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Rail News: Passenger Rail

ADA compliance compounds at Pennsylvania Amtrak station


Amtrak Oct. 26 announced its participation in a six-month pilot program to increase Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance at its Lancaster, Pa., train station.

Lancaster ADA Task Force saw a need for increased transportation services in the area and called meetings with Amtrak’s Business Diversity Department. As a result, Amtrak officials became interested in improving communication, especially within Blind, and Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing cultures, as a customer service initiative.

Already, Amtrak has made available Harrisburg-to-New York train schedules in Braille, audiocassette and large print. And Lancaster Station Amtrak employees plan to participate in fall training classes, designed to enhance worker understanding of assisting deaf, hard-of-hearing and visually impaired guests. Classes would be conducted by Susquehanna Association for the Blind and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

In addition, Amtrak plans to install a TTY (teletypewriter) machine in the station for passenger use. Prior to this installation, the only local TTY phone available was located in a shopping mall.

Reservation centers already are TTY-equipped and some trains enable customers to hook up passenger-supplied TTY phones on board. Plans are under way to purchase some machines to be kept on-board certain trains for passenger use.

Title III of the 1990 Act requires operators of public facilities to take necessary steps to ensure no disabled individual is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services. Amtrak’s existing nationwide ADA compliance includes wheelchair-accessible elevators and restrooms.

At the program’s conclusion — and providing there’s evident demand beyond the pilot stage — Amtrak plans to continue producing materials as a customer service.

To discuss ADA compliance or other issues, follow this link to Management Discussion Forum

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/31/2000