Here are some frequently asked questions about accessibility on CTA:
How does the Americans with Disabilities Act affect CTA’s transit services?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted on July 26, 1990. Among its many provisions, this civil rights act is intended to ensure equal access for people with disabilities to public transportation.
CTA is a fixed route transit service provider. This means that its buses and trains operate along set routes according to fixed schedules. The ADA requires that all new vehicles purchased for general fixed route public transportation service be accessible to people with disabilities.
What are the accessibility features of CTA’s buses?
CTA’s entire bus fleet is accessible to people with disabilities.
All of CTA’s buses are capable of “kneeling,” thereby lowering the bus. All the buses also have ramps at the forward doors, priority seats, and wheelchair securement areas. These features ease boarding and riding the bus for people with mobility devices and other disabilities.
Braille signage and automated voice announcements—both interior and exterior—help make stop, route and other information accessible to people who are blind or have low vision. And the LED signage on CTA’s buses enables people who are deaf or hearing impaired have access to this same essential information.
What are the accessibility features of CTA’s trains?
All of our trains have a designated wheelchair securement area, ADA-compliant doors, Braille signage, priority seats, and both interior and exterior stop and route automated voice announcements.
CTA's new 5000-series rail cars feature not one, but two wheelchair securement areas per car and also feature LED signage at both ends to present visual cues that complement recorded audio announcements.
Are there any restrictions on the kind of mobility device I can use on the buses and trains?
All of CTA’s buses and rail cars are accessible to wheelchairs and other mobility devices. The ramps on CTA buses and wheelchair spaces on both our buses and rail cars are designed to accommodate either a manual or a powered wheelchair.
Under the U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines, a wheelchair is any “mobility aid belonging to any class of three- or more-wheeled devices, usable indoors, designed or modified for and used by individuals with mobility impairments, whether operated manually or powered." CTA vehicles will carry any wheelchair and its user as long as the bus ramp can accommodate the size and weight of the wheelchair and its user, and there is space on the bus or rail car.
Are CTA’s train stations accessible to people with mobility impairments?
Today, 100 of CTA’s 145 stations (69%) are accessible by ADA-compliant elevators or ramps. All stations have gap fillers to bridge the space between the platform and the rail car. In addition, all rail stations have customer assistants available during all service hours to assist customers with disabilities.
Beginning in 2015 and over the next few years, CTA will continue to improve accessibility with work either planned or underway at seven rail stations that will make stations newly accessible or enhance existing accessible stations to meet current ADA guidelines:
- Addison Blue Line
- UIC-Halsted Blue Line*
- Illinois Medical District Blue Line*
- Quincy Loop Elevated
- Washington/Wabash Loop Elevated (new station)
- Wilson Red Line
- 95th Red Line*
*Indicates a station that’s already wheelchair accessible, but will receive upgrades as part of project work
Are there discounted fares available for people with disabilities?
Yes. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) offers a Reduced Fare Permit to people with disabilities. With a Reduced Fare permit, you can ride CTA buses or trains at a discount. The reduced fare also applies to transfers. A Reduced Fare Permit allows the permit holder to ride at the reduced fare. Call RTA at 312-913-3110 (voice) or 312-836-4949 (TTY) to apply.
Rides are free on CTA buses and trains for any Illinois resident over age 16 who has been enrolled as a person with a disability in the Illinois Circuit Breaker program. Individuals who are enrolled still must apply for the RTA-issued “Circuit Permit.” Information about the Illinois Circuit Breaker program is available at 1-800-252-8966 (voice) or 1-888-206-1327 (TTY).
How do I report a complaint, pay a compliment or make a suggestion to CTA about disability-related matters?
By e-mail, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Call 1-888-YOUR CTA (1-888-968-7282) (voice) or 1-888-CTA-TTY1 (1-888-882-8891) (TTY).