In the particular case of Westerly, Amtrak is now in violation of the ADA for 6 years. This action actually *worsens* the situation for disabled passengers, which exposes Amtrak to massive legal liability. If sued by a wheelchair user who uses Westerly to catch trains, I am quite sure that a judge would issue preliminary and final injunctions ordering Amtrak to staff the station until it is brought into compliance with the ADA. And they'd probably get money damages too.
I hope someone does sue Amtrak over this, because it's just irresponsible of Amtrak management not to consider their legal obligations before making their staffing decisions. And anyone inside Amtrak should feel free to point that out to their bosses. It's probably cheaper to hire an employee than to pay out a multimillion dollar settlement AND hire an employee.
For reference, the most recent list of stations where passengers using a wheeled mobility device cannot get on or off the train is in the OIG Report from 2014 -- 17 stations, not including the flagstops. Four have become accessible since then. The list:
Ashland, VA (no progress, city responsibility)
Buffalo - Exchange St, NY (missing a wheelchair lift, technically city responsibility)
Clifton Forge, VA (missing a wheelchair lift, Amtrak responsibility -- unless CSX is being obstreperous, in which case Amtrak should sue them)
Coatesville, PA (designed, possibly under construction)
Elko, NV (missing a wheelchair lift, Amtrak responsbility -- unless UP is being obstreperous, in which case Amtrak should sue them)
Glenwood Springs, CO (possibly fixed, unclear)
Harpers Ferry, WV (NO PROGRESS, National Park Service responsibility)
Marshall, TX (NO PROGRESS, Amtrak responsbility -- unless UP is being obstreperous, in which case Amtrak should sue them)
Mount Joy, PA (designed, apparently under construction)
Newark, DE (designed, construction delayed by NS)
Paoli, PA (starting construction soon)
Parkesburg, PA (NO PROGRESS, 100% Amtrak responsbility, but it's in the "queue" of Pennsylvania-funded Keystone projects)
North Philadelphia, PA (NO PROGRESS, 100% Amtrak responsibility)
Westerly, RI (NO PROGRESS, either Rhode Island or Amtrak responsibility)
Windsor, CT (fixed)
Windsor Locks, CT (fixed)
Windsor - Mt. Ashtney, VT (fixed)
Amtrak should be walking on eggshells when it comes to reducing customer service at these 13 stations, since Amtrak is already grossly out of compliance with the law. Some of these are the responsbility of a local city, but Amtrak should be supplying wheelchair lifts anyway.
I notice that RIDOT did a $2 million renovation of Westerly... after the ADA passed.
Edited by neroden, 21 September 2016 - 12:35 AM.