Detroit Transit System Is Turning On Riders Over Lawsuit, Attorney
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 12, 2005
DETROIT, MICHIGAN--An attorney who sued the city of Detroit last summer over accessibility problems in its transit system has accused the city of retaliating against riders with disabilities.
Richard Bernstein told the Oakland Press that the Detroit Department of Transportation has started a policy under which paratransit passengers earn a 'no show' if they fail to get on the MetroLift vehicle at their pickup time. Those who violate the policy three times in a 30-day period will be banned from the service for a month.
Bernstein said it is the drivers who are not showing up, but are marking the rider as a 'no show' anyway.
"This is pure retaliation," he said.
Last month, the U.S. Justice Department joined the suit with Bernstein, who is representing five Detroit area transit riders with disabilities. Those riders accused DDOT 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.
"Attorney: Detroit's retaliating against disabled" by 'Voices of Disability' writer Jerry Wolffe (Oakland Press)