RTD marks 25th anniversary of ADA and here's why
Posted by: Deborah Méndez-Wilson • 07.21.15
The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, is turning 25, and the Regional Transportation District will join local and state partners July 25 to celebrate the landmark civil rights law, which prohibits discrimination based on disability.
Enacted by Congress in 1990, ADA aims to level the playing field for people born with physical or cognitive disabilities or who became disabled after being diagnosed with an illness or surviving a life-altering accident.
RTD understands how important transit services are to people with disabilities, which is why it has implemented services and programs designed to get them where they need to be. Ours was one of the first public transit agencies in the nation to install wheelchair lifts on all of its buses and “high block” ramps at all of its light rail stations.
Our pioneering agency also has set aside securement areas on buses and trains for passengers with disabilities. Next year, RTD will open three new commuter rail lines offering quick, easy “level boarding” from train platforms, which means all passengers will have equal access through all doors.
Saturday, July 25, Colorado will mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act at a public celebration taking place 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Civic Center Park in Denver. Dignitaries slated to speak at the event include RTD Board Director Claudia Folksa, Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and former Colorado First Lady Frances Owens. Please join us as we mark this important civil rights law.
For years, RTD has worked hard to seek input from the local disabled community before implementing policies and services that will affect them.
In fact, in a show of its ongoing commitment to comply with ADA guidelines, RTD recently named its first ADA manager, Ed Neuberg, who comes to the agency after a 15-year career with the City and County of Denver.Neuberg is a nationally recognized expert in his field who has advised the Obama administration on ADA issues, and he is eager to transfer that knowledge to the region from a transportation perspective.
Some of RTD’s other accessibility initiatives include a half-fare discount for passengers with disabilities and a paratransit service called Access-a-Ride for riders with disabilities who can’t use regular, fixed-route services.
Finally, RTD’s voter-approved transit expansion program, FasTracks, is building four new rail lines and a bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor that incorporate all current ADA requirements.
These highlights are points of pride for RTD, and they illustrate how committed the agency is to its core mission of providing safe, reliable, clean and efficient mobility to all riders.
For these, and many other reasons, RTD is proud to celebrate a quarter-century of ADA, and the freedom it has given our passengers to go where they want to go and do what they want to do.