Justice Dept: NJ Transit 12 years past due on Americans with Disabilities Act

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Civil Rights Division prosecuted the New Jersey Transit Corporation after finding that its intercity rail stations in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) because they are not accessible to individuals with disabilities.

The ADA required NJ Transit to make all intercity rail station facilities for which NJ Transit is responsible readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs, by July 26, 2010.

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger today said NJ Transit officials agreed to make five stations—Newark Penn, Princeton Junction, MetroPark, Trenton, and New Brunswick—accessible to individuals with disabilities by signing a 51-page settlement outlining steps that must be taken to bring the rail depots into compliance.

NJ Transit must modify multiple portions of the rail stations and their access points, including physical modifications to multiple platforms, waiting areas, parking lots, and restrooms.

The transit agency must install signs in Braille and handrails plus make modifications to ramps and public restrooms to comply with the agreement.

“This office is committed to ending unlawful barriers to inclusion and equality in our society,” said Sellinger. “For too long, people with disabilities have been deprived of equal access to intercity rail stations operated by NJ Transit.”

“In ways large and small, people with disabilities were denied full access to transportation services – whether it was the lack of access to restrooms, no signs, bad ramps, poor access to elevators, or that parking spaces were just too small for those who needed wheelchair access,” said Sellinger. “Through this resolution, we are holding NJ Transit to its obligation to provide accessible transportation services to all.”

This case was prosecuted by the new Civil Rights Division that Sellinger created this year to enforce federal civil rights laws, such as the ADA, with the goal of protecting and upholding the civil rights of those in our community.

Individuals who believe they may have been victims of discrimination may file a complaint with the Civil Rights Division online or call the Hotline at (855) 281-3339.

More information about the ADA can be found at www.ada.gov, or by calling the toll-free ADA information line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD).

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