The city of Monrovia has entered into a settlement agreement with the federal government to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to its transportation services program, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
In February 2018, Monrovia launched the GoMonrovia program to restructure its dial-a-ride service, which previously provided rides only to seniors and to individuals with disabilities. GoMonrovia provides reduced-fare Lyft rides available to people traveling within the program’s service area.
Individuals with disabilities who needed wheelchair-accessible vehicles could not use Lyft as part of the GoMonrovia program because the ride-sharing company did not provide such vehicles, according to the settlement agreement.
Instead, they were required to use transportation services provided by a separate company, Empire Transportation Services Inc., court documents state. The Justice Department’s compliance review pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act found that individuals using reduced-fare Lyft rides could travel 24 hours a day and seven days a week, but individuals with disabilities using Empire Transportation could not travel on nights and certain holidays such as Independence Day and Thanksgiving.
Accessible vehicles could not be reserved through a website or by telephone. Individuals needing this service were required to complete paper applications while those who used the Lyft service were not.
The settlement agreement requires Monrovia to take several steps to ensure that its program complies with the ADA. Individuals with disabilities will have equivalent access to the GoMonrovia program, including the abilities to travel at the same time as others.
As part of the agreement, Monrovia did not admit that any qualified individual with a disability was excluded from participation in or was denied the benefits of the GoMonrovia program on the basis of a disability.