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Detroit Gets 30 New Accessible Buses; Advocate Says It's Not Nearly Enough
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 5, 2005

DETROIT, MICHIGAN--During a press conference last Wednesday, Detroit Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick seemed pleased that the city had purchased 30 new "low floor" buses in an effort to comply with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

"These new buses will improve the general reliability of our fleet, especially our ability to service those with disabilities," Kilpatrick said.

But Richard Bernstein, an attorney who sued the city's transit system last summer over accessibility problems, said the move will do little to help in a system that has more than 500 buses.

Last month, the U.S. Justice Department joined Bernstein, who is representing five Detroit area transit riders with disabilities. Those riders accused the Detroit Department of Transportation of having approximately 120 buses with malfunctioning lifts, causing them to repeatedly wait 30 minutes or longer for a bus with a working lift.

The city has already lost $1 million each month since January for not complying with federal law.

"The action by the mayor does not alleviate any of the pain or suffering that wheelchair users are continuing to endure," Bernstein told the Oakland Press. "They're hoping by having all this fanfare and press that everyone will just go away."

Related:
"Detroit adds 'low floor' buses to fleet" by 'Voices of Disability' writer Jerry Wolffe (Oakland Press)
"Feds Join Lawsuit Over Accessible Detroit Buses" March 22, 2005 (Inclusion Daily Express)

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Reproduced here under special arrangement with Inclusion Daily Express disability rights news service.
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