YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: New Jersey-based DeCamp Bus Lines Inc. will no longer be able to require that passengers with disabilities provide 48 hours of advance noticeto secure a wheelchair-accessible bus, under a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department.
DeCamp violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and must now comply with all of the law’s requirements for accessible service, and not exclude persons with disabilities from its transportation services, the department’s Civil Rights Division announced.
DeCamp “will also no longer post, distribute or publish any written material that states that a passenger with a disability is required to provide advance notice to secure accessible transportation and train all employees and contractors on the requirements of the ADA,” the division said in a statement.
“People with disabilities should not be forced to take needless action simply to use a bus service designed for everyone,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.
DeCamp will also no longer post, distribute or publish any written material that states that a passenger with a disability is required to provide advance notice to secure accessible transportation and train all employees and contractors on the requirements of the ADA.
“Individuals who use wheelchairs should be able to expect the same level of bus service from large operators that is provided to others,” added Eve L. Hill, senior counselor to the division’s assistant attorney general.
Since Oct. 29, 2012, federal Transportation Department regulations have required that all large, fixed-route motorcoach bus fleets be 100% accessible to the disabled, including those who use wheelchairs.
Once that happens, “the motorcoach bus company may no longer require advance notice to provide accessible service,” the Justice Department noted.
The regulations also require that such companies regularly check to make sure that wheelchair lifts work, train their employees on accessibility requirements and file annual accessibility reports with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the Transportation Department.
Representing the government in the DeCamp case were trial attorneys David W. Knight and Michael Riess of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Campion of Fishman’s office.
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