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ADA Complaint Format

Federal Railroad Administration Office of Civil Rights ADA Complaint Template

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Office of Civil Rights is responsible for civil rights compliance and monitoring, which includes ensuring that providers of public intercity and high speed rail transportation properly abide by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Department of Transportation’s ADA regulations, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  See 49 C.F.R. Parts 27, 37, and 38.

The FRA complaint process is as follows (see 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.170-35.177): 

  1. FRA will analyze the complaint for possible ADA/504 violations.  
  2. If no violations are identified or probable violations are identified but FRA decides not to pursue the action, the complaint will be closed without further action.  FRA will consider factors in determining whether to proceed with an action such as: whether its limited resources are best spent on other ADA/504- related matters, whether it is likely to succeed if it acts on the complaint, whether the particular enforcement action requested best fits its overall policy goals, and/or whether the greatest number of individuals will receive the greatest benefit from its efforts.  The FRA will notify the complainant that the complaint has been closed. 
  3. If a violation(s) is/are identified and FRA decides to proceed in resolving the complaint, FRA will first try giving informal verbal technical assistance to the rail provider, followed up by monitoring to ensure that the violations have been corrected.  The FRA will notify the complainant when the violations have been corrected.
  4. If informal verbal technical assistance is insufficient, FRA will attempt to enter into a written voluntary compliance agreement with the rail provider.  The FRA cannot order a rail provider to pay monetary damages (such as compensatory damages or attorney’s fees) to a complainant.  However, in limited circumstances, in addition to negotiating correction of the violation(s), FRA may negotiate monetary damages as part of the voluntary compliance agreement. 
  5. If the rail provider does not cooperate in voluntary compliance negotiations or the negotiations are unsuccessful, FRA may refer the matter to the U.S. Department of Justice for legal enforcement.   

At any time, the complainant may file a private suit pursuant to section 203 of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12133, whether or not the FRA finds a violation or decides to pursue a violation.

If you wish to file a complaint, please include the following information.  You may either fill out this template or include the information in a letter you send FRA.

Section I

Name: _________________________________________

Address: _______________________________________

Telephone Numbers:

(Home) ____________________

(Work) ____________________

(Cell Phone) ________________

Electronic Mail Address: ________________________________________

Do you require other accessible formats?

Large Print _______ Audio tape _____  TDD ___________

Other ________________________________________

Note:  If you require other accessible formats or need assistance to complete your complaint, please call 202-493-0669 or send an e-mail to 

Section II

Have you previously filed an ADA complaint with FRA on the same issue?

Yes____ No___

If yes, what was your FRA Complaint Number? _____________

[Note: This information is needed for administrative purposes.]

Have you filed this complaint with any of the following agencies?

Rail Provider  ______________

Department of Transportation (or other modal office, e.g., FTA) ________________ 

Department of Justice ________________________

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ______________________

Other _____________________________________________

Have you filed a lawsuit regarding this complaint? Yes _____ No ____

If yes, please provide a copy of the complaint form.

Note: This above information is helpful for administrative tracking purposes. However, if litigation is pending regarding the same issues, we would likely place your complaint on hold, pending a decision of the court.

Section III

Name of public rail provider complaint is against:


Contact person: _________________________ Title: __________________________

Telephone number: _____________________________________________________

On separate sheets (typed or legibly printed), please describe your complaint.  You should include specific details such as the nature of your disability and  accommodations requested or required because of your disability, names, dates, times, route numbers, witnesses, and any other information that would assist us in our investigation of your allegations.  Please also provide any other documentation that is relevant to your complaint, such as copies of ticket stubs, letters or other documentation from the rail provider explaining or attempting to resolve your complaint, and/or photographs or diagrams relevant to your complaint (please note: due to the number of complaints we receive we cannot return these items to you, so be sure to keep the originals for your own records).

Section IV

May we release a copy of your complaint to the rail provider (note: if you elect that we cannot release your complaint, there may be little we can do to investigate or resolve your complaint)?

Yes ____ No ____

May we release your identity to the rail provider?

Yes ____ No ____

Please sign here: _____________________________________________

Date: ______________

You may mail your completed complaint to:

Federal Railroad Administration
Office of Civil Rights

1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
ROA-10, Mail Stop
Washington, DC 20590

OR fax it to:  FRA, OCR at 202-493-6481

OR e-mail it to:

Once your complaint is received, you will receive a letter acknowledging receipt of the complaint.