As part of an ongoing investigation of private transportation companies, The United States Justice Department and the Inter-city Bus Company, Megabus, announced a settlement in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which will make all Megabus vehicles more handicap accessible, and make it easier for disabled people to book a handicapped spot on the bus online.
Megabus USA L.L.C. of Chicago and Megabus Northeast L.L.C. of Elizabeth, N.J., will retrain its employees and contractors on the terms of the ADA, design a comprehensive reservation system on megabus.com and work with its vehicle manufacturers to enhance handicap accessibility.
The investigation came after Megabus did not allow a disabled person to use the ramp on a passenger bus and forced him to transfer out of his wheelchair, rather than secure him in the chair, as federal regulations mandate. For this incident, Megabus will pay $55,000 to the United States and another $12,500 in damages to the disabled man.
“Commercial passenger buses are an affordable and growing sector of the transportation industry, and making sure that they are fully accessible to individuals with disabilities is a necessary part of integrating individuals with disabilities into all aspects of American life,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
Title III of the ADA states that private transportation providers must provide equal services to all people, including making it easy for disabled people to access their vehicles and other services. The United States acknowledges Megabus’ cooperation and willingness to reform their handicap accessibility to meet these requirements.
“We are pleased to take further steps to provide enhanced accessibility in transportation to our passengers with disabilities, as expected from an industry leader,” said Dale Moser, president and CEO of Megabus. “I am hopeful that this cooperative agreement will serve as a positive example to others in the industry as the DOJ continues its efforts to examine and review accessibility compliance throughout the industry.”
Megabus, a subsidiary of Coach USA, is a low-cost, city-to-city express bus service that provides service to more than 50 cities in North America. The company, launched in 2006, offers fares as low as $1.