The Long Island Bus Riders’ Union, a project of Jobs with Justice, held a press conference at the Rosa Parks Bus Terminal, in Hempstead, where we released our second annual report card on NICE bus service for disabled riders. The report, released during Disability Awareness Month, presents research compiled over the past year that measures Veolia’s improvements and shortcomings on both fixed-route and Able-ride buses concerning accessible bus service for disabled riders, and their compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, transportation, state and local government, public and private accommodations, and communication. The Bus Riders’ Union grades NICE based on its compliance with the ADA. The report found that Veolia received “failing” grades for its “accessibility” rating on fixed-route buses, based on the fact that 45% of audible and visual announcements aboard buses were not working, and 84% of external bus announcements were not working.
The Bus Riders’ Union also gave NICE a low rating of “D” for the Braille signage at many bus terminals, including Roosevelt Field, Nassau Community College and Jamaica.
Overall, we made a set of recommendations and what they called “legal requirements” to NICE Bus, and urged them to act on their recommendations swiftly. While some of these recommendations are just suggested improvements that NICE should make to its bus system, there are also legal requirements that NICE Bus must fulfill. Audible announcements, Braille at bus terminals, and on-time pickups for Able-Ride are legal requirements, and NICE needs to fulfill them.
To view our report, click here!
For Newsday’s coverage of the press conference, visit their website online here.