Nearly 94 percent of New Orleans bus stops fail to meet the needs of disabled riders, and the city has until 2031 to update them. On Feb. 10, the city, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) and its owner Transdev settled a lawsuit filed by three wheelchair users arguing the city's transit stops are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Plaintiffs Francis Falls, Mitchell Miraglia and Thad Tatum with attorney Andrew Bizer of Bizer & DeReus filed the suit. In 2015, Manning Architects released its report and found that only 5.7 percent (126) had a compliant transit stop area and pedestrian access route. The plaintiffs then filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court. Eleven months later, the parties settled. U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Wells Roby and Bizer will monitor the city's progress following a five-year inspection period for the city and RTA to determine the scope of renovations. The report estimates ADA compliance will cost the city between $10.7 million and $12.6 million.
The firm also is representing the plaintiffs in a separate lawsuit over the city's historic streetcars' ADA accessibility. — ALEX WOODWARD