NEW JERSEY – The U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached a comprehensive settlement with New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) to resolve allegations that it violated the civil rights of people with disabilities by failing to operate a paratransit service that complied with Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), according to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.
The ADA requires public entities like NJ Transit to provide accessible public transportation to people with disabilities, including providing a paratransit system that is comparable to the transportation services provided to individuals without disabilities, Sellinger said.
Under the agreement, NJ Transit must ensure that its paratransit system – Access Link – eliminates capacity constraints that significantly limits the availability of transit services to ADA paratransit eligible persons. NJ Transit’s Access Link subjected a significant number of ADA paratransit eligible riders to excessively long trips, late pickups, late drop-offs, and excessive telephone hold times, Sellinger said.
“Without equal access to public transportation, people with disabilities are deprived the opportunity to engage in society on an equal basis,” Sellinger said. “This agreement removes discriminatory barriers by ensuring that thousands of Americans with disabilities have equal access to public transportation throughout New Jersey.”
New Jersey Transit has committed to make five intercity rail stations – Newark Penn Station, Princeton Junction Train Station, MetroPark Train Station, Trenton Train Station, and New Brunswick Train Station – accessible to individuals with disabilities. New Jersey Transit must modify multiple portions of the rail stations and their access points, including physical modifications to multiple platforms, waiting areas, parking lots, and restrooms.
Earlier this year, U.S. Attorney Sellinger created a Civil Rights Division with the sole focus on enforcing federal civil rights laws, including the ADA, with the goal of protecting and upholding the civil rights of those in our community. This matter was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s newly formed Civil Rights Division.
Individuals who believe they may have been victims of discrimination may file a complaint with the U.S Attorney’s Office at www.justice.gov/usao-nj/civil-rights-enforcement/complaint or call the U.S. Attorney’s Office Civil Rights Hotline at 1-855-281-3339. Additional information about the ADA can be found at www.ada.gov, or call the Department of Justice’s toll-free ADA information line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD).