American Disabilities Act (ADA) & Accessibility

 

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) is a major piece of civil rights legislation enacted in 1990.  The goal of the ADA is to ensure that persons with disabilities have equality of opportunity, a chance to fully participate in society, are able to live independently, and can be economically self-sufficient.

 

For general questions about accessibility to BATA services and facilities, please call our Dispatch Services at 231.491.2324

 

 

IMPROVING ACCESSIBILITY

 

BATA endeavors to provide best practice ADA-compliant transit services grounded in equitable access to our transit system and inclusive process for the development of new transit services.  In partnership with Disability Network Northern Michigan, we support each other’s efforts to increase awareness and understanding of our constituents’ transit needs.  We welcome your suggestions and engagement in the process.  Please call BATA’s Mobility Management Coordinator at 231.778.1035 or email: vanderpaasa@bata.net

 

 

  • BATA vehicles are equipped with access lifts for riders with wheelchairs and other mobility devices and for those unable to walk up the bus entry steps
  • BATA’s fleet of buses are inspected to ensure all access-related equipment is operating properly before starting the day
  • BATA has implemented an annual review and improvement plan to increase amenities at our facilities and bus stops including new benches, shelters, landing pads, signage, and lighting.  We are also testing shelter heaters for the winter season
  • BATA has a program called Adopt-a-Stop.  Community neighbors, agencies and businesses volunteer to keep a nearby bus stop cleared of snow and accessible for mobility devices during the winter season.  To learn more about this program, call BATA at 231.941.2324

 

 

ADA PARATRANSIT SERVICE

 

ADA complementary paratransit service is bus service made available to people who have a disability that prevents them from using a fixed route system, ensuring them equitable access to public transit. 

 

ADA describes a paratransit ride as one that is reserved by a paratransit-eligible individual one day in advance.  Typically, this ride is origin to destination or to the closest fixed route bus stop.  Paratransit service is guaranteed as a next-day service and is scheduled within one hour of the requested departure time.  BATA’s current policy allows that a person approved for a Disability Reduced Fare Card is considered ADA eligible. 

 

BATA’s Link On-Demand service is designed as a same-day service that exceeds the ADA Guidelines for the provision of transit to people with disabilities.  A paratransit ride on Link On-Demand must be reserved one day in advance.

 

For BATA, ADA paratransit service is required within the Traverse City area only, where BATA operates fixed routes with no deviation.  BATA’s service in outlying rural areas are not required to have ADA paratransit as those routes are identified as demand response service, with a reservation option, and providing the requisite ¾ mile route deviations.  Please request deviations in advance of your travel.

 

BATA’s transit array of fixed route, on-demand, and demand response services satisfy the ADA requirements for paratransit service for people with disabilities.  There are six ADA criteria that outline the comparability.  Complementary paratransit service must:

  1. Operate in the same service area as fixed route systems
  2. Have comparable response times
  3. Have comparable fares not more than twice the cost of base fares
  4. Meet requests for any trip purpose
  5. Operate during the same days and hours
  6. Operate without capacity constraints

 

 

REASONABLE MODIFICATIONS

 

The ADA and the Federal Transit Administration require transit agencies to make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures to avoid discrimination and ensure that their programs are accessible to individuals with disabilities. 

 

Examples of reasonable modifications are: Providing assistance in extreme weather, pickups at specific entrances, and adjusting the drop off location when the bus stop is obstructed.  A reasonable modification does not include changes to ADA regulatory requirements such as requesting a drop off further than the ¾ mile deviation or changes that may impact the safety of others.  All modification requests must be made in advance of an individual’s travel.

 

 

REDUCED FARE CARDS

 

BATA offers a fare discount of 50% to those that qualify for a Reduced Fare Card (RFC).  Please complete and submit the appropriate form to BATA.  We will respond to all applications within 21 days of receipt.

 

For riders with disabilities: you may access the RFC form here.

 

For seniors, students, veterans, and active military: you may access the RFC form here.

 

 

SERVICE AND SUPPORT ANIMALS

 

A service animal is any animal trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability, including but not limited to:

  • Guidance
  • Signaling and alerting
  • Pulling a wheelchair
  • Picking up or carrying items
  • Seizure alert

 

When entering a BATA facility or boarding a bus with an animal, BATA staff may ask if it is a service animal and what service it provides.  A service animal must be under your control at all times: leashed, harnessed, voice-obedient or in a carrier.  It must also ride within your seating space, not in the aisle or in a separate seat. 

 

If any animal (service, support, or pet) becomes disruptive, out of control or poses a threat to passenger safety, you must remove it from the bus or facility promptly.  The driver is required to report details of all animal-related incidents to management.

 

Animals identified as emotional support or therapy animals are not considered service animals and riders must comply with BATA’s pet policy:

 

Small pets and support animals may ride on BATA buses if:

  • It is completely secured in an enclosed six-sided cage or carrier
  • The carrier is on your lap or on the floor at your feet
  • It doesn’t place other riders in danger
  • It isn’t disruptive: barking, meowing, whining, growling, nipping or otherwise out of its carrier in any manner
  • The animal does not produce feces or urine in its carrier
  • Riders not in compliance with this policy will be denied access

 

 

BATA’s ADA COMPLEMENTARY PARATRANSIT PLAN

 

Title II and III of the American Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) provides that no entity shall discriminate against an individual with a disability in connection with the provision of transportation services.  The law sets forth specific requirements for vehicle and facility accessibility and the provision of service, including access to fixed route and complementary paratransit services.  BATA is committed to providing safe and reliable transportation to all people without discrimination based on disabilities.  Complementary paratransit service is provided through our current array of bus services for all people with disabilities.

 

To access BATA’s Complementary Paratransit Plan, click here.

 

To access the Americans with Disabilities Act Guidelines for public transit, click here.

 

 

BATA’S ADA COMPLAINT PROCESS & POLICY

 

If BATA receives a complaint regarding discrimination against an individual under the ADA, we will respond within 15 days of receiving the complaint and will work to resolve the issue with the complainant within 30 days of receiving the complaint.  This may involve legal assistance and/or mediation.  We will document the process including the resolution and will notify our project manager at Michigan Department of Transportation accordingly and provide MDOT access to the documentation.  We maintain files of ADA complaints and related documents for a one-year minimum and keep a summary of all ADA complaints filed for a five-year minimum.

 

To access BATA’s ADA Complaint Policy and Form, click here.

 

Updated: 09.20.21