Progress continues in creating an accessible network
WASHINGTON – Amtrak is commemorating the anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law on July 26, 1990. This pivotal moment for Americans with disabilities led to the creation of barrier-free access in all areas of public life, including services like transportation, with Amtrak passengers seeing upgrades to its trains, stations, platforms, and more during the past three decades.
“We celebrate the anniversary of this important law and reflect on the hard work that provided a path to equal rights and opportunities for all people with disabilities,” Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner said. “As America’s Railroad, we are committed to providing an accessible, inclusive and safe travel experience to all passengers.”
For Amtrak, the ADA serves as the foundation to the planning and work being done across the organization and national network to ensure passengers with disabilities have access to stations, trains, and services. With input from the disability community, including national disability organizations, Amtrak advances a robust accessibility program and holistic approach to improve the travel experience – from trip planning, to purchasing tickets and the experience at stations, to equipment and on-board services.
To date, Amtrak has completed 171 ADA station-related projects as part of the ADA Stations Program, including 20 additional stations meeting ADA compliance last fiscal year for $82 million. Another 29 stations are targeted for completion this fiscal year at a forecasted investment of $113 million. The program is also advancing 120 station designs and 40 station construction projects as part of its ongoing commitment to providing accessibility for all of our customers. Since 2011, Amtrak has invested more than $489 million in accessibility upgrades throughout the country.
Additional services being provided by Amtrak include offering compliant audio and visual train status and boarding information in stations through Passenger Information Display Systems, designing and deploying assistive boarding equipment used to help passengers with reduced mobility board and depart from the train, and providing accessibility training for employees.
Rod Washington: Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He also produces news and documentary video projects. Check out his podcast StoriesThisMoment at https://m3e.d71.myftpupload.com/stm-tncn-podcasts/