May 30, 2024 - News

RTA wins grant to make Blue Line stations ADA accessible

Cleveland's RTA Blue Line light rail at a transit stop

The Blue Line stop at Shaker Square. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has been awarded millions in federal funding to make eight of its stations more accessible for Americans with disabilities.

The big picture: More than 900 transit stations nationwide built before 1990 — so-called "legacy stations" — are not in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  • The All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP), part of the 2021 Infrastructure Bill, provides capital funding to enhance these stations for the millions of Americans with mobility concerns.

Driving the news: Eight agencies across the country received money this year, including RTA's $16 million to go towards stops along the Rapid Transit Blue Line.

  • Per RTA, improvements will include replacing 40-year-old platforms with new concrete platforms with "tactile warning panels," installing new and redesigned ramps, and improving station access via parking lot curb ramps.
  • The stations scheduled for enhancements are Drexmore, South Woodland, Southington, Onaway, Ashby, Avalon, Kenmore, and Lynnfield.

Yes, but: Per the RTA, construction is still a couple years away.

Catch up quick: The agency also won an ASAP grant last year. The $8 million award will fund the reconstruction of the E. 79th Street station, servicing the light rail Blue and Green Lines.

What they're saying: RTA spokesman Bob Fleig told Axios that the E. 79th Street construction will likely begin in early 2025.

  • The Blue Line station improvements will follow, probably not until 2026.
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