It is a discriminatory practice for any transportation system providing transportation to the general public to fail to ensure access to and the benefits of public transportation to a qualified person with a disability; however, public transportation systems may use alternative methods to provide transportation for persons with a disability, as long as persons with a disability are offered transportation that, in relation to the transportation offered to other persons, is:
(1) In a similar geographic area of operation;
(2) For fares not greater in price;
(3) With similar or no restrictions as to trip purpose;
(4) With reasonable response time; and
(5) With similar hours of operations.
Nothing in this section shall apply to privately owned, local transit or transportation systems existing on October 1, 1985, or to interstate air carriers complying with federal regulations promulgated by the Civil Aeronautics Board and administered by the United States Department of Transportation. (1985, c. 571, s. 1; 1999-160, s. 1.)