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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

DOJ Settlement with Texas Bus Company to Ensure Accessibility for People with Disabilities

from a Press Release.

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

Monday, October 5, 2015

U.S. Attorney Announces Settlement with Bus Company to Ensure Accessibility for People with Disabilities

HOUSTON – The United States has entered into a settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with Autobuses Regiomontanos Inc. that ensures their buses are accessible to people with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Autobuses Regiomontanos is a bus transportation company located in Houston.
The settlement is the result of collaborative enforcement efforts between the United States Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice - Civil Rights Division and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The agreement remedies violations by Autobuses Regiomontanos, including failing to have an ADA training program in place for its employees and contractors, failing to file required ADA compliance reports with the DOT and failing to ensure that all lifts on its buses are properly maintained. The settlement agreement requires Autobuses Regiomontanos to:
  • Comply with all ADA requirements for accessible service and not exclude persons with disabilities from their transportation services;
  • Ensure that all required reports regarding ADA compliance are filed with the DOT;
  • Establish a lift maintenance program to ensure that this accommodation is available when needed;
  • Train all employees and contractors on the requirements of the ADA.
“People with disabilities in the Southern District of Texas must be able to count on accessible bus service that is equal to the service provided to others,” said Magidson. “This settlement agreement demonstrates the United States Attorney’s Office’s commitment to ensure that individuals with disabilities receive equal access to public accommodations, including transportation services.”
Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by public accommodations, including large over-the-road bus companies. DOT’s regulations implementing the ADA require that these companies perform regular maintenance checks to ensure that wheelchair lifts work, provide prompt accessible service with an alternative carrier if the company does not have a lift-equipped bus, train their employees on accessibility requirements and file annual accessibility reports with the FMCSA.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jimmy Rodriguez handled the matter on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
People interested in finding out more about the ADA or this settlement can call the toll-free ADA information line at 800-514-0301 (TDD 800-514-0383) or access the ADA website at www.ada.gov.

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