WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced a comprehensive settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with intercity bus service providers Megabus USA L.L.C., and Megabus Northeast L.L.C., which are located in Chicago and Elizabeth, N.J., respectively. The Justice Department initiated its investigation of Megabus as part of its ongoing review of the private transportation industry. In particular, the department has been investigating accessibility of private transportation operations for individuals with disabilities.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Megabus will ensure that all of the vehicles in its intercity service are fully accessible to individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Megabus will also alter its online reservation services so that passengers with disabilities are able to access schedule information and make reservations in the same manner and using the same reservation system as other passengers. Megabus will pay a $55,000 civil penalty to the United States, and $12,500 in damages to a complainant who was not permitted to use the ramp on a passenger bus, and who was forced to transfer out of his wheelchair rather than be secured in the wheelchair, as required by federal regulations, during his trip from New York, to Baltimore. The United States credits Megabus for their cooperation throughout the investigation and their willingness to address the deficiencies identified.
“Commercial passenger buses are an affordable and growing sector of the transportation industry, and making sure that they are fully accessible to individuals with disabilities is a necessary part of integrating individuals with disabilities into all aspects of American life,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The department is committed to vigorously enforcing the transportation requirements of the ADA.”
Title III of the ADA prohibits specified private transportation providers like Megabus from excluding persons with disabilities, including persons with mobility impairments, from full and equal enjoyment of the services provided. Anyone interested in learning more about federal disability rights statutes can call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA information line at 800-514-0301, 800-514-0383 (TTY), or access the ADA website at www.ada.gov .