Amtrak recently paid out over $2 million to some 1,500 disabled travelers, under the terms of a settlement agreement reached with the Department of Justice on December 2, 2020. This agreement was reached after Amtrak failed to make its existing stations accessible to passengers with disabilities.
Says Assistant Attorney Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department, “As a result of the Justice Department’s efforts, more than 1,500 people with disabilities harmed by Amtrak’s inaccessible rail stations are receiving compensation for the discrimination they experienced.”
That’s not the end of the story though. Although compensation is great, the root problem still needs to be fixed. To that end, in the next nine years Amtrak is required to make at least 135 of their stations accessible. Amtrak will also provide training to staff on the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) requirements, and implement an improved system for handling ADA complaints.
And it appears that they are moving forward with a new focus on accessibility, as Amtrak recently established the Office of the Vice President of Stations, Properties & Accessibility.
Rail travel is about to get more accessible. Finally.