New York Bus Riders Sue Green Bus Lines & Transportation
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 30, 2004
NEW YORK, NEW YORK--A group of bus riders with disabilities have filed a class action lawsuit against Green Bus Lines, along with the City of New York, for providing "grossly inadequate" service and violating state and federal anti-discrimination laws.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court Tuesday by Martin J. Coleman, Esq., on behalf of a group of individual riders and the advocacy group Disabled In Action of Metropolitan New York.
In the suit, Green Bus Lines is accused of failing to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law, according to Anthony Trocchia, President of Disabled In Action. The New York City Department of Transportation is also named in the suit because it is responsible for overseeing privately-run bus companies.
"The service is horrendous," Trocchia told Inclusion Daily Express in an email.
The private bus company is accused of having many buses with no wheelchair lifts or lifts that are broken; buses that can only accommodate one wheelchair user; and a lack of emergency evacuation procedures for wheelchair users. The plaintiffs also claim that bus drivers are disrespectful to riders with disabilities and that the company does not take seriously complaints made by those riders.
New York City Transit, the main transportation provider in the city, is scheduled to take over Green Bus Lines and the other 6 privately run bus companies on July 1.
"Their bus service is great," Trocchia said of NYCT. "However, it will take two years for NYCT to replace the junky buses of the seven companies."
"Disabled folks cannot be expected to put their lives on hold. Our transportation needs must be met."
Trocchia commented that the city has given the private bus lines millions of tax dollars in subsidies over the years, and that taxpayers' money has been wasted in the process.
Inclusion Daily Express readers learned about Anthony Trocchia last July, when he staged an impromptu "rush hour" protest in front of a Green Lines bus.
After Trocchia had waited through four Green Line buses without a working lift, he parked his electric wheelchair in front of the bus -- at one of the busiest intersections in Queens -- and refused to move.
Trocchia then pulled out his cell phone and called newspaper and television stations to report his own act of civil disobedience.
Disabled In Action of Metropolitan New York
"Disgusted Bus Rider Stages Impromptu Protest" -- July 1, 2003 (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)