Louise Line: Your ADA-Compliant Train Station
In the coming weeks, the Rochester intermodal train station will open its doors to our community. Unlike the nearly 40-year-old “temporary” and deficient station that stood before it, our new station will be fully compliant under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a law that celebrates its 27th anniversary this week.
For 37 years, Rochester was served by an ill-equipped station that did not fully meet the needs of everyone in our community. I’ve heard stories of people in wheelchairs having to be carried onto the train because the passenger platform was not level with the door. I’ve also heard from members of our deaf community who would have to guess, due to lack of information display systems, if the train entering the station was the one they were supposed to board.
Can you imagine having to be carried onto a train or being forced to guess if the one you were boarding was the right one? It’s unconscionable and it needed to be fixed. That’s why I worked for years to make the new station a reality. In 2012, I secured a competitive, $15 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant needed for a completely new station. That is in addition to the $3.5 million I also secured for the preliminary engineering phase.
No member of our community should be forced to use inaccessible and outdated systems that fail to meet their needs. That’s why I’m truly proud to bring an ADA-compliant station to Rochester. Here’s a topline look at some of the best features to come:
- Fully-functional escalators and elevators.
- Digital public information display systems alerting passengers when trains are arriving and departing.
- A platform that is level with the doorway of the train, so that no one has to use a stool to board ever again.
The list of features goes on and on and in just a few weeks you’ll be able to see them for yourself! I am looking forward to cutting that ribbon and hope you’ll join me at your new intermodal station later this month.
Louise M. Slaughter