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Rail News: Passenger Rail

APTA, U.S. transit agencies mark Americans with Disabilities Act's 25th anniversary


The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and transit agencies across the U.S. yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

Since passage of the law, the public transit industry has improved and expanded accessibility for persons with disabilities, APTA officials said in a press release, noting that accessibility on heavy-rail and subway vehicles has increased from 83 percent to 100 percent.

Light-rail and streetcar fleet accessibility has increased from 41 percent to 88 percent over the past 25 years, while commuter-rail and hybrid rail fleet accessibility climbed from 32 percent to 87 percent, APTA officials said.

"On this 25th anniversary of ADA, let us not forget that our transportation system is a lifeline for millions of Americans, and especially those individuals with disabilities," said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Melaniphy.

Meanwhile, Amtrak late last week announced that its station in Ann Arbor, Mich., will offer a retractable setback-shuttle platform.

The new platform, which mechanically extends toward the train, is aimed at providing a safer and fasting boarding for all passengers, including seniors and those who use wheelchairs, Amtrak officials said in a press release.