Permanent Citizens Advisory Commitee Releases New ADA Accessibily Report

The P.C.A.C., better known as the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee, has released a new report on ADA Accessibility at the MTA. The new report which is 116 pages long praises the Long Island Rail Road & Metro-North when they said both agencies “have few issues with respect to accessibility.” Here is a sample of the findings listed within the report:

• LIRR, out of 124 stations, has 20 fully accessible stations of which 18 are key stations and two additional stations.

• LIRR trains employees on how to assist passengers with disabilities including: using bridge plates for customers in wheelchairs; assistance on boarding and detraining; emergency evacuation; and, “disability etiquette” issues.

• MNR, out of 84 stations in New York State, has 13 designated key stations and another 18 that are also fully accessible. An additional 24 stations are wheelchair accessible.

• MNR’s Training Department provides training for train crews and front line employees including providing assistance to persons with disabilities, emergency evacuation procedures, instruction on bridge plate use and boarding procedures, and operating rules (for train crews) that affect customers with disabilities such as rules for service animals, priority seating, reduced fares, etc.

• NYCT, out of 468 stations, has 67 key subway stations which have been made accessible. Another 33 must be made accessible by 2020. There are an additional 16 non-key stations that are wheelchair accessible, five of which are fully ADA accessible.

• The entire fleet of MTA/NYCT buses is lift-equipped, has kneeling features, wheelchair securement devices, public address systems, and seating spaces reserved for persons with disabilities. The 2007 reduced-fare ridership was approximately 3% of subway trips and over 10% of total bus trips.

Now here is a sample of some of the recommendations contained in the report:

• Add “Elevator/Escalator Outages” as a separate tab on the top of the MTA website homepage along with “Schedules”, “Maps” and “Service Advisories”. Elevator/escalator information must be front and center, easy to access, and include those elevators/escalators maintained by other parties than MTA/NYCT. Further, this outage information should be linked throughout the website: accessibility information pages, station pages, etc.

• Create a single webpage of elevator and escalator disruptions across the entire system — subway, commuter rail, bus, ferry — in a simple grid format. This presentation is used very effectively on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) website.

• Create website pages for all NYCT subway stations (similar to those for LIRR and MNR stations) with development priority given to all ADA accessible stations. Any information related to accessibility at a specific station should be included on that page, including the location of elevators and escalators within the station.

• Incorporate elevator and escalator information in the forthcoming MTA service diversion alert system. This service could be similar to WMATA’s Electronic Elevator Notification (ELLEN) system, where an online form allows a customer to create a list of notification preferences, including elevator status and route disruptions.

• Post floor plans in all key stations with the location of the elevators at that station. They should be placed at the entrance to the station near other maps or passenger information centers and on platforms.

• Accelerate implementation of technologies that provide automated audible and visible stop announcements to reduce the impact of operators failing to make announcements. All new buses should have this feature.

• Check the working condition of the bus public address equipment and lifts daily. Current inspections are too infrequent. Procedures must ensure that operators report faulty public address systems and lifts promptly.

I have only had the time to skim through the report. Later on tonight if not tomorrow, I will take the time to read through all 116 pages & provide my opinion on it. In the meantime, I urge all of you to read the report yourself. You can access the .pdf by clicking here.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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