UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND RALPH'S COACH, INC.
- The parties to this Settlement Agreement ("Agreement") are the United States of America and Ralph's Coach, Inc. ("Ralph's Coach").
- This matter was initiated by a compliance review conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the United States Department of Transportation, dated August 24, 2010, of Ralph's Coach. The Attorney General conducted a supplemental investigation under the authority granted by Section 308(b) of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b).
- The parties agree that it is in their best interests, and the United States believes that it is in the public interest, to resolve this dispute without engaging in protracted litigation. The parties have therefore voluntarily entered into this Agreement, as follows:
TITLE III COVERAGE AND FINDINGS
- The Attorney General is responsible for administrating and enforcing title III of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-12189, and the relevant regulations implementing title III, 28 C.F.R. Part 36 and 49 C.F.R. Parts 37 and 38.
- Ralph's Coach is an Illinois corporation with a principal place of business at 4723 N. Delphia Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60656.
- Ralph's Coach is an operator of a demand responsive system within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12181(3) and 49 C.F.R. §37.3; an over-the-road-bus ("OTRB") operator within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12181(5) and 49 C.F.R. §37.3; and a Class II motor carrier within the meaning of 49 C.F.R. § 369.3.
- Ralph's Coach's single OTRB is not accessible to individuals who use wheelchairs.
- Ralph's Coach has no agreement with an alternative carrier to arrange for accessible service with advance notice of 48 hours or more.
- Ralph's Coach does not have a training program that complies with 49 C.F.R. § 37.173.
- Ralph's Coach has not filed required annual reports with the FMCSA.
ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY RALPH'S COACH
- Ralph's Coach shall not exclude persons with disabilities from participation in or deny them the benefits of specified public transportation services in violation of section 304 of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12184, 28 C.F.R. pt. 36 and 49 C.F.R. pts. 37 and 38.
- Ralph's Coach shall comply with all applicable requirements of accessible service and operations, including those contained in title III of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-12189, and the relevant regulations implementing title III, 28 C.F.R. pt. 36 and 49 C.F.R. pts. 37 and 38.
- Within 60 days of the effective date of this Agreement, Ralph's Coach shall draft written policies and procedures, to be approved by the United States, that specify the procedures by which Ralph's Coach will ensure that persons with disabilities receive accessible transportation on the day and at the time and place requested. Such policies and procedures shall provide that Ralph's Coach will accommodate all requests for accessible service made with advance notice of 48 hours or more and that Ralph's Coach will attempt to accommodate any such requests on shorter notice. Such policies and procedures shall identify the Ralph's Coach employees (with their job titles) responsible for implementing those procedures and specify the procedures for documenting and handling accessibility-related complaints.
- Within 60 days of the date of this Agreement, Ralph's Coach shall provide the United States with a copy of its written agreement with an alternative carrier specifying the arrangement for accessible service to be provided with advance notice of 48 hours or more.
- Within 60 days of the date of this Agreement, Ralph's Coach shall draft a Service Request Form that is modeled on the provisions of 49 C.F.R. pt. 37, Subpart H, Appendix A, and distribute those forms to all employees and contractors who are responsible for handling requests for accessible transportation. Ralph's Coach, its employees, and its contractors shall use the Service Request Form to record all requests for accessible transportation service. Ralph's Coach shall ensure that a copy of every Service Request Form is maintained for review by FMCSA and counsel for the United States.
- Within 90 days of the effective date of this Agreement, Ralph's Coach shall train all employees and contractors about the requirements of the ADA and how they apply to Ralph's Coach, including the policies, practices, and procedures to be adopted as the result of this Agreement, and shall provide the same training to employees and contractors within 30 days of hiring. Ralph's Coach shall maintain records relating to all the trainings conducted pursuant to this paragraph, including the date and time the training occurred, the name of the individuals who attended such training, and the topics covered. Such documents shall be furnished to counsel for the United States upon request.
- Within 60 days of the effective date of this Agreement, Ralph's Coach shall post a notice on any website it operates, at any stations and pick-up locations it controls, and in any promotional materials and brochures it provides to the public, indicating its obligation to provide accessible transportation to persons with disabilities, how to reserve accessible transportation, and that it does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the provision of its transportation services. The notices shall be reviewed in advance by the United States and posted for the duration of the Agreement.
- Ralph's Coach agrees that all training manuals or written materials dealing with policies and practices related to accessibility used, revised, or created after the effective date of this Agreement shall be consistent with the provisions of this Agreement.
- Ralph's Coach shall report to the United States on its progress in implementing this Agreement 90 days from the effective date of this Agreement, and will notify the United States as soon as it has completed the actions described in paragraphs 13-17.
- In consideration of the Agreement, the United States will refrain from undertaking further action relating to this investigation or from filing a civil action alleging discrimination based on the facts set forth above, except as provided in paragraph 21 below.
- The United States may review compliance with this Agreement or title III of the ADA at any time. If the United States believes that this Agreement or any portion of it has been violated, it will raise its concerns with Ralph's Coach, and the parties will attempt to resolve the concerns in good faith. If the United States is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within 30 days of the date it provides notice to Ralph's Coach, it may institute a civil action in the appropriate U.S. District Court to enforce this Agreement or title III of the ADA.
- Failure by the United States to enforce this entire Agreement or any of its provisions shall not be construed as a waiver of its right to do so with regard to other provisions of this Agreement.
- This Agreement shall be binding on Ralph's Coach, including all principals, agents, executors, administrators, representatives, employees, successors in interest, beneficiaries and assigns. In the event that Ralph's Coach seeks to sell, transfer, or assign all or part of its interest during the term of this Agreement, as a condition of sale, transfer, or assignment, Ralph's Coach shall obtain the written accession of the successor or assignee to any obligation remaining under this Agreement for the remaining term of this Agreement.
- A signatory to this document in a representative capacity for either party represents that he or she is authorized to bind that party to this Agreement.
- This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the United States and Ralph's Coach on the matters raised herein and no other statement, promise or agreement, either written or oral, made by any party or agents of any party, that is not contained in this written Agreement, including its attachments, shall be enforceable.
- This Agreement is not intended to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other law that is not specifically addressed in this Agreement. Nothing in this Agreement changes Ralph's Coach's obligation to otherwise comply with the requirements of the ADA.
EFFECTIVE DATE/TERMINATION DATE
- The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
- The duration of this Agreement will be three years from the effective date.
|AGREED AND CONSENTED TO:||THOMAS E. PEREZ|
Assistant Attorney General
EVE L. HILL
Senior Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General
ALLISON J. NICHOL, Chief
ALBERTO RUISANCHEZ, Acting Deputy Chief
ELAINE GRANT, Trial Attorney
Disability Rights Section
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
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