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METRO Briefs

Posted on January 7, 2009

Rail firm accused in L.A. crash

LOS ANGELES — Lawyers for the victims in the fatal Sept. 12 Metrolink commuter rail crash claim that the engineer’s employer ignored complaints about his constant cell phone use. For the full story, click here.

FMCSA steps up operator vetting system

DALLAS — John Hill, outgoing administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, said that the agency has sought additional information from 32 transportation companies seeking licensing, in an effort to eliminate rogue operators. For the full story, click here.

USF developing device to help disabled riders

TAMPA, Fla. — A new travel assistance device, developed by University of South Florida researchers, uses the GPS technology inside cell phones to let cognitively disabled riders know when to exit the bus. For the full story, click here.

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Disability advocacy group threatens bus startup Leap with lawsuit

A Chronicle investigation this month found that Leap purchased used, wheelchair-accessible public transit buses and then retrofitted them to add bar-style seating and plush leather armchairs to the spaces once reserved for wheelchairs.

Blind advocates protest airport bus stop move

About a dozen members of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, some with canes and service dogs, gathered outside the terminal for about two hours on Sunday displaying hand-lettered signs like “We are not second-class citizens,” “Safety for Seniors” and “Equal Rights for Disabled Travelers.”

Maryland Transit sued by paratransit riders over accessibility, reliability

Service users are routinely picked up and dropped off late for critical medical appointments, and are often put on hold for long periods of time by MTA's Mobility/Paratransit Service, the lawsuit says.

Mich. transit agency drops paratransit provider

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority's board voted unanimously to part ways with Select Ride and awarded a new, three-year contract for door-to-door services for people with disabilities and seniors to Blue Cab, beginning May 1.

Casino industry downturn impacting N.J. paratransit funding

Transit advocates say the crisis with the Casino Revenue Fund has become so acute that state lawmakers must intervene — otherwise, paratransit riders may be left stranded. They characterized it as a life-or-death situation, including the possibility that some dialysis patients may not be able to make it to the hospital for their treatments.

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