Today, the Justice Department filed a joint motion to extend a settlement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the city of Jackson, Mississippi. The original lawsuit challenged inaccessibility in Jackson’s public transportation system, and was filed by 11 residents of Jackson with disabilities and two non-profit organizations that work on behalf of people with disabilities.
The Department of Justice has monitored the city under the terms of the five-year consent decree, filed in federal court in Jackson in March 2010. That agreement required the city to keep the wheelchair lifts working on the city’s fixed route bus system, known as JATRAN; train staff to properly help riders with disabilities; and meet its required level of service to passengers of Handilift, the ADA complementary paratransit service.
Today, the parties agree that while the city has improved its accessible bus services, the city has not yet fully complied with the consent decree. Therefore, the city will continue to make improvements and will report progress to the department on a monthly basis.
"Today’s action by the parties shows our vigilant commitment to remain engaged with the city of Jackson until the city has fixed any problems with the level of accessible public transportation provided to it its citizens," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Civil Rights Division. "The department is grateful for the city of Jackson’s continued cooperation in resolving this matter and their commitment to reaching full accessibility of JATRAN."
“We remain committed to the rights of all citizens to have accessible transportation services in the Capital City of Jackson,” said U. S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis of the Southern District of Mississippi. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is also grateful for the cooperative relationship between the city of Jackson and the Department of Justice in working towards fulfilment of the terms of the consent decree.”
Those interested in finding out more about this agreement or public transportation’s obligations under the ADA can call the Justice Department's toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TDD), access its ADA Web site at http://www.ada.gov, or access the Federal Transit Administration’s ADA Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/ada.