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Encyclopedia > MBTA accessibility

As is true for most mass transit systems, much of the Boston subway and commuter rail lines were built before wheelchair access was a requirement. Fortunately, the Boston system underwent significant expansion in the 1980s and 1990s to ensure MBTA accessibility and all the new facilities are compliant. The MBTA has also refurbished many stations and these too are accessible. Additional improvements are in progress or planned. In the United States of America, transit describes local area common carrier passenger transportation configured to provide scheduled service on fixed routes on a non-reservation basis. ... The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is a quasi-governmental organization formed in 1964 that controls the subway, bus, commuter rail, and ferry systems in the Boston, Massachusetts area. ... The MBTA Commuter Rail is the regional rail arm of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. ... Wheelchair seating in a theater A lightweight manual wheelchair A wheelchair is a medical device that takes the form of a chair on wheels, used by people for whom walking is difficult or impossible due to illness or disability. ... The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is the short title of United States Public Law 101-336, 104 Stat. ... MacGyver is one of the symbols of the 1980s in America The 1980s decade refers to the years from 1980 to 1989, inclusive. ... The 1990s decade refers to the years from 1990 to 1999, inclusive. ... The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is a a body politic and corporate, and a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts [1] formed in 1964 to finance and operate most bus, subway, commuter rail and ferry systems in the greater Boston, Massachusetts, USA area. ... The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is a quasi-governmental organization formed in 1964 that controls the subway, bus, commuter rail, and ferry systems in the Boston, Massachusetts area. ...


Accessibility on the "T" generally means that some combination elevators and wheelchair ramps connect the street and station platform. The MBTA provides a phone number with recorded elevator, wheelchair lift and escalator updates: 1-617-222-2828 or 1-800-392-6100. Accessibility is a general term used to describe how easy it is for people to get to, use, and understand things. ...

Contents


Subway and commuter rail

  • All stations on the Orange Line, and most on the Red Line (except for the Mattapan Line, see below) are accessible and all have high level platforms on the same level as train car doors.
  • Stations on Blue Line are wheelchair accessible except for Maverick and the most important stations downtown. Currently (2005), only the outbound Blue Line platform at State Street is wheelchair accessible to the street. Inbound wheelchair users must take the Blue Line to Government Center and cross the platform there to an oubund Blue Line train and then take it to the accessible State Street platform. All Blue Line stations have high level platforms on the same level as train car doors. The MBTA has plans to make the remaining Blue Line stations fully accessible (except for Bowdoin, which will soon be closed permanently); reconstruction of the State Street station started in 2005.
  • The Green Line runs trolley cars and only newer vehicles (MBTA Type 8) have low-floor, wheelchair accessible entrances.

Access to the older high-floor vehicles requires either a portable lift or a wayside ramp equipped with a bridge that can be lowered into the vehicle through one of the doors. Only a few stations currently have matching platforms, although a few stations that lack such platforms have been equipped with portable lifts or wayside ramps. Use of the portable lifts to load and unload wheelchair-bound passengers requires considerable physical effort from the operator (usually the driver) and may require several minutes. The Orange Line is one of the four subway lines of the MBTA. It extends from Forest Hills in Jamaica Plain, Boston in the south to Oak Grove in Malden, Massachusetts in the north. ... View of Boston from the Red Line The Red Line is the newest of the MBTA rapid transit lines in the Boston, Massachusetts area. ... The Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line (or Mattapan-Ashmont Line, or just the M Line) is considered part of the MBTAs Red Line, even though it uses different equipment (trolleys) and passengers have to change at Ashmont. ... A Blue Line train at the recently rebuilt Logan Airport station. ... Maverick is a subway station on the Blue Line rapid transit line at Maverick Square in East Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. It is the easternmost underground station on the Blue Line, and a transfer point to various buses. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... State (often State Street) station of the MBTA is the transfer point between the Orange Line and the Blue Line. ... Bowdoin Station of the MBTA, is a station on the Blue Line, serving Bowdoin Square in Bostons Beacon Hill neighborhood. ... Two trains at Park Street. ... This article refers to the mass transit vehicle. ...


The low-floor wheelchair access is by means of a bridge plate that extends from the vehicle to the platform (which requires that the platform have been upgraded to match). This is much less demanding upon the operator and requires much less time than use of the portable lifts; however, it is often necessary to remind the driver of the need for the ramp to be extended when you have reached your destination; the blue button with the universal disabled symbol is for this purpose. Bridge plates are used on some low-floor light rail vehicles to provide for wheelchair access. ...

  • The Mattapan portion of the Red Line run runs older, high floor PCC trolley cars. As of 2005, only the first and last stations are accessible (using the same type of portable lifts as on the Green Line).
  • Of those MBTA commuter rail stations that have wheelchair access, most only have a short elevated platform that serves one or two cars. The short ramps are located at the end of the station away from Boston. A few commuter rail stations do have full length high platforms. These include:

See individual station articles for more information. The Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line (or Mattapan-Ashmont Line, or just the M Line) is considered part of the MBTAs Red Line, even though it uses different equipment (trolleys) and passengers have to change at Ashmont. ... A Twin City Rapid Transit PCC streetcar in museum operation. ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Platforms at North Station North Station, located at Causeway and Nashua Streets, in Boston, Massachusetts is a major transportation hub. ... Amtrak station in Providence, Rhode Island is served by Amtrak and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. ... Amtrak waiting area Route 128 Station, located at Exit 13 off Interstate 95/US 1 (known locally as Route 128), in Westwood, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. ... South Station, located at Atlantic Avenue and Summer Street, in Boston, Massachusetts is a major intermodal transportation hub. ... Back Bay Station, located at 145 Dartmouth Street, between Stuart Street and Columbus Avenue, in Back Bay, Boston, is an important transportation center. ... Union Station, Worcester Union Station is located at Washington Square in downtown in Worcester, Massachusetts. ... Anderson Regional Transportation Center (RTC) is located at 100 Atlantic Ave. ... Newburyport is a small coastal city located in Essex County, Massachusetts. ... Rowley may refer to geographical places: Rowley (town), Massachusetts Rowley (CDP), Massachusetts Rowley, Iowa Rowley, East Riding of Yorkshire, England Rowley, a former parish in Barnet, London Other locations with Rowley inside: Rowley Hill Rowleys House, Museum, Shrewsbury (England) Rowley Island Rowley Mile Rowley Regis Rowley Shoals Rowley Shoals...


Center island stations

Most MBTA subway stations have side platforms but a few have island platforms. The latter make it easier for wheelchair passengers to reverse direction, either because they missed a stop, or because the elevator on one side of a station is out of service (a problem frequently noted on the MBTA's web site). Some of these stations are not accessible to wheelchair users wishing to leave or enter them, but nevertheless play a vital role in the handicapped accessibility of other stations, which may not (yet) have a complete set of elevators. Center island MBTA subway stations are: Side platforms Railway stations on double lines can have side platforms or island platforms. ... An island platform on a railway is one in which a single platform is provided for two tracks, usually on the same line but in opposite directions. ...


Blue Line

  • Bowdoin (currently, no elevator access is available to or from this platform, so wheelchair users can only use it to transfer between inbound and outbound trains; this station will never be modernized, and is scheduled to be closed permanently a few years from now, once the MBTA begins to run 6-car trains on the Blue Line)
  • Government Center (currently, no elevator access is available to or from this platform, so wheelchair users can only use it to transfer between inbound and outbound trains; this station is scheduled to be rebuilt to include handicapped-accessibility within the next few years; even though this station is not itself currently accessible, it plays a critical role in wheelchair accessibility of State Street station, which on the Blue Line only has an elevator on the outbound side)
  • Maverick (currently, no elevator access is available to or from this platform, so wheelchair users can only use it to transfer between inbound and outbound trains; reconstruction of this station to include handicapped-accessibility started in late 2005)

A Blue Line train at the recently rebuilt Logan Airport station. ... Bowdoin Station of the MBTA, is a station on the Blue Line, serving Bowdoin Square in Bostons Beacon Hill neighborhood. ... Government Center Station of the MBTA, located at the intersection of Tremont, Court and Cambridge Streets in the Government Center neighborhood of Boston, is the main transfer point between the Green Line and the Blue Line. ... State (often State Street) station of the MBTA is the transfer point between the Orange Line and the Blue Line. ... Maverick is a subway station on the Blue Line rapid transit line at Maverick Square in East Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. It is the easternmost underground station on the Blue Line, and a transfer point to various buses. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Green Line

  • North Station (inbound track: in this case, the island platform is between the Green Line and Orange Line inbound tracks; elevators provide access to the outbound tracks of both lines)
  • Haymarket
  • Government Center (three track island: the platform is a distorted triangle between the southbound and two northbound tracks, of which one is a through track and the other is a turnaround loop that receives southbound trains from Haymarket and sends them back north; as of 2005, this platform is not handicapped-accessible, but a rebuild is scheduled to start within the next few years)
  • Park Street (2 islands, one between the two southbound tracks and one between the two northbound tracks, the outer of which also has a side platform; elevators are available to both the Red Line island platform (see below) and a separate tunnel that has been built solely to connect Green Line passengers from one platform to the other)
  • Kenmore (2 islands, one between the two outbound tracks and one between the two inbound tracks; as of 2005, neither platform is handicapped-accessible, but reconstruction of Kenmore Station started in 2005, scheduled to be completed in 2007, at which point the station should become handicapped-accessible; so far this station has an elevator from the surface to the unpaid part of the fare collection lobby, but no elevators thus far from the paid part of the fare collection lobby to the platforms)

