The U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a USD 343 million funding to make rail transit stations more accessible for people with disabilities and mobility needs.
Funding is available through FTA’s All Stations Accessibility programme (ASAP), which supports upgrades to metro, commuter rail, and light rail systems in order to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
“Public transit ought to be reliable, safe, and accessible for anyone who wants to use it. Through President Biden’s infrastructure package, we are proud to open applications for another round of grants so that people with disabilities or those with limited mobility can better access transit stations,” the U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a total of USD 1.75 billion for the ASAP programme through FY 2026. Last year, FTA announced USD 686 million to support projects through the ASAP programme using Fiscal Year 2022 and 2023 funding.
In December 2022, FTA announced that 15 projects in nine states will receive support to help make it easier for people with disabilities and mobility needs to access some of the country’s oldest and busiest rail transit systems through essential upgrades, such as elevators. These grants represent the first round of funding designed to improve accessibility so everyone, including those who use wheelchairs, push strollers, or cannot easily navigate stairs, can reliably access the rail systems in their communities.
According to the FTA, hundreds of rail transit stations built before 1990, known as legacy stations, are not accessible to people with disabilities.
“Transit is the great equalizer, but for too many people in some of our nation’s largest cities, that equalizer is unavailable to them. Now, more than 30 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is leveling the playing field by ensuring greater access for those who rely on mass transit,” FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez said.