WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, introduced legislation to help make public transportation systems more accessible to passengers with disabilities. The All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP) Act of 2021 would establish a federal grant program to support legacy transit and commuter rail authorities to upgrade existing stations to meet or exceed accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL-04) and Congresswoman Marie Newman (D-IL-03).
“Building back better means improving existing resources and systems that aren’t meeting the needs of all Americans,” said Brown. “There’s no reason that 100% of our transit systems shouldn’t meet or exceed ADA standards and I’m proud to introduce legislation that will get us there.”
Full text of the All Stations Accessibility Program Act of 2021 is available here.
According to the Federal Transit Administration, as of 2019 nearly 20 percent of all transit stations were not ADA accessible. The ASAP Act would establish a discretionary grant program that supports local transit authority and commuter rail efforts to increase the number of existing accessible stations or facilities that meet or exceed accessibility design standards under the ADA for rapid rail and commuter rail systems. The program would be authorized to receive $1 billion annually. The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) has made significant progress in making its rail stations accessible, but the agency has 17 remaining stops and stations that are not ADA compliant. GCRTA estimates a cost of approximately $23 million to complete accessibility upgrades at these stations.