RTA Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace join the more than 56 million Americans with disabilities in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The law, signed by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990, ensures the civil rights of people with disabilities. The legislation established a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities and has expanded opportunities for people with disabilities including the provision of accessible public transportation services that help to eliminate barriers and enable full participation in community life.   

The RTA region’s transit system offers a variety of accessibility features. Many riders are likely aware of some of the features, which include accessibility of most CTA and Metra rail stations; automated stop and route announcements on buses and trains; Pace and CTA offering a “low floor” equipped with ramps for easy boarding; and CTA Real-Time Train Tracker signs throughout the CTA “L” system.  Additionally, the RTA Trip Planner on the RTA  website  at  rtachicago.org is the only trip planner in the region with an option to choose accessible routing.

Other accessibility  features and programs the RTA has worked with the CTA, Metra and Pace to initiate include: 

  • The RTA allocated funds to Pace to install concrete pads and connections to accessible paths at 65 Pace bus stops throughout the suburban service area.
  • The RTA allocated federal funds to the CTA to produce guides for customers who are blind or have a vision impairment. The guides to CTA's rail stations are being produced in Braille, plain text and audio files.
  • The RTA awarded funds to Metra to install Visual Information Systems (VIS) which provide real time information about Metra train service and facilitate greater mobility for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

 

  • The RTA awarded funds to the City of Chicago to reimburse taxicab companies for the cost of purchasing wheelchair accessible taxis, or converting existing taxis to accessible taxis.  This grant will allow the City of Chicago to increase the number of accessible cabs in the City.
  • Through the RTA’s Access to Transit Improvement Program, the RTA secured federal funding for pedestrian access improvements, including sidewalks and crosswalks, in   Glen Ellyn, LaGrange, Palos Heights and Rolling Meadows.  Construction on the projects is expected to begin in the coming year.
  • The RTA s allocates federal funding to dozens of specialized transportation services such as Pace Dial-a-Ride throughout the region.  These services, which provided nearly 200,000 trips last year, primarily serve older adults and people with disabilities.

Regional transit riders with disabilities are available for media interviews related to the ADA anniversary.  Please contact Susan Massel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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About the RTA

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is the only transit agency charged with regional financial oversight, funding, and transit planning for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace bus and paratransit.    Riders take more than two million trips each weekday on the RTA region’s transit system in six counties with 7,200 transit route miles throughout Northeastern Illinois.  The Agency also provides customer services including online and telephone travel planning assistance and travel training for seniors and people with disabilities.  For more information, visit www.RTAchicago.org