- This matter was initiated in 1998 as a compliance review by the United States Department of Justice ("the Department"), of the Affordable Airport Shuttle ("Affordable"), 8041 Queenair Drive, Suite 111, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879-4154. The compliance review was conducted by the Department under the authority granted by section 308 (b) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12188. The compliance review determined that Affordable's fleet of vans contains no accessible vans.
- Affordable offers door to door service by van to and from area airports.
- The parties have agreed to settle these matters without resolving the factual and legal dispute regarding the lawfulness of Affordable's actions.
- The parties to this Settlement Agreement ("Agreement") are the United States of America and Affordable.
- This Agreement does not constitute an admission of liability and/or fault on the part of Affordable. The parties enter into this Settlement Agreement in the interests of securing compliance by voluntary means, and agree to the following: II. ADA Coverage
- The ADA, 42 U.S.C. ï½§ï½§ 12181-12189, the Department's title III implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 36, and the Department of Transportation's ("DOT") implementing regulation, 49 C.F.R., Part 37, prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability by private entities that are primarily engaged in the business of transporting people.
- Affordable is a private entity that is primarily engaged in the business of transporting people through the operation of a demand responsive transportation system that utilizes vans seating eight or fewer passengers, and is covered by 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12184, and its implementing regulation, 49 C.F.R. ï½§ 37.5(f).
- The ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities by private entities that are primarily engaged in the business of transporting people. 49 C.F.R. ï½§ 37.5(f). An entity operating a demand responsive transportation system that purchases or leases vans after October 25, 1992 which seat fewer than eight persons (including the driver) must ensure that its service for people with disabilities is equivalent to its service for non-disabled users. 49 C.F.R. ï½§ 37.103(d); ï½§ 37.105. III. Actions to be Taken by Affordable
- Affordable agrees, within 30 days from the effective date of this Agreement, to enter into a contractual agreement with a transportation company of its choosing which will provide accessible van service to all patrons with mobility impairments requesting Affordable's services, until such time as Affordable acquires an accessible van of its own. The contractual agreement will state that the contracted transportation company will provide services to Affordable's patrons with mobility impairments that is equivalent to services provided by Affordable to its patrons without mobility impairments. These services will be equivalent with respect to response time, fares, hours and days of service, geographic areas, availability of information, reservation capacity, any constraints on capacity or service availability.
- Upon completion of the actions required by paragraph 9, Affordable shall notify the Department of Justice that it has fulfilled its obligations and shall provide the Department of Justice with a copy of the fully executed contractual agreement. Affordable shall also submit to the Department of Justice, on a monthly basis for two years from the date this Agreement is fully executed, a list of mobility impaired patrons who have utilized its services and include the patron's name, address, and telephone number. The Department of Justice will, on a random basis, contact patrons on the list to determine if the services they received were equivalent to those received by non-disabled patrons. IV. Implementation
- Under section 308(b)(1)(B) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12188(b)(1)(B), the Attorney General is authorized to bring a civil action under title III in any situation where a pattern or practice of discrimination is believed to exist or where a matter of general public importance is raised. In consideration of the Agreement as set forth above, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing a civil suit under title III in this matter.
- The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department believes that this Agreement or any provision thereof has been violated, it may institute a civil action in Federal district court, following written notice to Affordable of the possible violation and a period of 20 days in which Affordable has the opportunity to cure the first alleged violation. The Attorney General is authorized to seek civil penalties pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12188(b)(2)(C). For any subsequent alleged violations of this Agreement, the Department may institute a civil action against Affordable without any waiting period for Affordable to cure the alleged violation.
- If the Department must file suit under ï½¶12 for breach of this Agreement and is successful, the parties stipulate that Affordable will pay to the Department a civil penalty of $10,000.
- This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this Agreement or any information contained herein may be made available to any person by the Department or Affordable upon request.
- This Agreement shall become effective as of the date of the last signature below.
- This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement shall be enforceable. This Agreement is limited to the facts as set forth herein, and it does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other Federal, State or local law. This Agreement does not affect Affordable's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.
- Failure by the Department to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with respect to any deadline or any other provision herein will not be construed as a waiver of its right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
- Each signer of this Agreement represents that he or she is authorized to bind the party he or she represents to fulfill the terms of this Agreement.
For the United States:
Bill Lann Lee
Acting Assistant Attorney General
By:____________________________ Date: _________________
John L. Wodatch, Chief
Renee M. Wohlenhaus, Deputy Chief
Susan B. Reilly, Supervisory Attorney
Charles Harvey, Investigator
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738
Washington, D.C. 20035-6738
Affordable Airport Shuttle
By: ____________________________ Date: ___________________
Affordable Airport Shuttle
8041 Queenair Drive, Suite 111
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879-4154