Two Southern Illinois Amtrack Stations Part of $2.25 Million Justice Department Settlement | USAO-SDIL

Patrons  of  two  Amtrak  stations  in  the  Southern  District  of  Illinois  may  be  eligible 
for compensation as part of a recent Justice Department settlement. On January 29, federal
authorities announced that a $2.25 million fund had been established to compensate travelers with a
mobility disability who were harmed physically or emotionally because of accessibility issues at 78
Amtrak stations nationwide between 2013 and 2020. Included in the settlement were Amtrak stations
in Centralia and Effingham, Illinois. According to Justice Department officials, those stations did
not meet the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The stations in Centralia and Effingham were on a long list of stations where passenger platforms
were not readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. Although the specific issues were not
disclosed, examples include steep slopes, no detectable warnings at the platform edges, and ground
surfaces that were not stable, firm, and slip resistant. The Effingham station was also cited for
not having accessible bathrooms. Some of the violations at other stations covered in the settlement
 include  inaccessible  parking,  lack  of  directional  signs,  high  ticket  counters,  and
deteriorated platforms.

In total, nine Amtrak stations in Illinois were cited by the Justice Department as non-ADA
compliant, more than  any other state.  Aside from the stations in Centralia and Effingham, the
others  were  located  in  Gilman,  Homewood,  Mattoon,  Plano,  Princeton,  Rantoul,  and  Summit.
Three Missouri stations were also included in the settlement: Kirkwood, La Plata, and Poplar Bluff.

To be eligible for monetary compensation, travelers must have a mobility disability and must have
been harmed due to inaccessibility issues at one or more of the affected stations from July 23,
2013 to December 2, 2020. All claims must be submitted no later than May 29, 2021. Other 
restrictions  may  apply.  Questions  about  the  claims  process  should  be  directed  to  the
settlement administrator by any of the following methods:

•    Visit AmtrakDisabilitySettlement.com
•    Email your name, address, and phone number to info@AmtrakDisabilitySettlement.com
•    Call the Fund Administrator at (888) 334-6165 or TTY: (866) 411-6976.
Help is available for those who are unable to complete the claim form due to a disability.

As  part  of  the  settlement  agreement,  Amtrak  has  committed  to  make  its  intercity  rail
stations accessible, prioritizing stations with the most significant barriers to access. Over the
next 10 years, Amtrak will design at least 135 stations to be accessible, complete construction at
90 of those stations, and have at least 45 more under construction. Amtrak will also train staff on
ADA requirements and implement an agreed-upon process for accepting and handling ADA complaints. In
demonstrating its commitment, Amtrak has already established an Office of the Vice President of
Stations, Properties & Accessibility to coordinate its compliance with the ADA.
The settlement agreement with Amtrak was negotiated as part of a lawsuit filed by the Disability 
Rights  Section  of  the  Justice  Department’s  Civil  Rights  Division.  A  copy  of  the
complaint can be found by visiting www.ada.gov/amtrak_comp.html. The settlement agreement is also
available online at AmtrakDisabilitySettlement.com. For more information on the Civil Rights
Division, visit www.justice.gov/crt. For more information on the ADA, please call the toll-free
ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (TTY 800-514-0383) or visit www.ada.gov.

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