January 19, 2020

Duckworth Statement on Amtrak Attempting to Charge a Group of Passengers with Disabilities $25,000 for a Single Ride


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Transportation and Security, which has jurisdiction over Amtrak, issued the following statement after Amtrak attempted to charge a group of passengers with disabilities $25,000 to travel from the City of Chicago to Bloomington, Illinois:

“It is outrageous that Amtrak asked a group of passengers with disabilities to pay $25,000 to ride from the City of Chicago to Bloomington, Illinois. It is also disappointing that Amtrak leadership appears to have failed to offer a public apology for its initial mistake.

“The Americans with Disabilities Act has been the law of the land for 30 years. Yet in 2020, Amtrak believes it would be an unreasonable burden to remove architectural barriers that would enable a group with five wheelchair users to travel together.  

“As Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Transportation, I believe Amtrak must do better moving forward. To prevent future incidents, I will be requesting that Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson meet with me to discuss eliminating Amtrak’s nationwide policy of refusing to absorb any costs associated with reconfiguring a railcar to accommodate a group of wheelchair users.”