Ask Project ACTION“I am a motorcoach operator. I heard the Department of Justice (DOJ) has changed the definition of a service animal to include only dogs and in some cases, miniature horses. How does that change affect me?”
Answer: You are referring to a Final Rule issued by the DOJ that made a number of changes to their ADA regulations and became effective on March 15, 2011. For motorcoach operators there is no change in how you define service animals because you operate under regulations of the Department of Transportation (DOT). The definition of service animal found in 49 CFR 37.3 of the DOT ADA regulations has not changed and is not limited to a particular kind of animal.
Under 37.167(d) of the DOT ADA regulations, transit entities are required to permit service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities in vehicles and facilities. Service animals are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities, such as guiding people who are blind or who have low vision, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, alerting a person who is having a seizure, or performing other special tasks. Service animals are working animals and not pets.
An operator may ask if an animal is a service animal or ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform, but cannot require special ID cards or harnesses for the animal or ask about a person’s disability. Other passengers’ allergies and fear of animals are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people with service animals.
Refer to the Federal Transit Administration “Technical Assistance Note (Word),” which aims to clarify that DOT regulations apply to the provision of transportation by public and private operators.
View related questions in our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Have a question?Ask ProjectACTION by phone M-F 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET at 800-659-6428 or by email.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Motor Coaches (Bus) and The ADA
This is a respost because the answer to the question is so short and sweet: