Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

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SEPTA's Achievements Under ADA

As SEPTA observes the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is also appropriate to celebrate SEPTA's dedication to maintaining an accessible system and continuously working to enable customers with disabilities to travel independently on regular public transportation through accessible vehicles, facilities and services. SEPTA understands the critical role of public transit in making independence and mobility possible for the disabled citizens of our five-county service region. We are dedicated to making it easier for customers to use our fixed route and paratransit services through a comprehensive program of accessibility improvements - fleet enhancements, station construction, and other service initiatives.

Since ADA's passage on July 26, 1990, SEPTA has come a long way. Today, SEPTA has a total of 93 accessible stations and 85 elevators throughout its multi-modal system. SEPTA is also a national leader in elevator maintenance and works aggressively to maximize elevator availability and reliability for rail transit and commuter rail customers.

As SEPTA's ADA Coordinator, Cynthia Lister is responsible for the accessibility of SEPTA's stations, vehicles and services. She works with Engineering, New Vehicles, and Operations to assure that riders with disabilities receive safe, professional, customer-focused service that meets ADA requirements. This means being out in the system on a daily basis, riding and checking stations and elevators, but also ADA training, reviewing accessibility and disability-related customer complaints, and working in partnership with the regional disability community. An 18-year SEPTA veteran, Lister also serves as liaison to the independent Philadelphia Shared-Ride Program Advisory Council and SEPTA Advisory Committee for Accessible Transportation (SAC).

Lister said, "Accessibility is central to today's station construction and design. Every aspect of SEPTA service reflects a commitment to make our system accessible to and usable by all our customers."

"We look at accessibility broadly, in terms of vehicles, stations and services including customer service, website, and public information. All this is supported with comprehensive training," she added.

Over the past 20 years, SEPTA has made great strides in system accessibility, with its 100 percent accessible bus fleet of over 1,400 vehicles (50 percent low-floor), accessible subway cars, new Silverliner V rail cars now in production, and bridgeplates at accessible subway and Regional Rail stations. Supporting this effort are a broad range of travel instruction, vehicle and system familiarization and boarding practice programs for riders with disabilities, the Service Animals In Training initiative, accessible SEPTA website, and Service Quality Monitoring Agents, who ride undercover to report on service.

SEPTA also has one of the largest paratransit service programs in the nation, with an average of 7,500 to 8,000 trips scheduled each weekday.

"Accessibility is ongoing for SEPTA. This anniversary marks a landmark but it is just the beginning, said Lister. SEPTA's job is getting people where they need to go and that means everybody."

ADA coordinator Cynthia Lister works with various departments to ensure accessibility at stations, vehicles and services.

A customer boards a SEPTA bus.

A visually impaired rider boards a SEPTA low-floor bus.

A passenger using a wheelchair exits a train on the Market-Frankford Line.

A customer uses a SEPTA elevator.