The purpose of the reasonable modification policy is to ensure that Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority offers equal and effective opportunities and access to public transportation services for persons with disabilities and full compliance with the provisions of the Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
is committed to providing equal access and opportunity to qualified individuals with disabilities in all programs, services, and activities. Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority recognizes that to have equally effective opportunities and benefits, individuals with disabilities may need reasonable modifications to policies and procedures. Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority will adhere to all applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable modifications, as necessary, to afford equal access to programs for persons with disabilities. Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority does not discriminate based on disability in admission to, participation in, or receipt of services and benefits under any transit program or activity. Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority will take appropriate steps to ensure that persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate.
No qualified individual with a disability shall, because of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority or be subject to discrimination by Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority.
3. Reasonable Modifications
A reasonable modification is a change or exception to a policy, practice, or procedure that allows disabled individuals to have equal access to programs, services, and activities. Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority will make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures when necessary to ensure access to transit services for qualified individuals with disabilities unless:
• Making the accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of the public transportation service.
• Making the accommodation would create a direct threat to the health or safety of other passengers.
• The individual with a disability can fully use Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority’s service without the accommodation being made.
For this section, the term reasonable accommodation shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the term ‘‘reasonable modifications’’ as outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act Title II regulations at 28 CFR 35.130(b)(7), and not as it is defined or interpreted for employment discrimination under Title I of the ADA (42 U.S.C. 12111–12112) and its implementing regulations at 29 CFR part 1630.
4. Eligibility Criteria
An individual is eligible to be considered to receive a reasonable modification if that individual has: a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; a record of such impairment; or been regarded as having such impairment.
5. Requests for Reasonable Modifications
Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority shall make information about how to contact Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority to make requests for reasonable modifications readily available to the public through its website and rider policy guidelines. Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority shall follow these procedures in taking requests:
a. Individuals requesting modifications shall describe what they need in order to use the service.
b. Individuals requesting modifications are not required to use the term ‘‘reasonable modification’’ when making a request. Personnel at Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority will determine if the request represents a reasonable modification and proceed in accommodating the request accordingly.
c. Whenever feasible, Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority requests that individuals make such requests for modifications before Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority is expected to provide the modified service.
d. Where a request for modification cannot practicably be made and determined in advance (e.g., because of a condition or barrier at the destination of a paratransit, demand response, or fixed route trip of which the individual with a disability was unaware until arriving), operating personnel shall make a determination of whether the modification should be provided at the time of the request. Operating personnel may consult with Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority’s management before deciding to grant or deny the request.
Requests for accommodation may be made either orally or in writing. The reasonable accommodation process begins as soon as the request for accommodation is made.
The request can be submitted in any written format. Alternative means of filing a request, such as personal interviews, phone calls, or taped requests, will be made available for persons with disabilities if unable to communicate their request in writing or upon request.
6. Interactive Process
When a request for accommodation is made, Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority and the individual requesting accommodation must engage in good faith interactive process to determine what, if any, accommodation shall be provided. The individual and the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority must communicate with each other about the request, the process for determining whether the accommodation will be provided, and the potential accommodations. Communication is a priority throughout the entire process.
7. Time Frame for Processing Requests and Providing Reasonable Modification
Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority will process requests for reasonable accommodation and then provide accommodation, where appropriate, in as short a time frame as reasonably possible. Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority recognizes, however, that the time necessary to process a request will depend on the nature of the accommodation(s) requested and whether it is necessary to obtain supporting information.
8. Granting a Reasonable Modification Request
As soon as Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority determines that reasonable accommodation will be provided, that decision shall be immediately communicated to the individual. This notice must be in writing to maintain the required information for reporting purposes. Upon request, alternative means of response will be provided.
In choosing among alternatives for meeting nondiscrimination and accessibility requirements with respect to new, altered, or existing facilities, or designated or specified transportation services, Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority shall give priority to those methods that offer services, programs, and activities to qualified individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of individuals with disabilities.
9. Denying a Reasonable Modification Request
As soon as Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority determines that a request for reasonable accommodation will be denied, Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority will communicate the basis for the decision in writing to the individual requesting the modification. The explanation for the denial will clearly state:
a. the specific reasons for the denial;
b. any alternative accommodation that may create the same access to transit services as requested by the individual; and
c. the opportunity to file a complaint relative to the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority’s decision on the request.
10. Complaint Process
Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority has a process for investigating and tracking complaints from qualified individuals. These procedures shall be posted on the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority’s website and will be provided to any individual where the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority has denied a request for accommodation. The process and any forms necessary to file a complaint are readily available on the web. Alternative means of filing complaints, such as personal interviews, phone calls, or taped requests, will be made available for persons with disabilities if they are unable to communicate their request in writing or upon request.
Any person who believes she or he has been discriminated against in obtaining a reasonable modification may file a complaint by completing and submitting a Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority’s Reasonable Modification Complaint Form. Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority investigates complaints received no more than 30 days after receipt. Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority will process complaints that are complete. Once the complaint is received, the complainant will receive an acknowledgment of receipt. If more information is needed to resolve the complaint, Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority may contact the complainant. The complainant has 30 business days from the date of the letter to send the requested information to Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority.
If Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority is not contacted by the complainant or does not receive the additional information within 30 business days, the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority may administratively close the complaint. In addition, a complaint may be administratively closed if the complainant no longer wishes to pursue their case.
After Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority investigates the complaint, a decision will be rendered in writing to the complainant. Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority will issue either a Letter of Closure or Letter of Finding.
a. Letter of Finding – This letter summarizes the complaint and any interviews conducted regarding the complaint and explains what actions will be taken by Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority to address the complaint.
b. Letter of Closure – This letter will explain why Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority has determined that the complaint does not merit accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act and will be closed.
If the complainant disagrees with the decision of Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority, an opportunity to appeal the decision may be pursued. The complaint files a notice of appeal within 21 days of the initial decision of Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority.
In the event of an appeal, the complainant will be granted all due process, including the ability to present additional evidence, present the case in person during an appeal hearing, and be represented by counsel.
11. Designated Employee
Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority shall designate one official within the organization responsible for processing reasonable modification requests and handling complaints. This individual is:
Transit Planner & ADA/Title VI Liaison
12. Record Retention
Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority will maintain all records related to reasonable modification requests and denials for at least three (3) years.