Home Asides Disabled groups threaten TLC with suit over dollar vans

Disabled groups threaten TLC with suit over dollar vans

by Benjamin Kabak

As the MTA must respond to a lawsuit over the June service cuts from disabled advocacy groups, the Taxi & Limousin Commission may face a similar legal challenge soon. The TLC will soon began licensing dollar van companies to provide service along bus routes that were eliminated by the MTA. This private van service isn’t subjected to the same Americans with Disabilities Act standards as the MTA, but with the TLC’s imprimatur needed to run vans, advocacy groups may have a legal opening they’re willing to exploit. And it exploit they will.

As Crain’s New York reported yesterday, an attorney with the United Spinal Association said that his organization will sue if the TLC doesn’t require vans to be wheelchair-accessible. “If the TLC wants to go ahead with inaccessible vans, we will sue them,” Jim Weisman said. The TLC, reports Jeremy Smerd, is not going to require accessible vans, and as the Crains reporter notes, with the TWU’s application for a van route in, this lawsuit could pit disabled riders against one of its key transit allies. The dollar van program will not start until September, and at that time, these advocacy routes will weigh their legal options.

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Al D August 20, 2010 - 10:05 am

What is going on here? Do the disabled groups have all this extra money just sitting around doing nothing,and they can afford all these lawyers?

Christopher August 20, 2010 - 12:27 pm

Lawyers are probably working pro bono. Or maybe even on staff. I can assure as a disabled rider, we do not have money laying around.

Aaron August 20, 2010 - 1:39 pm

Yeah, I would assume this is being led or backed by the Federal P&A (protection and advocacy organization), which receives Federal moneys just for this purpose.

Aaron August 20, 2010 - 1:51 pm

The service cut lawsuit definitely has an uphill battle (it’s not as implausible as people think though, for the reasons I’ve outlined), but this one seems to just be a complete slam dunk. Hawai’i provides a nice summary of the Federal ADA requirements for this service (doesn’t appear to mix in any Hawai’i law), which seem to just blow it straight out of the water. The TLC has lost their minds.


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