UC Law Journal


By using transportation and housing policy to redistribute development from central cities to suburban areas without effective public transit, government at all levels has effectively excluded millions of transit-dependent disabled Americans from employment, shopping, and other opportunities. In the 1990s, the federal government sought to remedy this problem by enacting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which ordered local transit systems to make bus and train systems more accessible to the disabled. The ADA imposed costly requirements upon local public transit systems, but did not give local governments funds with which to satisfy this mandate. By effectively reducing the funds available to transit systems, the ADA has sometimes forced cutbacks in transit service for everyone (including, ironically, many disabled Americans who were able to use public transit before the ADA's enactment). Thus, the ADA has sometimes reduced, rather than increased, transportation opportunities for the disabled. This Article describes case law under the ADA, and proposes a variety of reforms to increase transportation opportunities for the disabled.

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