Appealing City of Tucson City of Tucson ADA Paratransit Eligibility Determinations and/or Suspension of Paratransit Service

Introduction

Pursuant to United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) regulations implementing ADA paratransit requirements (USC 49 Part 37, Subpart F, Section 37.125), the City of Tucson ADA Paratransit Eligibility Office will accept appeals from its determinations of eligibility. Applicants for ADA paratransit eligibility may appeal:

  1. A determination that an applicant is not eligible for ADA paratransit services; or
  2. The conditions or trip exclusions placed upon an applicant’s ADA paratransit eligibility;

In addition, ADA paratransit eligible clients whose paratransit services have been suspended for any reason may appeal their suspension of service. 

A copy of these procedures will be included in every letter of determination denying or conditioning eligibility or suspending ADA paratransit services. 

1. Filing An Appeal

  • A. All appeals must be filed in writing with the City of Tucson ADA Paratransit Eligibility Office.
  • B. Appeals must be filed within sixty (60) days of the receipt of the original determination of ineligibility or conditional eligibility, suspension or denial of a specific trip request. If the 60th day after the original determination or trip denial is on a weekend or legal holiday, an appeal will be accepted on the next subsequent business day. 
  • C. Appellants are urged to state in their appeal letter the reasons why they believe the determination does not accurately reflect their ability to use the fixed route public transportation service (Sun Tran), or why the suspension is inappropriate. Written material regarding the specific functional ability of the applicant/customer or relating to the general nature of the individual’s disability may be submitted at this time. This will assist the City of Tucson ADA Paratransit Eligibility Office reviewers in their initial review of the appeal. An appellant may, however, request an appeal hearing without providing additional details and without the submission of additional written material or information. 

 

2. Receipt and Scheduling of an Appeal Hearing

  • A. Upon receipt, all appeals will be date-stamped and referred to the ADA Paratransit Appeals Coordinator for initial review and consideration. The ADA Paratransit Appeals Coordinator may choose to:
    • a. Reverse a determination of ineligibility or revise conditions of eligibility;
    • b. Authorize a specific trip request which had been denied;
    •  c. Refer the appellant for an in-person assessment;
    • d. Schedule the matter for a hearing by the ADA Paratransit Appeals Board;
    • e. Cancel or modify a suspension of service.
  • B. Initial review of appeal requests by the ADA Paratransit Appeals Coordinator will normally be completed within five (5) business days of the receipt of the appeal. If an in-person assessment is required, the assessment should normally be conducted within one-week following the determination by the ADA Paratransit Appeals Coordinator. 
  • C. Appeals before the ADA Paratransit Appeals Board will normally be completed within the calendar month following the receipt of the appeal, pending the meeting schedule of the ADA Paratransit Appeals Board. The ADA Paratransit Appeals Board will render its determination within thirty (30) days of its consideration of the appeal.

3. ADA Paratransit Appeals Board

  • A. To review all ADA Paratransit Eligibility Appeals, an independent ADA Paratransit Appeals Board shall be formed. The members of the Board shall have had no involvement in the initial eligibility determination but shall be generally familiar with the goals and objectives of the ADA Paratransit Eligibility Program. The Board shall have three (3) members with one (1) member having at least one (1) year or more of administrative experience. The ADA Paratransit Appeals Board shall be composed of the following: 
    • Transit Services Coordinator or designee within the City of Tucson Department of Transportation;
    • A member of a local jurisdiction that is familiar with ADA paratransit eligibility; and 
    • A leader or active participant in the disability community in Pima County. 
  • B. The ADA Paratransit Appeals Board will operate by majority vote and may conduct hearings with two (2) of its three (3) members present.

4. ADA Paratransit Appeals Board Procedures

  • A. Copies of the original application submitted by the appellant, including medical verification, and any additional material submitted by the applicant in filing the appeal, will be provided to the ADA Paratransit Appeals Board at least three (3) days in advance of the appeals hearing. 
  • B.The ADA Paratransit Appeals Board shall hear and consider:
    • a. The information provided in the original application, including medical verification;
    • b. Any additional information, written or verbal, received from the appellant;
    • c. Any report(s) from the in-person assessment;
    • d. The statements of the appellant, his/her advocate and any other witness offered by the appellant;
    • e. Information from the City of Tucson ADA Paratransit Eligibility Office regarding its services, the architectural or other barriers impacting access to fixed route service or other eligibility criteria; and 
    • f. Any other material deemed by the ADA Paratransit Appeals Board to be germane to the consideration of the appellant’s ability to utilize use the fixed route public transportation service (Sun Tran/Sun Link). 
  • C. After it has received, reviewed, and considered the material presented as part of the appeal process, the ADA Paratransit Appeals Board shall render a decision and shall direct the ADA Paratransit Appeals Coordinator to prepare a letter to the appellant regarding its determinations. The ADA Paratransit Appeals Board will specify, and the letter shall explain in detail, the reasons for the maintenance, modification or reversal of the matter(s) of the appeal.
  • D. The ADA Paratransit Appeals Board will normally render its decision immediately after the hearing. If the Board determines that it must delay a decision in order to obtain further information regarding the appeal, USDOT regulations pertaining to presumptive eligibility will apply. 

