Policy analyst Adam Ballard attempted to buy a group of Amtrak train tickets for a ride usually priced around $16 per person.
Ballard works for a disability advocacy group. The tickets he was attempting to purchase were for five wheelchair users, but Amtrak could only accommodate three wheelchair users on the train.
Ballard balked when he learned that the fee for his group to travel together would require the removal of seats–and a $25 thousand fee.
It wasn't long before Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)—a military veteran who lost her legs in Iraq—spoke out against Amtrak's unfair policy.
It is outrageous that @Amtrak asked a group of passengers from @AccessLiving to pay $25,000 to ride from Chicago to… https://t.co/wr1KGCg4ZH— Tammy Duckworth (@Tammy Duckworth)1579467915.0
The Americans with Disabilities Act has been the law of the land for 30 years. Yet in 2020, @Amtrak believes it wou… https://t.co/0FYjH8JuvY— Tammy Duckworth (@Tammy Duckworth)1579467915.0
As Ranking Member of the @commercedems Subcommittee on Transportation, I believe Amtrak must do better moving forward. (3/4)— Tammy Duckworth (@Tammy Duckworth)1579467916.0
To prevent future incidents, I will be requesting that @Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson meet with me to discuss elimina… https://t.co/8FoGYWnjGY— Tammy Duckworth (@Tammy Duckworth)1579467917.0
Duckworth expressed plans to use her position as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to hold Amtrak accountable and to ensure it facilitates efficient and comfortable travel for people of all abilities.
Others called on Amtrak to do the same.
@Amtrak this is completely inexcusable on any level! https://t.co/YlsakUxIyK— Ross - Tolemac (@Ross - Tolemac)1579474103.0
@SenDuckworth @Amtrak @AccessLiving $25,000 for a ride from Chicago to Bloomington. For accomodating a disabled pas… https://t.co/94D4XaRiQA— Ald. Jim Wise (@Ald. Jim Wise)1579468579.0
@SenDuckworth @Amtrak @AccessLiving This is outrageous! I’m so glad you’re looking into this, Senator. Our fellow citizens deserve better.— SKeveryday (@SKeveryday)1579468262.0
@ConnConnection @SenDuckworth @Amtrak @AccessLiving ^#AmtrakAccessNow, Kathy! Grateful to have your voice! https://t.co/9SXDdEg0ca— SamKelly🙂 #AmtrakAccessNow - Diversabilities Win! (@SamKelly🙂 #AmtrakAccessNow - Diversabilities Win!)1579488097.0
@SenDuckworth @Amtrak @AccessLiving WOW Really @Amtrak?— Annabelle Leigh (@Annabelle Leigh)1579487705.0
@SenDuckworth @Amtrak Why or how is @Amtrak exempt from ADA accessibility requirements?— Lance A Schart (@Lance A Schart)1579469519.0
@SenDuckworth @Amtrak Good luck! I hope this leads to be better accessibility on American urban and intercity public transportation.— Alon (@Alon)1579498726.0
Senator Duckworth won't be backing down.