Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chicago Transit Board supports CTA's continued accessibility initiatives

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The Chicago Transit Board passed a resolution supporting the Chicago Transit Authority's commitment to further develop and implement meaningful and proactive accessibility initiatives consistent with the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The resolution is in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the landmark piece of legislation enacted on July 26, 1990. The Board also approved the appointment of new 2010 ADA Advisory Committee members.

 

"It is important that a public transit system provide access to all residents in the communities it serves," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson. "The CTA is committed to the principles of the ADA and will continue efforts to make its services available to everyone who wishes to travel throughout the Chicago region."

 

"Since the ADA was passed, the CTA has made great strides in converting a more than 100-year-old infrastructure into one that meets the needs of people with disabilities," said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. "Throughout the system, CTA has improved the accessibility and convenience of its bus and rail system whenever possible."

Over the past two decades, CTA has a number of significant achievements that have helped to make its bus and rail service more accessible:

* Since 2005, all CTA buses have been accessible to riders who use mobility devices. All buses feature ramps or lifts, wheelchair securement devices, Braille signage, automated voice announcements - interior and exterior -- for all stops and also LED signage; 

* All CTA trains are accessible with at least two rail cars per train that feature designated positions for mobility devices, Braille signage and automated announcements;

* Approximately 63 percent (91 of 144) of CTA rail stations are currently accessible via elevators or ramps. Two stations are now being renovated and two new stations will soon be constructed. All four will be accessible when work is completed;

* Accessible rail stations feature tactile edging along the platform to assist in navigation and gap fillers to bridge the space between the platform and rail cars;

* CTA's web site, www.transitchicago.com, meets modern web standards, as well as federal and state guidelines for accessibility;

* Every two years, operations personnel are recertified on employing proper procedures when assisting customers with disabilities;

* Instructional materials are available that familiarize riders with accessible features of the system and how to contact CTA personnel for assistance when riding;

* Elevator status information is available online, via e-mail or TTY telephone, and in rail stations.

Several other projects are currently under way that will further improve travel on the CTA's rail system for people with disabilities when completed. These projects include the renovation of the Cermak-Chinatown and Grand Red Line stations; the construction of two new rail stations - the Oakton Yellow Line and Morgan Green/Pink Line stations; installation of new LED (light emitting diode) elevator status displays at 80 rail stations; and the delivery of the new 5000-series rail cars, that will feature two wheelchair positions per car, visual indicators and improved visual displays.

In addition to the resolution, Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson appointed the agency's new 2010 ADA Advisory Committee members to work with the CTA on ongoing development and assessment of services for people with disabilities. Members of the committee are appointed to two-year terms.

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