StarTran Reasonable Modification Procedures

The US DOT issued a Final Rule under the American Disability Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which takes effect on July 13, 2015, and can be found at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-03-13/pdf/2015-05646.pdf PDF. Per this final rule, StarTran is required to make reasonable modifications or accommodations to policies, practices and procedures to ensure individuals with disabilities have equal access to its transit programs and services (fixed-route service and Handi-Van). “The real-world effect will be that the nature of an individuals’ disability cannot preclude a public transit entity from providing full access to their service unless some exception applies.”

Therefore, StarTran will consider requests for reasonable modifications so that individuals with disabilities can have equal access to our fixed route and Handi-Van (ADA Complementary Paratransit) services as follows:

  1. Modification Requests Submittals: The individual requesting the modification will describe what they need in order to use StarTran’s fixed route or Handi-Van service. Individuals should state their impending trip date within their request, if possible. StarTran can take up to 21 days to process ADA applications and any ADA Reasonable Accommodation requests.

    1. Requests can be made directly to StarTran Operations Superintendent, Mike Weston who is the designated responsible employee to approve/deny pending reasonable modification requests. (See #2 below) Please submit the following form with your request:
    2. Requests can be made during the Handi-Van (ADA Paratransit) eligibility process
    3. Requests can be made through general customer service inquiries by emailing StarTranInfo@lincoln.ne.gov or by calling StarTran at 402.441.7185
  2. Designated Responsible Employee: StarTran Operations Superintendent, Mike Weston is the designated responsible employee to approve/deny pending reasonable modification requests.

    Mike Weston
    StarTran Operations Superintendent
    710 J Street
    Lincoln, NE 68508
    mweston@lincoln.ne.gov
    402.441.7185

    StarTran is committed to providing public transit service to all the general public including those individuals with disabilities. If you are an individual with a disability and believe an accommodation or modification in StarTran’s services, policies or programs would allow you to access StarTran’s transit services, please contact StarTran Operations Superintendent, Mike Weston above via phone, letter or email and describe what is needed to be modified in order for you to utilize StarTran services.

  3. Use of Term Reasonable Modification Not Required: The individual requesting modification is not required to use the term “reasonable modification” when making a request. General complaints concerning issues in accessing transit service or general information requests for modifications in service due to an individual’s disability would all be directed to StarTran Operations Superintendent as part of the general complaint process. However, any suggested request for modification by an individual with a disability determined through a complaint investigation would also be forwarded to The City of Lincoln Ombudsman, Lin Quenzer.
  4. Requests In Advance: Whenever feasible, requests for modifications will be made and determined in advance, before StarTran or its subcontractor, Transport Plus, are expected to provide the modified service. Individuals should state their impending trip date within their request. However, this determination prior to service may not always be possible.

    Depending on the complexity of the request and if any financial assistance is needed to grant the request, additional StarTran administrative/operational staff (fixed-route or Handi-Van) could also be involved in providing more information for any modification approval/denial determinations.

  5. Requests During Transit Trip: Where a request for modification cannot practicably be made and determined in advance, operating personnel will make a determination of whether the modification should be provided at the time of the request. If necessary, operators will consult with StarTran Dispatch before making a determination to deny the request. Any denials for modifications not granted in fixed route service shall be written up as an incident by the driver to forward to Mike Weston, StarTran Operations Superintendent to officially log the denial as stated in #9 below.
  6. Reasonable Accommodation Approvals: StarTran fixed-route drivers are not expected to retain knowledge of each specific passenger’s accommodation. Any approved modification for a passenger with a disability shall be issued a Reasonable Accommodation card they can carry/show to drivers of StarTran services. Furthermore, any granted reasonable accommodation for Handi-Van would be listed within the drivers’ instructions when picking up the passenger as well as on their ADA card. Additionally, StarTran Dispatch will also have a listing of any passengers with approved reasonable accommodation(s). StarTran can take up to 21 days to process ADA application requests as well as Reasonable Accommodation requests
  7. Grounds For Denial: Requests for modifications of policies and practices may be denied only on one or more of the following grounds:

    1. Granting the request would fundamentally alter the nature of StarTran Transit services, programs, or activities
    2. Granting the request would create a direct threat to the health or safety of others
    3. Without the requested modification, the individual with a disability is able to fully use StarTran fixed route or StarTran (ADA Paratransit) services, programs, or activities for their intended purpose
    4. Results in an undue financial and administrative burden
  8. Other Actions Prior to Official Denial: In any case in which StarTran denies a request for a reasonable modification as requested by the passenger, StarTran will take, to the maximum extent possible, any other actions (that would not result in a direct threat or fundamental alteration) to ensure that the individual with a disability receives the services or benefits provided by StarTran.

    Any request for accommodation that is denied prior to the trip would be confirmed with StarTran’s Operations Superintendent or StarTran’s Transit Manager to ensure no other accommodations could be made to ensure the individual received transit service or benefits.

  9. Reasonable Modification Denials: Any denials for reasonable accommodation by StarTran and/or its subcontractor will be promptly communicated via written letter and/or e-mail to the individual requesting the accommodation including the reasons for the denial.

    All denials, including reasoning, will be logged/maintained for federal reporting purposes. StarTran’s paratransit subcontractor will forward any reasonable accommodation denials regarding StarTran’s Handi-Van service, along with the reason for the denial, to Mike Weston, StarTran Operations Superintendent at mweston@lincoln.ne.gov

  10. Decisions Guided by 49 CFR Appendix E: In determining whether to grant a requested modification, StarTran will be guided by the provisions of United States Department of Transportation 49 CFR Appendix E to Part 37.169.