Chicago Awarded Federal Funding for Accessible Train Stations

The city received a federal grant geared toward improving accessibility at CTA and Metra stations, close to a third of which lack ADA compliance.

1 minute read

December 20, 2022, 8:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

View from back of person in black clothes and hat waiting to board train at Chicago train station with blurry train in front of them.

D Guest Smith / Chicago train station

[Updated on December 20, 2022]

Chicago transit agencies will receive $185 million in federal funds targeted to accessibility improvements at Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Metra stations, according to an article by Alice Yin in the Chicago Tribune. Of its 145 stations, CTA has 42 non-ADA-compliant stops.

“The largest award for the city will be $118.5 million, for the CTA to modernize its Irving Park, Belmont and Pulaski stations to be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.” The funding will also extend to the 59th/60th Metra Electric station and the 95th Street-Chicago State University station.

The federal program funding the project, called the All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP), awarded 15 grants in nine states, all of which require the funding to support renovating inaccessible rail facilities built before 1990. “More than 900 such legacy stations remain inaccessible today, the federal government estimates.” In 2018, CTA pledged to make all of its stations accessible by 2038, a timeline unacceptable to disability advocates like Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, who herself uses a wheelchair. Prior to the passage of the infrastructure bill, which superseded her proposal, Duckworth introduced legislation to increase funding for accessibility.

Also attracting media attention for their accessibility grants are transit systems in Pittsburgh, New Jersey, and Cleveland. The ASAP was created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Monday, December 19, 2022 in Chicago Tribune

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