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The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) late last week unveiled details of the first-ever plan to make its system 100 percent accessible to riders with disabilities over the next two decades.The All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP) Strategic Plan lays out the agency's proposal to modernize 42 rail stations that are currently inaccessible by wheelchair. Modifications proposed under the $2.1 billion plan include new elevators and ramps that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, power-operated doors, wheelchair-accessible fare gates, Braille signage and wayfinding, and new or modified emergency egress points.Other proposed changes include wider and longer platforms for better wheelchair maneuverability, along with accessible employee facilities and ADA accessible adjacent sidewalks and street crosswalks.Much of the plan was developed in house, including a working group that included multiple departments, a CTA spokesman said in an email. The agency has secured funding only for the plan's first phase, with no dedicated funding for future phases.“A lot of time was spent facilitating dialogue and incorporating feedback from multiple members of Chicago’s accessibility community — feedback that was critical in developing the plan,” the CTA spokesman said.With the ASAP plan in place, the agency can now "move forward more aggressively with our modernization planning and our efforts to seek project funding," said CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. in a press release.The plan also details future upgrades and replacements for 162 existing passenger elevators across the rail system.In 2016, CTA announced its intent to make its entire rail system accessible over the next two decades.
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