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Greyhound Bus Company in Trouble for Treatment of Passengers With Disabilities

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The nation’s largest provider of intercity bus transportation has agreed to compensate people with disabilities discriminated against on its buses.

Greyhound Lines Inc. has agreed to implement a series of reforms to resolve allegations that it repeatedly violated the Americans With Disabilities Act, under the terms of a consent decree filed by the Justice Department on Monday, February 8.

Greyhound will pay $300,000 in compensation to specific passengers with disabilities identified by the Justice Department in addition to compensating additional passengers who have been discriminated against while using or attempting to use its bus service over the last three years. There is no cap on the number of passengers to be compensated or the total sum to be paid for compensation, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

The agreement still needs to be approved by the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, but it would resolve the department’s complaint that Greyhound engaged in a nationwide practice of violating the ADA by failing to provide full and equal transportation services to passengers with disabilities.

The alleged violations include failing to maintain accessibility features on its bus fleet such as lifts and securement devices, failing to provide passengers with disabilities assistance boarding and exiting buses at rest stops and failing to allow customers traveling in wheelchairs to complete their reservations online.

“The ADA guarantees people with disabilities equal access to transportation services so that they can travel freely and enjoy autonomy,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a press release. “Today’s agreement marks a major step toward fulfilling the promise of the ADA, and we applaud Greyhound for entering the consent decree.”

In addition, Greyhound, which serves more than 18 million passengers each year across North America, will also pay a civil penalty to the United States for the violations in the amount of $75,000.

The agreement also mandates Greyhound implement a series of reforms, including hiring an ADA Compliance Manager, requiring all employees and contractors who may interact with the public to attend annual in-person training on the ADA, providing technical training to all employees and contractors on the proper operation of accessibility features of Greyhound’s fleet and more.

“We recognize the importance of making travel easy and accessible for customers with disabilities, and we’re fully committed to ensuring that customers with disabilities have equal access to our services,” Lanesha Gipson, a spokeswoman for Greyhound Lines, said in a statement, according to Delaware Online. “We’ve made numerous improvements over the years to make travel as convenient and hassle-free as possible, and we will continue to make enhancements to our service that benefit customers who need extra assistance.”

Individuals who experienced disability-related discrimination while traveling or attempting to travel on Greyhound buses over the last three years may be eligible for monetary compensation from the company and should contact the claims administrator, which will be posted on the Greyhound website and at the Department of Justice’s Disability Rights Section after the consent decree is approved by the court.

Originally published: February 10, 2016
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