Mayor Daley – CTA Announce All CTA Bus Routes Now Accessible

June 18, 2005

Mayor Daley ? CTA Announce
All CTA Bus Routes Now Accessible

Mayor Richard M. Daley, 2nd Ward Alderman Madeline Haithcock and Chicago Transit Authority officials today announced that every bus on all 150 CTA bus routes is now equipped with a ramp or a hydraulic lift. These features, along with low floor and kneeling buses, make it easier for senior citizens and people with disabilities to board CTA buses.

The announcement was made at the Patrick Sullivan Senior Apartments, 1633 West Madison Street. In addition to CTA President Frank Kruesi, the Mayor was joined by Karen Tamley, Commissioner for the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, Joyce Gallagher, Commissioner for the Chicago Department on Aging, Terry Peterson, CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority and Jack Catlin, member of the CTA's ADA Advisory Committee.

"A quality public transportation system is vital if we are to maintain our status as a world class city and it's critically important that we continue to meet the public's ongoing transportation needs," said Mayor Daley. ?With a reliable and accessible public transportation system, we not only serve our residents and businesses, but we also serve those who may consider moving their families or livelihoods to the many thriving and growing neighborhoods in Chicago."

?The CTA is committed to providing quality, affordable transit service to all of our customers, and to removing barriers that prevent senior and disabled customers from using buses and trains," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?Increasing the accessibility of CTA's service creates additional travel options for senior citizens and people with disabilities."

?Investing in the CTA's fleet and facilities is a top priority. It takes years of planning to develop a strategy and secure funding to make significant capital improvements that benefit our customers," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?We are grateful to our region's Congressional delegation, which has shown remarkable bipartisan cooperation in successfully securing capital funds to continue investment in CTA's infrastructure, including the purchase of accessible buses."

In recent years, CTA has been able to phase out its remaining non-accessible buses and upgrade its bus fleet thanks mostly to capital funding provided by the Federal Transit Administration and the state's Illinois FIRST transportation funding program. Since 2000, the CTA has purchased and received more than 700 new buses.

The CTA's efforts to make its service more accessible to customers with disabilities and easier for seniors to access include initiatives beyond lifts and ramps. CTA buses are equipped with an automated announcement system that helps visually and hearing impaired customers better navigate the system.

This system features exterior announcements and electronic signs that identify the bus route and its destination when the front doors are opened. It also includes interior announcements and signs identifying the next stop.

All CTA trains are accessible with at least one accessible car per train. All CTA trains are equipped with a pre-recorded announcement system that informs customers of upcoming station stops.

Gap fillers for wheelchairs are located at all rail stations to facilitate the movement of mobility devices on and off trains. Most CTA rail platforms include raised tactile edging to alert customers to the location of the edge of the platform.

Following the completion of the rehabilitation of the 54th/Cermak branch of the Blue Line and the renovation of eight stations, half of the CTA's 144 rail stations are now accessible. CTA includes accessibility features into the design of new stations and those stations being substantially renovated.

A brochure describing CTA's accessible services is available at all CTA rail stations or by calling CTA Customer Service at 1-888-YOUR-CTA or 1-888-CTA-TTY1. The brochure also is on CTA's web site at www.transitchicago.com. In addition, customers can find information on accessible bus routes, rail stations and general CTA service by calling the RTA travel information center at 836-7000 from any local area code.

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