Amtrak Pays $2M in Discrimination Claims

The U.S. Department of Justice said this week that Amtrak has paid more than $2 million to more than 1,500 people regarding disability discrimination claims.

The payments were part of a settlement agreement reached last month to resolve a DOJ determination that Amtrak had failed to bring all of its stations into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

The claims stemmed from instances in which Amtrak passengers were traveling or attempting to travel by train.

In a news release, DOT said it has been seeking for the past year to identify those who may have suffered discrimination.

Amtrak agreed as part of the settlement to give priority to eliminating barriers to access to its trains at its stations and to train on-board staff on ADA requirements and how to handle ADA complaints.

The settlement gives Amtrak a nine year time frame in which to complete designs to make at least 135 existing stations accessible. There are 90 stations at which construction is underway and 45 at which construction has yet to commence.

Amtrak said in a statement that it has invested more than $489 million in 204 stations in various stages of work to bring them into compliance with ADA standards.

The passenger carrier said it plans to spend more than $143 million this year on accessibility planning and construction to more than 43 stations.

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