If you are riding a bus to Detroit Metro Airport, you may notice there are separate bus stops for those with a disability and for those without a disability.
Attorney Jason Turkish says based on the airport’s move to change the bus stops Monday, passengers with disabilities will now be out-casted and stigmatized.
“Nowhere in America are there segregated bus stops for persons with and without disabilities,” said Turkish.
Effective Monday, those riding a bus to the airport with disabilities will now be dropped off curbside at the terminal, after those without disabilities are dropped off at a nearby parking lot to cross the street to enter the terminal.
“To force buses to circle for endlessly, the airport complains about traffic and congestion. They are putting busses on a hamster wheel for no reason,” said Turkish.
Turkish filed a temporary restraining order weeks ago, attempting to make the new accessible, curbside stops for all passengers.
Friday, the court ruled in favor of the airport. The Wayne County Airport Authority released this statement today:
“The court affirms what we’ve been saying all along. This boils down to two fundamental issues. First is a private, for-profit bus operator’s demands for exclusive front door service at our terminals. Second, and more important, is the airport’s ongoing desire and commitment to provide safe, accessible and fair choices for our customers with disabilities and the ground transportation providers that serve them"
“But what the court said is that this isn’t segregation because everybody can use it. If everybody can use it we never would have gone to court. But just this morning the airport has put up signs. Stop for people with disabilities. Stop for everybody else,” said Turkish.
Turkish says passengers who are disabled just want to be treated like everyone else.
“We are going to continue to explain the court why separate bus stops for disabled and non-disabled are unprecedented in America and really threatens 25 years of progress with the ADA (American Disabilities Act),” said Turkish.
Despite the new ruling, the case will move forward. A judge will soon hear evidence in the case and it will be decided whether separate stops will be allowed in the future.