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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bus Stop Accessibility in Waterloo Resolved

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The U.S. Attorney’s Office reached a resolution to ensure access to bus stops in the City of Waterloo during winter conditions under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). 

A complaint had alleged that bus stops in the City of Waterloo were not accessible to citizens with disabilities due to the failure to remove snow in a timely fashion that was covering sidewalks, curb cuts, or crosswalks.  Persons with disabilities had to operate their wheelchairs in the streets.  There are over 100 bus stops located throughout the city.

“The ADA guarantees people with disabilities equal access to transportation services so that they can travel freely and enjoy autonomy,” said Kevin W. Techau, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa.  “This agreement is an important step toward fulfilling the promise of the ADA even during adverse weather conditions.  We commend the City of Waterloo for entering into the consent decree to ensure equal access during winter weather.”

The settlement calls for the City of Waterloo to submit a plan six months from the signing of the agreement.  That plan must list each bus stop and how the city will maintain the accessible features at each.  The settlement agreement also calls for the city to submit a report to the United States Attorney’s Office relating to the completion of any construction work pertaining to the bus stops to ensure their accessibility.  The city’s plan must include standard operating procedures covering snow removal.  The United States Attorney’s office will monitor compliance.

Executive Director for Exceptional Persons, Inc. (EPI), Christopher Sparks, commended the efforts of the U.S. Department of Justice and the City of Waterloo for working together to reach a settlement to ensure bus benches are accessible and safe for all members of our community.  Sparks stated, “Many of the people EPI serves rely on public transportation to meet basic needs – such as getting to and from work, medical appointments, grocery shopping, and more.  A good number of those people use wheelchairs or other assistive devices for mobility.  Accessible bus stops means not having to wait on a busy street for your transportation – it means safety, it means you’re welcome in the community. It’s invaluable.”

The settlement agreement detailing the terms of the agreement is attached to this release.

These matters were handled by Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Wright and the Disabilities Rights Section of the United States Department of Justice.

The public may access the U.S. Attorney’s website to file an ADA complaint at www.justice.gov/usao/ian.  After completing the form, it may be sent by mail, fax, or email.  Those wishing for further guidance can telephone the office by dialing 319-363-6333.

You may learn more about the Americans with Disabilities Act by going to the Department of Justice website at www.ada.gov.

Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Waterloo Bus Stop

Topic(s): 
Civil Rights
Component(s): 
Updated May 2, 2016