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4. We will support the Technical Assistance Program as advocated in draft form by the National Council on Disability. It is a federal assistance program to help private sector entities fulfill their responsibilities under the new legislation. We will contribute $100,000 on a matching basis for a marketing campaign in behalf of our new transportation services for the disabled.
5. As part of the study required by the Senate bill, we will participate in a pilot program with a public agency to operate lifts in regular route service. As we struggle with these issues here today, the Canadians are setting an example for us.
They are beginning a three-year pilot program that will answer from real life all the questions the ADA study will try to answer through computer models based on someone's assumptions.
The Canadian federal government and a private carrier are funding a program, roughly 50 percent each. The carrier operates six buses with wheelchair lifts on a passenger corridor across southern Ontario, connecting to our system in Buffalo. The buses are equipped with prototypes of two types of lifts, manufactured by different companies.
The program includes advertising and other marketing programs designed to encourage the disabled to travel. Careful records will be kept of such obvious areas of interest as actual travel by people in wheelchairs, operating efficiency of the two types of lifts, and maintenance costs.
There is no reason I can think of for not duplicating the Canadian initiative in this country, before we mandate expenditure of huge sums of money and the unnecessary loss of bus service to thousands of rural communities.
Greyhound Lines is ready to join with the u.s. Department of Transportation or any state agency in funding and conducting a pilot program. TWO obvious locations would be the northeastern corridor from Washington, D.c., through New York up to Buffalo, to connect with the Canadian carrier, or the Interstate 5 corridor in the west, from Los Angeles to Seattle. Undoubtedly, there are many other suitable locations for a pilot program.
In outlining our contingency plan to curtail service to rural America, I said that as prudent business people we have no choice but to get ready. clearly, we don't want to do that. We would much rather run our business so that it grows, and extends its service to more and more locations.
In the same way, we face another unpleasant choice. If the Senate bill is enacted, it will be disastrous for our company. Hall the communities we serve today will lose public transportation, and several thousand employees will lose their jobs. We will be fighting for survival the next six years, and that means whatever it takes, year after year, in behalf of legislative relief.
Again, that is not our choice. We believe it would be in our interest, and in the public interest, to use our time and resources in a constructive search for ways to increase mobility for the disabled, and all other Americans.
We believe the five-point program I have outlined here today will serve that objective.
Accordingly, we commit to the full implementation of this program if congress enacts a final ADA provision that requires us to provide accessible service nationwide, but gives us the flexibility to provide that service in a reasonable and costeffective manner. Such legislation would require that our service be fully accessible, but would not hold us to a higher standard than the airlines and would not require that every vehicle be equipped with a wheelchair lift. Greyhound respectfully urges the Subcommittee to adopt such a provision for private sector bus companies so that we can start together on a public-private partnership that will truly improve and insure mobility and intercity bus service accessibility for the disabled.
Exculpatory provisions in the Bill based upon standards of Reasonable Accommodation/Undue Hardship.
Section 102(b)(1)(E) (the term, "discrimination" includes) 'not making reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified individual who is an applicant or employee,
unless such covered entity can demonstrate that the
Section 101(9): *(A) In general The term 'undue hardship' means an action requiring significant difficulty or expense."
"(a) In General · It may be a defense to a charge of
Section 203(b)(2) efforts..
"USED VEHICLES. . .shall make demonstrated good faith
the maximum extent
Section 203(b)(3) "REMANUFACTURED VEHICLES. feasible.
Section 203(c)(1) "PARATRANSIT AS A SUPPLEMENT TO FIXED ROUTE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM. . . unless the public transit entity can demonstrate that the provision of paratransit or other special transportation services vould impose an undue_financial burden on the public transit entity."
"If provision of comparable paratransit and other special transportation services would impose an undue financial burden on the public transit entity, such entity must provide paratransit and other special transportation services to the extent that providing such services would not impose an undue financial burden on such entity." (emphasis added)
Section 203(d) "COMMUNITY OPERATING DEMAND RESPONSIVE SYSTEMS FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC. . . It shall be considered discrimination. . .to purchase or lease a new vehicle...that is not readily accessible unless the entity can demonstrate that such system, when viewed in its entirety. provides a level of service to individuals with disabilities equivalent to that provided to the general public."
Section 203(e) "TEMPORARY RELIEF WHERE LIFTS ARE UNAVAILABLE .. With respect to the purchase of new buses, a public entity may apply for, and the Secretary of Transportation may temporarily relieve such public entity from the obligation to purchase new buses of any size that are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities if such public entity demonstrates..
that the initial solicitation for new buses made by the
the unavailability from any qualified manufacturer of
3. that the public entity seeking temporary relief had made
good faith efforts to locate a qualified manufacturer to
that any further delay in purchasing new buses necessary
obtain such lifts would significantly impair transportation services in the community served by the public entity."
Section 203(h) "ALTERATIONS OF EXISTING FACILITIES. . . it shall be discrimination. ..to fail to make the alterations in such a manner that, to the maximum extent feasible (emphasis added), the altered portions of the facility are readily accessible. ..
Section 203(1) (3) (c) "INTERCITY RAIL SYSTEMS
All stations in intercity rail systems shall be made readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchair, as as practicable, but in no event later than 20 years (emphasis added) after the date of enactment."
Section 203(i)(3)(B) "RAPID RAIL, COMMUTER RAIL, AND LIGHT RAIL SYSTEMS
Key stations in rapid rail, commuter rail, and light rail systems shall be made readily accessible. . as soon as practicable but in no event later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, except that the time limit may be extended by the Secretary of Transportation up to 20
extraordinarily expensive structural changes or replacement of existing facilities necessary to achieve accessibility (emphasis added)."
Iitle III - Public Accommodations and Services
Operated by Private Entities
Private entities covered by this legislation include:
an inn, hotel, motel, or other similar place of lodging, except for an establishment located within a building that contains not more than five rooms for rent or hire and that is actually occupied by the proprietor of such establishment as the residence of such proprietor;
a restaurant, bar, or other establishment serving food or drink;
a motion picture house, theater, concert hall, stadium, or other place of exhibition or entertainment;
an auditorium, convention center, or lecture hall;
a bakery, grocery store, clothing store, hardware store, shopping center, or other similar retail sales establishment;
f. a laundromat, dry-cleaners, bank, barber shop, beauty shop,
travel service, shoe repair service, funeral parlor, gas station, office of an accountant or lawyer, pharmacist, insurance office, professional office of a health care provider, hospital, or other similar service establishment;
a museum, library, gallery, and other similar place of public display or collection;
a nursery, elementary, secondary, undergraduate, or postgraduate private school;
a day care center, senior citizen center, homeless shelter, food bank, adoption program, or other similar social service center; and
1. a gymnasium, health spa, bowling alley, golf course,
similar place of exercise or recreation.
(ii) a failure to make reasonable (emphasis added)