April 9, 2010
MHH&H Files Lawsuit On Behalf Of Persons With Disabilities Against MTA-LI Bus Company
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Garden City, New York; April 9, 2010— The Garden City law firm of Moritt Hock Hamroff & Horowitz LLP initiated a lawsuit on April 7, 2010 on behalf of eight Nassau County residents with disabilities in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Central Islip against the Metropolitan Transit Authority- Long Island Bus Company challenging a new policy geared to cut back service on its Able Ride program scheduled to take effect on Monday, April 12, 2010. While the cuts will affect all Able Ride users, the cuts will especially affect those persons with disabilities using Able Ride in the northeastern quadrant section of Nassau County. Six additional individuals with disabilities were added to the lawsuit on April 8, 2010. Robert L. Schonfeld, Of Counsel, with Moritt Hock Hamroff & Horowitz LLP, represents the plaintiffs.
Able Ride is a shared ride, curb-to-curb paratransit bus service for people with disabilities which provides transportation for people who are unable to use fixed route bus service for some or all of their trips. At present, Able Ride’s current policy enables persons with disabilities residing in Nassau County to arrange for direct transportation from their homes to another location in Nassau County such as to their jobs, day programs, medical appointments, and recreation facilities. As of April 12, 2010, this policy was set to be discontinued for certain Able Ride users especially those residing in the northeastern quadrant section of Nassau County.
Today, April 9, 2010, Judge Joanna Seybert of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Central Islip issued a temporary restraining order enjoining MTA Long Island Bus from initiating its cuts in the Able Ride program pending the next Court appearance scheduled for April 27, 2010. Therefore, the Able Ride cuts scheduled to take effect on April 12, 2010, have been stayed and will not take effect on that date.
Judge Seybert urged both parties to see if they can resolve this matter prior to the next Court date. Judge Seybert urged MTA Long Island Bus to reach out to advocates for people with disabilities and veterans to see if some plan can be reached to assure that these individuals have adequate transportation throughout Nassau County.
The lawsuit was initiated on the grounds that the MTA Long Island Bus Company failed to communicate the policy change to the disabled individuals as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and that the service cuts, as a whole, were in violation of the ADA, the Federal Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the New York State Human Rights Law.