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ADAIN Blog

by Richard Acree of ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC

Greyhound Lines Pays Over $3.25 Million to Individuals in Disability Settlement - DOJ

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced payments by Greyhound Lines, Inc. totaling $2,966,000 to over 2,100 individuals who experienced [ADA] disability discrimination while traveling or attempting to travel on Greyhound.

The payments were part of a broader settlement from 2016 resolving the DOJ complaint that Greyhound, the nation’s largest provider of intercity bus transportation, engaged in a nationwide pattern or practice of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide full and equal transportation services to passengers with disabilities.  The $2,966,000 amount is in addition to $300,000 paid by Greyhound in 2016 to specific individuals identified by the DOJ, bringing the total distributed to individuals to over $3,250,000. To read the press release regarding this event, click DOJ Settlement with Greyhound.

The DOJ complaint stated “Greyhound is a self-described American icon and the largest provider of intercity bus transportation in North America”. As such, the DOJ complaint said “Greyhound holds the keys to independence for countless individuals with disabilities who choose to – or simply must – rely on its services in order to travel.”

Furthermore, in the complaint DOJ said Greyhound has failed to provide full and equal enjoyment of its transportation services to passengers with disabilities, in violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 12182 and 12184. These failures include:

(1) failing to maintain accessibility features of its bus fleet, including wheelchair lifts and securement devices, in operative condition;

(2) failing to ensure that personnel are trained to proficiency, including in proper operation and maintenance of accessibility features and equipment, boarding assistance, securement of mobility aids, and sensitive and appropriate interaction with passengers with disabilities;

(3) failing to ensure that adequate time is provided to allow individuals with disabilities to complete boarding or disembarking from its buses, and failing to permit passengers with disabilities to leave and return to the bus at intermediate and rest stops on the same basis as other passengers and to ensure that assistance is provided to passengers with disabilities as needed to enable the passenger to get on and off the bus at such stops;

(4) failing to assist individuals with the use of securement systems and lifts, where necessary or upon request;

(5) requiring or requesting passengers with disabilities to reschedule their trips or to travel at a time other than the time the passenger has requested in order to receive accessible transportation;

(6) failing to facilitate the availability of designated priority seating;

(7) failing to make reasonable modifications in its policies, practices, or procedures, when such modifications are necessary to afford such goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities;

(8) failing to permit service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities in vehicles and facilities;

(9) failing to provide reservation services to passengers with disabilities equivalent to those provided to other passengers; and

(10) imposing a surcharge on individuals with disabilities to cover the costs of measures that are required to provide them with nondiscriminatory treatment.

In addition, Greyhound has violated the ADA by excluding or otherwise denying equal goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, accommodations, or other opportunities to individuals because of the known disability of a person with whom the individuals are known to have a relationship or association, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(1)(E).

Under the consent decree, Greyhound is required to do the following:

  • pay compensation to certain victims of disability discrimination;

  • hire an ADA Compliance Manager;

  • provide annual in-person (not online) ADA training to employees and contractors who interact with the public;

  • provide technical training to all employees and contractors on the proper operation of the accessibility features of Greyhound’s fleet;

  • report every three months to the Department of Justice on its compliance efforts.

SUMMARY:

In 1999, the United States and Greyhound entered into a Settlement Agreement to resolve Greyhound's alleged violations of Title III of the ADA. That Agreement expired in 2003.

Now, the United States is back at Greyhound with another complaint and settlement. As described above, since at least January 1, 2009, Greyhound has been engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination, and Greyhound has been discriminating against a person or group of persons and that discrimination raises an issue of general public importance, by failing to provide full and equal enjoyment of its transportation services to people with disabilities.

Clearly Greyhound is unwilling or unable to comply with current ADA laws. Continued failure by Greyhound to comply with ADA laws should be met with swift and severe punishment.

If you think you have been discriminated against with respect to ADA laws, please contact Richard Acree at ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC, 615-752-0060.

Thank you.