Amtrak Settlement Fund a Step in the Right Direction to Removing Significant Barriers for People With Disabilities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 29, 2021
STATEMENT FROM EQUIP FOR EQUALITY
AMTRAK SETTLEMENT FUND A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION TO REMOVING SIGNIFICANT BARRIERS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
CHICAGO – Today, Amtrak opens a $2.25 million settlement fund to compensate train-riders with disabilities who were unable to travel freely due to Amtrak’s failure to adhere to ADA laws leading to travel barriers for people with mobility impairments.
“It’s outrageous that it took the Department of Justice getting involved for Amtrak to do the right thing,” said Barry C. Taylor, VP of Civil Rights at Equip for Equality. “The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted 30 years ago and specifically required Amtrak to be accessible by 2010. This agreement will force Amtrak to finally comply with its obligations under the ADA.”
Amtrak’s settlement with the Department of Justice covers 78 stations nationwide, 9 of which are in Illinois and have relatively high annual ridership.
In addition to the payouts, Amtrak has agreed to make the affected train stations accessible. Under the agreement, Amtrak will work on Illinois train stations in Princeton, Homewood, Mattoon, Effingham, Centralia, Summit, Plano, Rantoul, and Gilman.
“Agreeing to the payouts is a good first step, but it doesn’t fix the problem if people with disabilities still can’t get onto a train. Now, Amtrak needs to step up and make all the offending stations accessible so nobody else is prevented from traveling,” said Rachel Weisberg, Attorney at Equip for Equality.
Amtrak passengers affected by the ADA violations have until May 29, 2021 to sign up to receive compensation from the fund at https://amtrakdisabilitysettlement.com
The full Department of Justice Press Release can be found at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/225-million-fund-available-justice-department-settlement-amtrak
Last updated: January 29, 2021