Suit Settled Following Transit System Improvements
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 29, 2005
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND--Disability advocates and the Maryland Transit Administration announced an agreement Tuesday that settles a two-year-old lawsuit over problems with the state's paratransit service for 12,000 riders with disabilities.
The agreement came after nearly a year of negotiations and after significant improvements in the service, which is called Mobility.
"I can truly say that the system is functioning much better," Lauren Young, staff attorney for Maryland Disability Law Center, which filed the 2003 suit, told the Baltimore Sun.
The suit claimed that Mobility's service was leaving riders with disabilities waiting for long periods of time or not showing up at all, and for leaving them on the phone for long waits.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the state agreed to hire an outside consultant to investigate concerns and report on the system's performance; meet regularly with a group of 15 riders with disabilities, along with the consultant, to review recommendations and resolve disputes; and to refrain from changing Mobility contractors during the winter months through 2008 so riders would not be left waiting in the cold during a transition period.
A federal judge is scheduled to review the settlement on January 26.
"Lawsuit accord likely today" (Baltimore Sun)
"State, disability center settle lawsuit" (Baltimore Sun)