The Federal Transit Administration is making $343 million available for FY 2024 to retrofit or replace some of the country’s busiest transit terminals through its All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP).
Although many of America’s oldest cities have well-established public transit systems, many of their facilities were built before the ADA was implemented in 1990. ASAP, which was established in 2022 via the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA), supports upgrades to subway, commuter rail and light rail systems to fully serve riders with disabilities and mobility issues.
“Public transit ought to be reliable, safe, and accessible for anyone who wants to use it,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We are proud to open applications for another round of grants so that people with disabilities or those with limited mobility can better access transit stations.”
The IIJA will provide a total of $1.75 billion for the program through FY 2026. For FY 2022 and 2023, 15 projects in nine states received $686 million to support projects through the ASAP program.
While it’s no surprise to see cities like New York and Chicago topping a list in a study of global transit-friendly cities, places like Seattle and Pittsburgh are building their reputations as public transportation meccas.
Buoyed by $28.4 million in ASAP funding, Pittsburgh Regional Transit announced it would build four new ADA-compliant light rail systems. Station projects will include installing elevated platforms for level boarding, platform shelters, ramps, accessible signage and auditory support.
Seattle will use its $15 million ASAP grant to rehabilitate its historic Seattle Center Monorail Station, the centerpiece of a climate-friendly system that has been serving residents since 1962. Full ADA-compliance will be achieved by leveling the station platform, making ramp, lighting and tactile wayfinding improvements and creating a second accessible entrance. While the full price tag of the Seattle rehab is $23 million, additional funding being will be provided by Move Ahead Washington ($5 million) and the Puget Sound Regional Council ($2 million).
State and local authorities eligible for ASAP funding include state and local government authorities. Prospective funding should be considered for facilities currently inaccessible to people with disabilities and mobility issues.
Projects can include repairs, improvements or modifications and retrofits or relocation of passenger facilities. These may include essential, load-bearing parts of a structural frame, to meet or exceed current standards set by ADA.
Completed proposals must be submitted by Jan 30, 2024.
Photo courtesy of Train2104