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Legal Research Digest 24 TRansiT CoopeRaTive ReseaRCh pRogRam sponsored by the Federal Transit administration march 2008 Subject Areas: IA Planning and Administration; IC Transportation Law; VI Public Transit TRanspoRTaTion ReseaRCh BoaRD OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES TrAnSIT buS SToPS: ownerShIP, LIAbILITy, And ACCeSS This report was prepared under TCRp project J-5, âLegal aspects of Transit and intermodal Transportation programs,â for which the Transportation Research Board is the agency coordinating the research. The report was prepared by Jocelyn K. Waite, Waite & associates, Reno, nevada. James B. mcDaniel, TRB Counsel for Legal Research projects, was the principal investigator and content editor. The Problem and Its Solution The nationâs transit agencies need to have ac- cess to a program that can provide authori- tatively researched, specific, limited-scope studies of legal issues and problems having national significance and application to their businesses. The TCRP Project J-5 is designed to provide this insight. The intermodal approach to surface trans- portation requires a partnership between transit and other transportation modes. Transit attorneys have noted that they particu- larly need information in several areas of trans- portation law, including environmental require- ments; construction and procurement contract procedures and administration; civil rights and labor standards; and tort liability, risk manage- ment, and system safety. In other areas of the law, transit programs may involve legal problems and issues that are not shared with other modes; as, for example, compliance with transit equipment and opera- tions guidelines, Federal Transit Administra- tion (FTA) financing initiatives, and labor or environmental standards. Applications Bus stops can create a variety of legal issues as- sociated with ownership, maintenance, accessi- bility, accommodations, and environment. Bus stops are generally owned by a state or local government entity. Their location may be pri- marily determined and maintenance provided pursuant to a cooperative agreement between the government entity and a transit authority or private transit company. However, the responsi- bility and the duties associated with ownership and possession of a bus stop area may belong to the government entity that owns the land or easement on which it is located. Generally, gov- ernment entities cannot delegate total responsi- bility associated with those responsibilities and duties. Transit agencies are increasingly looking at bus stop location, construction, and use pat- terns, not only with a goal toward improving services and safety, but also to respond to ac- cessibility concerns. Environmentalists and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) advo- cates have raised challenges regarding access to bus stops as well. This legal digest should inform transit pro- viders and government officials of the different levels of ownership, liability, and maintenance associated with bus stops and bus shelters; iden- tify the categories of legal issues that are as- sociated with ownership and liability; and pro- vide information on the problems and practices of others who have dealt with such problems, including protective provisions in franchise agreements and service provider contracts. It should be useful to attorneys, transit planners and operations officials, state and local govern- mental officials, environmental and ADA advo- cates, and other transit operators. responsible Senior Program officer: Gwen Chisholm Smith CONTENTS I. Introduction 3 A. Statement of the Problem 3 B. Description of Bus Stops and Bus Shelters 4 C. General Tort Liability Issues 4 D. Applied in Bus Stop Context 7 E. Summary of Important Principles 8 II. Legal Liability for Personal Injury/Property Damage Related to Bus Stops/Bus Shelters 8 A. In General 8 B. Placement of Bus Stop/ Shelter 14 C. Design/Maintenance of Bus Stop/Shelter (Including Signs) 16 D. Indemnification and Insurance 18 III. Other Legal Issues 19 A. Access to Enclosed Private Property to Provide Bus/Shuttle Service 19 B. Accessibility of Bus Stop/Bus Shelter to Disabled Passengers 21 C. Civil Rights 24 D. Advertising 24 E. Environmental Issues 25 F. Enabling Legislation 26
IV. Statutory Provisions/ Governmental Process To Be Followed for Bus Stops/ Bus Shelters 27 A. Responsibility for Installation and Maintenance of Bus Stop/Bus Shelter 27 B. Design Guidelines 27 C. Placement 27 D. Permit Requirements 28 E. Liability Issues 28 F. Environmental Requirements 28 G. Advertising 28 H. Agencies/Community Groups That Must Be Consulted 28 I. Process for Selecting/ Adding Bus Stops/ Shelters 29 V. Agreements 30 A. Franchise Arrangements 30 B. Other Agreements 31 VI. Common Issues and Possible Solutions 32 A. Introduction 32 B. Design 32 C. Placement 34 D. Maintenance 36 E. Options for Managing Bus Stops/Shelters 37 F. Advertising 37 VII. Agreements: Major Issues 38 A. Major Issues to Cover in Bus Shelter Franchise Agreements 38 B. Major Issues to Cover in Service Provider Agreements 39 C. Major Issues to Cover in Agreements with Enclosed Private Property Owners 40 VIII. Conclusions 40 Appendix A 42 Appendix B 47 ConTenTs (contâd)