Greyhound agrees to settle disability claims

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By LYDIA WHEELER - posted on The Hill website on Feb. 8, 2016

Greyhound has agreed to pay $300,000 to certain passengers with disabilities and a $75,000 fine to settle allegations that the nation’s largest bus service violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Greyhound Lines LogoThe Department of Justice (DOJ) claims Greyhound Lines Inc. failed to maintain accessibility features on its bus fleet such as lifts and securement devices; failed to help disabled passengers board and exit buses at rest stops; and failed to allow customers traveling in wheelchairs to make reservations online.

The consent decree still needs to be approved by the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, but DOJ said anyone who experienced barriers based on their disabilities in the last three years can submit a claim. Because the agreement calls for an uncapped amount to be awarded to victims, DOJ said the actual amount Greyhound pays could greatly exceed $375,000.

“The ADA guarantees people with disabilities equal access to transportation services so that they can travel freely and enjoy autonomy,” principal deputy assistant attorney general Vanita Gupta, head of the DOJ's civil rights division, said in a statement. “Today’s agreement marks a major step toward fulfilling the promise of the ADA, and we applaud Greyhound for entering the consent decree.”

In addition to paying the fine and compensating victims, Greyhound has agreed to hire an ADA compliance manager; train employees and contractors on the ADA and how to properly operate the accessibility features of the fleet; provide DOJ with a report on its compliance efforts every three months; and ensure people with disabilities can make travel reservations online.

This story was updated on Feb. 9, 2016 to clarify that Greyhound could ultimately pay more than $375,000.

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