Mass_Transit_June_2021 - 26

S P E C I A L R E P O R T : P A S S EN G ER R A I L
Improved Accessibility
WITH A GREATER COMMITMENT TO EQUITY,
BETTER ACCESSIBILITY COMES INTO FOCUS
Agencies, municipalities and federal officials are putting
their belief that transit is for everyone into action through a
series of moves designed to improve accessibility on vehicles
and facilities.
199487111 | Tyrone Kidney | Dreamstime
According to data within the National Transit Database,
more than 1,000 transit stations out of a total of 5,645
stations were not accessible per the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) in 2019, the most recent year full
data is available. While the total number of ADA accessible
stations increased by more than 500 between 2018 and
2019, the data suggests new stations account for most of
that increase rather than existing stations undergoing ADArelated
improvements. The total
number of stations increased by
483 between 2018 and 2019. The
number of non-ADA accessible
stations decreased by 21.
The All Stations Accessibility
Program Act of 2021 was introduced
in mid-May in both the
U.S. House and Senate. The bill
would establish a discretionary
grant program to support local
transit authority and commuter rail
efforts to upgrade existing stations
to meet or exceed the standards
included in the Americans with
Disabilities Act.
By the
numbers
88.7%
Percent of U.S. rail
transit fleet that is
ADA accessible.
2,480
Number of
escalators available
within rail stations.
Source: NTD Transit Stations
2,597
Number of elevators
available within rail
stations.
Source: 2019 NTD Transit Stations
At a more local level, New York's
MTA has proposed a change to
zoning policy that would incentivize
developers to work with MTA
to deliver improved accessibility to
a wider swath of the region's transit
network.
On the rail vehicle side, a trio of
transit providers have made progress
expanding the accessibility
of their rail fleets, including the
Regional Transportation District of Denver where a program
to retrofit 172 light-rail cars with a 60-inch circle of
maneuverability was completed last year.
In December 2020, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority
introduced three streetcars equipped with wheelchair lifts
at the front and rear of each vehicle. The project also modified
12 St. Charles Streetcar Line stops to enable streetcar
operators space to deploy ramps, as well as other ADArelated
upgrades.
26 | Mass Transit | MassTransitmag.com | JUNE 2021
TRANSIT PROVIDERS have worked to improve accessibility
at stations and on vehicles.
U.S. Station Accessibility All Modes
1,005
Non-ADA
Accessible
Stations
4,640
ADA
Accessible
Stations
1,005
Non-ADA
Accessible
Stations
4,640
ADA
Accessible
Stations
U.S. Station Accessibility All Rail Modes
942
942
Non-ADA
Accessible
Stations
2,745
ADA
Accessible
Stations
2,745
ADA
Accessible
Stations
Non-ADA
Accessible
Stations
2019 NTD Transit Stations
In Memphis, Tenn., the Memphis Area Transit Authority rail
trolley cars were installed with new service ramps made of
a lightweight, composite material: carbon fiber reinforced
polymer. The material provides additional strength to the
ramps, while remaining lightweight enough for operators
to lift and place them at stops.
http://www.MassTransitmag.com

Mass_Transit_June_2021

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