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Feds Join Lawsuit Over Accessible Detroit Buses
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 22, 2005

DETROIT, MICHIGAN--The U.S. Department of Justice will help defend people with disabilities in a federal discrimination lawsuit over Detroit's public transportation system.

According to a DOJ statement released Monday, the Department is alleging that the City of Detroit has violated the federal 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 by not having accessible wheelchair lifts.

The Department claims that the Detroit Department of Transportation has approximately 120 buses that have lifts which have not worked for more than six months. This has caused many wheelchair users to wait 30 minutes or more for a bus that has a working lift so they can make it to go grocery shopping, or to work, or to medical appointments.

Five DOJ attorneys will be joining an existing lawsuit filed last summer on behalf of five Detroit area residents who use wheelchairs to repair or replace the wheelchair lifts.

Since January, the city has been losing $1 million a month over the suit, which was filed by attorney Richard Bernstein.

"This is a huge step toward the rights of the disabled being fulfilled," Bernstein told the Oakland Press.

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