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5/4/2015



Rail News: Amtrak

National Council on Disability report critical of Amtrak's lack of accessibility


A new report released today by the National Council on Disability (NCD) called out Amtrak for its lack of accessible rail cars and stations.

The document, titled "Transportation Update: Where We've Gone and What We've Learned," noted that the national passenger railroad's stations and platforms have been out of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act since July 2010.

Amtrak's sleeper cars present another problem for people with disabilities, due to the heights of light switches, outlets and other controls, the report said.

"Although many people with disabilities use Amtrak successfully, particularly along the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak has lagged behind (despite the requirements of the ADA) in its stations, train cars, reservations capacity, and in the area of communications access," NCD officials wrote in the report.

Amtrak's reservation and ticketing processes present problems to individuals who are blind or have visual impairments, as well, the report noted. A person who identifies as having a disability cannot book multiple tickets for family members, the report stated.

Additionally, many Amtrak stations do not supply visual notifications of train statuses alongside audio announcements, the report said.

The new report follows an earlier NCD study published in 2005.



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