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Published on : Friday, July 17, 2015
Amtrak is honoring the 25th anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) signed into law on July 26, 1990. With input from station owners and stakeholders from the disability community, and state and federal officials, America’s Railroad® has taken many significant steps to improve the travel experience for passengers with disabilities – from trip planning, to purchasing tickets, to station access, to on-board services.
“Passengers with disabilities represent a large and growing share of Amtrak ridership and we are proud of our role as an important means of transportation,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman. “We are confident we can build on the progress made to date and advance a robust program of station accessibility improvements in the years to come.”
Since the law was enacted, Amtrak has improved accessibility at many stations, including repairs and upgrades to platforms, ramps and sidewalks, and renovating entrance ways and restrooms. All Amtrak trains have accessible seating and restrooms and long-distance trains have accessible bedrooms.
Amtrak is enhancing mobility by installing passenger information displays (PIDs) in audible and visual formats, installing or rebuilding station entrances, restrooms and ticket counters, as well as ensuring accessible pathways between the parking lot, station building and platform.
Amtrak is the only mode of intercity transportation that provides a discount to passengers with disabilities and their companions. During the last five fiscal years (FY 2010 – FY 2014), ridership by passengers with disabilities has increased by 50 percent.
Through the remainder of this year, Amtrak will complete accessibility projects at the station in Ann Arbor, Mich., which is served by the Wolverine Service, Prince, W.Va., which is served by the Cardinal, and locations served by the Empire Builder in Williston, N.D., Devils Lake, N.D., Stanley, N.D., Rugby, N.D., Winona, Minn., St. Cloud, Minn., Red Wing, Minn., Detroit Lakes, Minn., Havre, Mont., Glasgow, Mont., and Malta, Mont. Another project includes installing PIDs at the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.
Boardman said Amtrak is committed to creating a system that is accessible and usable for all passengers, and will continue to work toward that goal, in keeping with the spirit of the ADA.