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Agreement to improve public transportation for passengers with disabilities

A man in a wheelchair moves to the lift of an accessible bus

The Justice Department entered into a settlement agreement with the County of Hawaii and the County’s Mass Transit Agency (MTA) to resolve an investigation conducted under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Under the agreement, the County and MTA must make their transit services, including Hele-On, the buses used by the majority of riders, accessible to passengers with disabilities. The agreement requires the County and MTA to ensure that passengers with disabilities have lifts to board buses; paratransit users are provided timely pick-ups and drop-offs; and bus stops are accessible. In addition, the County and MTA must ensure that transit system drivers undergo ADA training and that disability-related complaints are addressed fairly. The County and MTA also must report to the department regarding their compliance with these requirements. Both the County and MTA cooperated in this matter.

“Ensuring the availability of public transit for individuals with disabilities is a key promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Accessible transportation is critical to independence and engagement in civic life, and this agreement helps to make that promise a reality.”

“This agreement will remove accessibility barriers in transit for countless individuals with disabilities living on the Big Island,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Judith Philips for the District of Hawaii. “Our office strongly supports efforts to improve access and inclusion under the ADA.”

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