February 8, 2016 - Under the terms of a consent decree filed by the Justice Department today, Greyhound Lines Inc., the nation’s largest provider of intercity bus transportation, will implement a series of systemic reforms to resolve allegations that it repeatedly violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Greyhound will pay $300,000 in compensation to certain passengers with disabilities identified by the department and will retain a claims administrator to compensate an uncapped number of additional passengers who have experienced disability discrimination.
The consent decree, pending approval by the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, resolves the department’s complaint that Greyhound engaged in a nationwide pattern or practice of violating the ADA by failing to provide full and equal transportation services to passengers with disabilities. The alleged violations include failing to maintain accessibility features on its bus fleet such as lifts and securement devices, failing to provide passengers with disabilities assistance boarding and exiting buses at rest stops; and failing to allow customers traveling in wheelchairs to complete their reservations online.
“The ADA guarantees people with disabilities equal access to transportation services so that they can travel freely and enjoy autonomy,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Today’s agreement marks a major step toward fulfilling the promise of the ADA, and we applaud Greyhound for entering the consent decree.”
“We are fully committed to ensuring equal access to all opportunities society has to offer, including transportation services,” said U.S. Attorney Charles M. Oberly III of the District of Delaware.
Under the terms of the agreement, Greyhound – which serves more than 3,800 destinations and more than 18 million passengers each year across North America – will compensate several classes of passengers who faced barriers because of their disabilities. Through a claims administrator, Greyhound will compensate individuals who experienced barriers based on disability during the three years prior to today’s filing. There is no cap on the number of individuals who may submit claims or on the total amount to be disbursed by Greyhound through this process. In addition, Greyhound will be required to pay a total of $300,000 among specific individuals identified by the department who experienced ADA violations. Greyhound will also pay a civil penalty to the United States in the amount of $75,000.
In addition, the agreement mandates that Greyhound implement a series of systemic reforms, including the following:
- hire an ADA Compliance Manager;
- require all employees and contractors who may interact with the public to attend annual in-person training on the ADA;
- provide technical training to all employees and contractors on the proper operation of accessibility features of Greyhound’s fleet;
- report every three months to the department on its compliance efforts; and
- ensure that persons with disabilities can make reservations for travel, and lodge disability-related requests, through its online booking system.
Individuals who experienced disability-related discrimination while traveling or attempting to travel on Greyhound buses during the previous three years may be eligible to receive a monetary award. The claims administrator for the fund will be posted on Greyhound’s website, and on the department’s Disability Rights Section’s website at www.ada.gov following entry of the consent decree by the court. Questions about making claims should be directed to the claims administrator.
To read the consent decree and complaint, please visit www.ada.gov. For more information about the ADA, call the department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301800-514-0301 FREE (TDD 800-514-0383800-514-0383 FREE) or access the ADA website at www.ada.gov.
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