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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Jason Melton, a wheelchair-bound individual, qualified for paratransit services with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit. At first, a DART bus would pick Melton up behind his house, but then the pick-up point was moved to where the alley in back of the house met the street. Jason’s parents, Roger and Sue Melton, asked DART to revert back to its old plan, citing safety concerns for Jason when he waited at the street pick-up point. When DART refused, the Meltons sued, saying that under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, DART was required to modify its services to accommodate Jason. The Meltons also raised claims under the Rehabilitation Act. DART moved for summary judgment arguing that the law does not require it to make reasonable modification to its paratransit service. The Meltons filed their own summary judgment motion. The district court granted the former and denied the latter. The district court concluded that the Meltons failed to show that Jason has been excluded from participation in, or was being denied the benefits of, DART’s paratransit service. The district court denied the Meltons’ subsequent motion for new trial, and this appeal followed. The Meltons argue that although Jason has not been entirely prohibited from using DART’s paratransit service, he has been denied “meaningful access” because the discontinuation of alleyway pick-ups makes his use of the system dangerous and extremely difficult. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court explains how a public transit system’s paratransit services must be approved by the Federal Transit Administration. The court then says that this is a matter of first impression for it and any other circuit court: whether a paratransit service that is consistent with an FTA-approved plan is sufficient for compliance with the ADA, or whether the ADA requires a public transportation system to make reasonable modifications to its paratransit service. The court rules that neither the language of the ADA nor its attendant regulations require DART to make reasonable modifications to its paratransit service to accommodate someone like Jason. The court explains that paratransit services are provided as a complement to fixed-route service for qualified individuals, like Jason. Public entities operating a fixed route system are required to submit an annual plan to the secretary of transportation. Once the plan is approved, the public entity is required to provide paratransit services in accordance with the plan. Failure to do so would amount to prohibited discrimination. “Because paratransit service is meant to act as the disability complement to established fixed route transportation services, this comprehensive regulatory scheme signals that no interim extra-plan modification is statutorily or otherwise required by a public entity when the public entity is properly operating under a FTA-approved plan. The FTA-approved plan is itself the accommodation to the disabled by the public transportation entity. It is the violation of the plan itself that constitutes the prohibited discrimination under title II, not the failure to modify the plan to address particularized complaints.” Nor do the regulations impose a duty on DART to make reasonable modifications to its paratransit service. Additionally, the Rehabilitation Act does not provide an independent basis for requiring DART to make reasonable modification to its paratransit service. OPINION:Jolly, J.; Garwood, Jolly and Barksdale, JJ.

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