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Attorney General Lockyer Settles Investigation into Mass Transit Access for Visually-impaired Commuters
LOS ANGELES) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced that he has reached a settlement with the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) over disabled-access violations that will result in improved access to Metrolink, the commuter rail network that serves Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.
"This settlement will ensure that visually-impaired Californians will safely be able to use the Metrolink commuter transit system to get to work, to school and to run errands," Lockyer said. "Mass transportation is critical to reduce roadway congestion in the Los Angeles area; this agreement will help improve the system by making it more accessible to all."
Under the agreement, the SCRRA will retrofit each of its 103 Metrolink ticket vending machines with raised lettering, Braille instructions and tactile graphics and trails to improve access for visually-impaired commuters.
The settlement caps an investigation into alleged violations of public access laws that began with a citizen's complaint about the inability of disabled commuters to connect from Metrolink to local transportation at the East Portal of the Los Angeles Union Station. A series of meetings led to a resolution on the lack of access regarding ticket machines at that location, but the Attorney General's Office discovered there was an underlying disabled-access problem throughout the system's 51 stations.
In the settlement, the SCRRA agreed to develop a prototype and field test it at the Los Angeles Union station within 90 days of the effective date of the agreement, and to retrofit all of its existing ticket vending machines within 240 days of the effective date of the agreement. The authority also has agreed to provide audio instructions and services when providing video instructions at its stations.
The SCRRA does not admit wrongdoing. In consideration of the SCRRA's implementation of the terms of the settlement, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from filing a civil suit against the SCRRA to bring its ticket machines into compliance with state disability discrimination laws.