Interim Service

  • B. During the period between the receipt of an appeal of an initial determination regarding eligibility and the determination of the ADA Paratransit Appeals Board, no ADA paratransit service will be provided to the applicant. Services may be provided through other Regional transportation programs pursuant to the eligibility of those programs. 
  • C. If an appeal is requested based upon a determination of trip eligibility, service for the trip in question will be provided until an appeal hearing is concluded.
  • D. If an appeal is taken based upon a suspension of service for any reason other than violent or threatening behavior, service will be provided until an appeal hearing is concluded.
  • E. If an appeal is taken based upon a suspension of service for violent or threatening behavior, service will not be provided during the appeal process. 
  • F. If the ADA Paratransit Appeals Board has not rendered its decision within thirty (30) days of the hearing, service will be provided on an interim basis pending final determination by the Board. 

 

5. Privacy of Appellants

  • A. All ADA Paratransit Appeals Board copies of appellant’s applications and supporting materials remain property of the City of Tucson ADA Paratransit Eligibility Office and will be returned to the ADA Paratransit Appeals Coordinator at the conclusion of the appeal hearing. 
  • B. Members of the ADA Paratransit Appeals Board are strictly prohibited from discussing the details of an appeal or regarding the name or other identifying characteristics of the appellant with any person not directly involved in the appeal. Board members may discuss information of a general sort regarding a particular type of disability and its functional impact upon an individual’s ability to use fixed route transit services in preparation for a hearing, but are advised to take care that information regarding specific appellants is not shared. 
  • C. Appellants will be asked to state if they wish to have the hearing conducted in a closed session. At the appellant’s request, all parties except ADA Paratransit Appeals Board members, City of Tucson ADA Paratransit Eligibility Office staff, the appellant, and his/her advocate and witness as necessary for the conduct of the hearing, will be excluded from the hearing. 
  • D. The deliberations of the ADA Paratransit Appeals Board shall normally be conducted in executive session in order to allow for the full consideration of the appellant’s medical records and condition. Appellants may, however, request that these deliberations be conducted in a public session. 
  • E. The vote determining the outcome of the appeal will be conducted in a closed session, and the assessment of the appellant’s functional ability to utilize the fixed route public transportation service (Sun Tran/Sun Link), excluding medical diagnosis and other private medical information, will be rendered in writing. 

ADA PARATRANSIT APPEALS PROCESS SUMMARY

If the City of Tucson ADA Paratransit Eligibility Office has determined that you are NOT ELIGIBLE, or if you disagree with any conditions placed on your ADA paratransit eligibility, you can appeal. To do so, please do the following:

  • Write, date, and sign a brief, one-page letter requesting an appeal. Mail your letter to:


    City of Tucson, Department of Transportation,
    ATTENTION: ADA Paratransit Appeals Coordinator
    P.O. Box 27210
    Tucson, AZ 85726-7210

  • If you cannot write a letter, you may have someone else write one for you. However, you must sign the letter. If you need assistance, contact the ADA Paratransit Appeals Coordinator.
  • You may also include in you letter the specific reason or reasons that you believed you are functionally unable to use the Sun Tran bus system. However, this is optional.

You have sixty (60) days from the date of the determination to request an appeal. You forfeit your right to appeal a determination on your application after sixty (60) days. A hearing before the ADA Paratransit Appeals Board is administrative and informal. It is recommended that you appear in person and present additional information. You may bring anyone with you. If you do not wish to appear in person, you may send the information to the ADA Paratransit Appeals Board at the above address. If you have questions, contact the ADA Paratransit Appeals Coordinator at (520) 791-5883. 

Revised 08/22/2014

 

TDOT shall recruit and select a candidate for one (1) ADA Appeals Board position. CODI shall ratify the selection by majority vote. If CODI does not ratify the selection, TDOT shall select another candidate and present her or him to CODI for ratification. The ADA Appeals Board member approved by CODI shall serve two (2) years, until he or she resigns, until her or his term on CODI expires, or until the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) requires resignation. Such a requirement may be based on its own determination or by the written recommendation approved by majority vote of CODI.
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