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Private ground transportation rights for people with disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to private ground transportation providers. Examples include:

  • Airport shuttles
  • Hotel shuttles
  • Private buses
  • Taxis
  • Over the road buses (buses with an elevated passenger area over the baggage compartment)

ADA requirements overview

If you are a private ground transportation provider, you have ADA requirements.

Provide information in accessible formats

You need to provide information on your services in accessible formats like:

  • Large print
  • Braille
  • Electronic
  • Audio

Learn about accessible communication.

Make sure equipment works well

If something is not working, you need to fix it as soon as possible and offer an accessible alternative.

Equipment includes:

  • Lifts
  • Ramps
  • Straps for securing wheelchairs
  • Signs
  • Communication devices

Allow service animals

You must allow service animals in your vehicles.

Train staff

Your staff must be trained to:

  • Operate vehicles and equipment safely
  • Assist people with disabilities in a respectful way
  • Understand that based on their disability, individuals will need different types of assistance

Provide equivalent service

If your vehicles are not accessible, you must still provide equivalent service. It needs to be in the most integrated way possible to meet the needs of someone with a disability. This includes things like:

  • Schedules (for fixed-route service)
  • Response time (for on-demand service)
  • Fares
  • Service area
  • Hours and days of operation
  • Reservations capability (for on-demand service)

For over the road bus companies

If you operate a fixed route service, you must provide accessible vehicles.

If you provide an on-demand service like a charter or tour bus, you must provide an accessible bus to passengers with disabilities within 48-hours advance notice.

For private taxi service providers

You are not required to purchase or lease accessible automobiles. If you purchase or lease another type of vehicle (like a van or bus), it must be accessible unless you have another way to provide equivalent accessible service to riders with disabilities. 

You can’t discriminate against individuals with disabilities by:

  • Refusing to provide service to those who can use a taxi
  • Refusing to provide service to those who use service animals
  • Refusing to assist with the stowing of their mobility device
  • Charging them higher fares or fees because you’re carrying them or their equipment

Learn more 

How to file a complaint

If you think you have been discriminated against by a private ground transportation provider, you can file a complaint.

Private transportation

File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Civil Rights

You can also call the ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 (voice) to learn about the complaint process.

Motor coach transportation

File a complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

You can also call 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) to learn about the complaint process.

Ask us

If you have questions about private ground transportation accessibility, we can help.


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