuals with disabilities
who would otherwise use an inoperative accessibility feature.
For example, when a rail system discovers that an elevator is out of order,
blocking access to one of its stations, it could accommodate users of the
station by announcing the problem at other stations to alert passengers and
offer accessible shuttle bus service around the temporarily inaccessible
station. If a public address system were out of order, the entity could
designate personnel to provide information to customers with visual impairments.
The rule points out that temporary obstructions or isolated instances
of mechanical failure would not be considered violations of the ADA or this
rule. Repairs must be made "promptly." The rule does not, and probably
could not, state a time limit for making particular repairs, given the variety
of circumstances involved. However, repairing accessible features must
be made a high priority.