Justice Department Settles with New Jersey Bus Company Over Unequal Treatment of Passengers with Disabilities
The Justice Department announced today that it has reached a settlement with DeCamp Bus Lines Inc., a New Jersey transportation company, to ensure that bus transportation is provided on equal terms to people with disabilities.
The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey determined that DeCamp Bus Lines violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by requiring that passengers with disabilities provide 48 hours of advance notice to secure a wheelchair-accessible bus, even though passengers without disabilities did not have to provide any advance notice. The settlement agreement requires DeCamp to comply with all ADA requirements for accessible service, and not exclude persons with disabilities from its transportation services.
As part of compliance with the ADA, DeCamp will stop requiring that passengers with disabilities provide advance notice to secure an accessible bus and to ensure that no passenger with a disability is denied an accessible bus when the passenger does not provide advance notice. DeCamp will also no longer post, distribute or publish any written material that states that a passenger with a disability is required to provide advance notice to secure accessible transportation and train all employees and contractors on the requirements of the ADA.
“Individuals who use wheelchairs should be able to expect the same level of bus service from large operators that is provided to others,” said Eve L. Hill, Senior Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division. “The department is committed to ensuring that bus companies are complying with this requirement.”
“People with disabilities should not be forced to take needless action simply to use a bus service designed for everyone,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul J. Fishman. “With this settlement, the Justice Department ensures individuals riding DeCamp will receive correct information about their access to transportation, and that access will not be denied.”
Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by public accommodations, including motorcoach companies. Since Oct. 29, 2012, the Department of Transportation’s regulations implementing the ADA require that all large, fixed-route motorcoach bus fleets be 100 percent accessible to individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs. Once a fleet is 100 percent accessible, the motorcoach bus company may no longer require advance notice to provide accessible service. The Department of Transportation’s regulations also require that such companies perform regular maintenance checks to ensure that wheelchair lifts work, train their employees on accessibility requirements and file annual accessibility reports with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The United States was represented by Trial Attorneys David W. Knight and Michael Riess of Civil Rights Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Campion of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.
To find out more about the ADA, this settlement, or the obligations of public accommodations, call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA information line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD), or access its ADA website at www.ada.gov. ADA complaints may be filed by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.