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"THOU SHALT NOT PUT A STUMBLING BLOCK BEFORE THE BLIND": THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AND PUBLIC TRANSIT FOR THE DISABLED
Hastings Law Journal (2001)
  • Michael E Lewyn, Florida Coastal School of Law
Abstract

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ordered local governments to make bus and train systems more accessible to the disabled. The ADA imposed costly requirements upon local public transit systems but did not give local governments funds with which to satisfy this mandate. By reducing the funds available to transit systems, the ADA has sometimes forced cutbacks in transit service for everyone (including, ironically, the disabled to the extent that disabled people were able to use public transit before the ADA's enactment). Thus, the ADA has occasionally been counterproductive.

The root cause of the ADA's inadequacy is that the ADA does not require that disabled transit users be made "equal" to the auto-using majority in any sense. Instead, that statute requires merely that disabled transit users be made equal to other transit-dependent Americans. It follows that if a state or local government is not interested in aiding the transit-dependent disabled, it can freeze the disabled out of the transportation system by slashing service for all users of public transit.

Keywords
  • civil rights,
  • ada,
  • disabilities,
  • americans for disabilities act,
  • transit,
  • public transportation
Publication Date
July, 2001
Publisher Statement
Published at 52 Hastings L.J. 1037 (2001).
Citation Information
Michael E Lewyn. ""THOU SHALT NOT PUT A STUMBLING BLOCK BEFORE THE BLIND": THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AND PUBLIC TRANSIT FOR THE DISABLED" Hastings Law Journal Vol. 52 (2001)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/lewyn/9/