A new Department of Transportation program could provide a boost to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA) plans to make its stations A.D.A. accessible, writes Stephanie Lai for The New York Times.
The program that launched earlier this week allows cities to apply for federal funding to improve the accessibility of their public transit stations for disabled people. The program puts aside $1.75 billion to update stations that currently do not comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
According to Kelly Greene, a spokeswoman for SEPTA, renovating older statins in the Philadelphia area will cost about $4 billion. The transit authority has already created a schedule to start updating its stations to be A.D.A. accessible. Some of the already scheduled projects could receive funding from this new program.
Jinny Kim, the director of the Disability Rights Program at Legal Aid, emphasized the importance of the new program, as it would help prioritize accessibility even when transit systems have had to deal with pandemic-related lower rider fares.
“People with disabilities can continue to ride transit because they do depend on it,” she said. “When public transit systems are inaccessible, they just can’t access society.”
Read more about SEPTA and the Department of Transportation’s program that allows cities to apply for federal funding to make public transit stations more accessible to disabled people in The New York Times.