August 14, 2017

On CTA Blue Line, Duckworth Underscores Importance of Transit Accessibility


[CHICAGO, IL] - On the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Blue Line, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today joined representatives from Access Living, an organization committed to fostering an inclusive society for Chicagoans with disabilities to live fully-engaged and self-directed lives, to underscore the need for investments to achieve the goal of 100 percent compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) across the entire CTA system. Following the 27th anniversary of the ADA, Duckworth also addressed the importance of strengthening disability rights protections and fully implementing CTA's All Stations Accessibility Program, a plan to make the 42 remaining non-accessible rail stations accessible over the next 20 years.

"ADA protections have made my life possible, and it is imperative that transit systems like CTA continue to make accessibility a priority for its infrastructure," said Duckworth. "We've made significant progress over the last 27 years since the ADA was passed, but there is still work to do so that all Chicagoans and all Americans can use any train, bus and station in Chicago and throughout the country."

"Since the first fleet of lift-equipped buses was introduced, and since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, the Chicago Transit Authority has come a long way in terms of accessibility," said Amber Smock, Access Living's Director of Advocacy. "Yet, 30 percent of mainline train stations don't have elevators. This affects not only people with disabilities, but everyone that benefits from accessibility. With this in mind, Access Living applauds the commitment of the Chicago Transit Authority to make every mainline train station accessible for people with disabilities."

As a Veteran who lost both legs after her Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in Iraq, Senator Duckworth has been a vocal advocate for disability rights. In June, she helped introduce the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act to help improve protections for airplane passengers with disabilities, making air travel more equitable and accessible for all Americans. She has been outspoken against President Trump's proposed cuts to vital healthcare programs, noting how such cuts would be devastating for the health and wellbeing of millions of disabled Americans. Duckworth is a cosponsor of the Disability Integration Act, which would ensure that Americans with disabilities are given the option to live independent lives and access care in their community rather than being forced into institutional care.