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U.S. Rep. Marie Newman (D-3rd)

U.S. Rep. Marie Newman (D-3rd)

Newman touts move to make rail accessible

From staff reports

U.S. Rep. Marie Newman (D-3rd) announced last week that her bipartisan All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP) Act of 2021 will be included as part of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which the Senate passed last month.

Introduced last spring by Newman, the ASAP Act would establish a federal grant program to support transit and commuter rail systems efforts to upgrade stations and facilities to meet or exceed accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

MarieNewman2021

U.S. Rep. Marie Newman (D-3rd)

With its inclusion in the infrastructure package, the goal to ensure all public transit stations are 100% accessible is now one step closer to reality, she claimed.

“Building world-class, equitable public transportation starts by ensuring every station, bus and train across our nation is equally accessible to everyone,” Newman said. “By including our legislation in the bipartisan infrastructure package, we are one step closer to providing our cities with the funding they need to ensure their public transit systems can better serve all riders, especially those with disabilities and our seniors.”

According to the Federal Transit Administration, as of 2019, nearly 20% of all transit stations were not ADA accessible. Modified text from the ASAP Act, which is now included in the bipartisan infrastructure package, would establish a discretionary grant program that supports local transit authority and commuter rail efforts to increase the number of existing accessible stations or facilities that meet or exceed accessibility design standards under the ADA for rapid rail and commuter rail systems. The bill would authorize a total of $1.75 billion over fiscal years 2022-2026 to conduct this accessibility grant program.

Newman said the ASAP Act is supported by the City of Chicago, Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, Access Living, The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Transportation Task Force and Transportation Equity Caucus. Since 2018, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has partnered with the Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities on their own ASAP Strategic Plan, with the goal to ensure all rail stations across the city are 100% accessible in the next 20 years.

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