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MBTA LOW-FLOOR BUSSecretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack and the MBTA are looking forward to joining advocates for people with disabilities, community groups, local officials, and the City of Boston in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, Wednesday, July 22nd. Hundreds of people will gather on Boston Common between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. for this landmark occasion.

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in all aspects of public life. On the 25th anniversary of the bill’s passage, the MBTA reaffirms its commitment to both the letter and the spirit of the ADA by striving to become the global benchmark for an accessible, reliable public transportation system.

“Equal access to transportation plays a crucial role in the lives of people with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth. MassDOT and the MBTA remain dedicated to the goal of an accessible system for all citizens, and we are proud to be a part of celebrating the historic legislation which continues to make that possible,” said Secretary Pollack.

“The T has committed to being an accessible system, has invested millions to move this forward, and we’re thrilled with their commitment to the ADA, both complying with it and celebrating this vital civil rights law,” said Andrew Forman, Senior Disability Advocate for the Boston Center for Independent Living, and a legally blind user of the MBTA.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority: Accessible Rapid Transit Stations as of 1990- 25

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority: Accessible Rapid Transit Stations as of 1990- 25

The MBTA has redoubled its efforts to improve the accessibility of it system in recent years. Notable accomplishments include:

• The number of accessible stations has quadrupled since the ADA was enacted in 1990
• Construction of 30 new elevators since 2006, for a total of 168.
• Improvements in elevator maintenance, resulting in 99.5 percent reliability system-wide
• Formation of the MBTA Department of System-Wide Accessibility
• Creation of an Internal Access Monitoring Program
• Development of comprehensive employee trainings dedicated to accessibility
• Provision of high-quality door-to-door paratransit trips exceeding ADA standards

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority: Accessible Rapid Transit Stations 2015- 101

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority: Accessible Rapid Transit Stations 2015- 101

Beyond the MBTA’s efforts, in 2011, MassDOT established an ADA/Section 504 Working Group to undertake a number of initiatives aimed at improving access, notably:
• An ongoing survey of all state-owned curb ramps with a corresponding plan for ensuring their accessibility, and for the accessibility of ramps built in municipalities
• An assessment of all RMV locations to identify any barriers to access—both in infrastructure and policy
• A review of existing policies and development of new standards, including designs for curb ramps, providing accessible meetings and accessible IT standards

“It’s been said many times that a system as old as the T faces some unique challenges to becoming fully accessible,” said MBTA Interim General Manager Frank DePaola. “While it’s true such challenges exist, it’s also true that we’re committed to overcoming them. We look forward to celebrating this and many future anniversaries of the ADA with our partners in the disability community, whose leadership has been so critical to the evolution of an MBTA that’s more

accessible than ever.”

MassDOT and MBTA officials will be on hand for the 25th anniversary festivities. One of the T’s brand new hybrid buses will be parked at the corner of Charles and Beacon Streets to give people the opportunity to experience the latest accessibility features on a public transportation vehicle.

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