The Chicago Transit Authority will make more bus routes accessible to customers with disabilities starting Monday, October 1, 2001 when 20 more bus routes become accessible. By year-end 2003, all CTA bus routes will be accessible.
?All of our customers deserve quality, affordable transit services," stated CTA Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. "In keeping with our mission, we are continuously making improvements designed to make travel on the CTA's bus and rail systems a more attractive and viable option for our customers with disabilities."
Currently, 91% of CTA buses are accessible, with such features as ramps, lifts and wheelchair securement areas for customers with disabilities. As it adds new buses to its fleet, more bus routes will become accessible. Presently, 65%, or 91 out of 139 of CTA bus routes are designated as accessible. With the addition of 20 newly accessible routes this month, 80%, or 111 out of 139 routes will be accessible. The agency considers a bus route to be accessible only when every bus serving that route is accessible.
CTA President Frank Kruesi added, "In addition to more buses being accessible, we've continued to upgrade rail stations and improve accessibility. By the end of this year, eleven more CTA rail stations will have been made accessible to customers with disabilities. We also offer a number of services geared specifically to customers with disabilities to expand their riding options."
Starting Monday, October 1, the #6 Jeffery Express and the #147 Outer Drive Express -- along with 18 additional bus routes that use standard, 40-foot buses will become accessible routes. These 18 routes are:
#25 West Cermak
#63W West 63rd
#165 West 65th
#68 Northwest Highway
#85A North Central
#93 North California
#94 South California
#103 West 103rd
In July 2001, 11 bus routes were designated as accessible, using 40-foot buses. These included:
#2 Hyde Park Express
#30 South Chicago
#81W West Lawrence
#100 Jeffery Manor Express
#129 West Loop/South Loop.
This list and sequence of bus routes to be made accessible was developed in cooperation with the CTA's ADA Advisory Committee.
Currently, 88% of the CTA's rail fleet is accessible, and 43% of the agency's rail stations, 62 out of 144 facilities, are accessible. By the end of the year, the CTA expects 64 rail stations, or 44% of the system total, to be accessible. The CTA will be going out for bid this year to replace 142 remaining railcars that are presently not accessible. Presently, every CTA train has at least two railcars that are accessible.
CTA customers who cannot use the agency's mainline bus and rail system have the option of participating in the CTA Paratransit program. The program, which provides door-to-door service for customer's with disabilities, is open to anyone who has been certified by the Regional Transportation Authority being eligible for Paratransit service as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The CTA Paratransit program is comprised of Special Services, which contracts with private carriers to pick customers up for work, school or recreational activities, and the Taxi Access Program (TAP), where customers can purchase taxi vouchers valued at up to $12.00 each for the reduced price of $1.50. The CTA recently approved a 20 % increase in the subsidy it provides to TAP customers so they wouldn?t be adversely impacted by recent taxi fare hikes. In doing so, the agency increased the subsidy from $10 to $12, enabling customers to travel the same distance at virtually no extra cost. Last year, the CTA provided 1.2 million paratransit rides.
Another CTA service, the Elevator Status Line, gives customers the operating status of the elevators at the CTA's 62 accessible rail stations, thereby making it easier to plan trips on the CTA rail system. Customers can access the recording 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by dialing 1-888-YOUR-CTA, and pressing 5 for a direct connection to the Elevator Status Line.
For more information regarding CTA services or the CTA Paratransit program, contact the CTA at 1-888-YOUR-CTA, or visit the agency's website at www.transitchicago.com.# # #