Two trains at Park Street. ... Platforms at North Station North Station, located at Causeway and Nashua Streets, in Boston, Massachusetts is a major transportation hub. ... The Orange Line is one of the four subway lines of the MBTA. It extends from Forest Hills in Jamaica Plain, Boston in the south to Oak Grove in Malden, Massachusetts in the north. ... Haymarket Station is a MBTA station on the Green and Orange lines, located at the corner of Congress and New Sudbury St. ... Government Center Station of the MBTA, located at the intersection of Tremont, Court and Cambridge Streets in the Government Center neighborhood of Boston, is the main transfer point between the Green Line and the Blue Line. ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Park Street Station, Green Line platforms, December 2004 Park Street Station, Red Line platforms, January 2005 Park Street Station of the MBTA, located at the intersection Park Street and Tremont Street in Boston, is the main transfer point between the Green Line and the Red Line. ... View of Boston from the Red Line The Red Line is the newest of the MBTA rapid transit lines in the Boston, Massachusetts area. ... Kenmore Station is a subway stop on Bostons MBTA, located in Kenmore Square. ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) will be a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Orange Line

The Orange Line is one of the four subway lines of the MBTA. It extends from Forest Hills in Jamaica Plain, Boston in the south to Oak Grove in Malden, Massachusetts in the north. ... Oak Grove Station is an MBTA station on the Orange Line, located in the northern part of Malden, Massachusetts near the intersection of Winter Street and Main Street. ... Malden Center Station is an MBTA station on the Orange Line, located on Pleasant Street in the center part of the U.S. city of Malden, Massachusetts. ... Wellington Station is a MBTA station on the Orange Line, located in Medford on the Revere Beach Parkway (a. ... Community College Station is an MBTA station on the Orange Line, located in Charlestown, Massachusetts (a neighborhood of Boston) near the intersection of Rutherford Avenue and Austin Street. ... Back Bay Station, located at 145 Dartmouth Street, between Stuart Street and Columbus Avenue, in Back Bay, Boston, is an important transportation center. ... Forest Hills Station is a station on the MBTA Orange Line, located in the southern part of Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts between the intersection of Washington Street and Hyde Park Avenue and the intersection of Center Street and South Street. ...

Red Line

  • Alewife
  • Davis
  • Porter (although the platforms are between the tracks, they are split, thus requiring use of an elevator to transfer between outbound and inbound)
  • Harvard (actually a hybrid island/side platform station, in which both platforms are on the west side of their respective tracks; platforms are connected by a sequence of two ramps that run downhill from the outbound platform to the lower turnstyle area and thence to the inbound platform)
  • Park Street (has both island and side platforms; only island has elevator access)
  • Broadway
  • JFK/UMass (there are separate islands for each branch of the Red line)
  • Savin Hill (last center island on Ashmont branch)
  • All stations between North Quincy and Braintree; however, Wollaston is currently not accessible

View of Boston from the Red Line The Red Line is the newest of the MBTA rapid transit lines in the Boston, Massachusetts area. ... T sign and top of glass pyramid from roof-level parking deck of Alewife Station, September 2004 Alewife Station, located at the intersection of Alewife Brook Parkway and Cambridgepark Drive in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a local intermodal transportation hub. ... Davis Station is located at the intersection of Holland Street, Elm Street, and College Avenue (Davis Square), in Somerville. ... Porter Station, Inbound Platform, January 2005 Porter Station is a railroad station in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... Harvard Station, September 2004 Harvard is a station on the Red Line subway at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Brattle Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... Park Street Station, Green Line platforms, December 2004 Park Street Station, Red Line platforms, January 2005 Park Street Station of the MBTA, located at the intersection Park Street and Tremont Street in Boston, is the main transfer point between the Green Line and the Red Line. ... JFK/UMass Station is located at the intersection of Columbia Road and Morrissey Boulevard, in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. ... Savin Hill now newly rebuilt is located on 215 Savin Hill Road in Dorchester Massachusetts just outside of Boston and just stops away from Ashmont Dorchester. ... North Quincy is a station on the Red Line subway at East Squantum Street between Hancock Street and Newport Avenue in Quincy, Massachusetts, and serves North Quincy High School, the State Street Bank complex, and the Atlantic and Montclair neighborhoods. ... Braintree Station Braintree Station, located at Ivory and Union Streets in Braintree, Massachusetts 42. ...

Buses

The MBTA is replacing the oldest part of its bus fleet with new buses that have flip-out wheelchair ramps at the front doorway. This is an incomplete solution at best, though, as it often requires an extended stop while the driver assists the wheelchair-bound patron to a secure place at the front of the bus.


Many of the T's trolleybuses have been replaced with low floor units. All Silver Line vehicles are accessible. Trolleybus public transfer in Bratislava, Slovakia A trolleybus (also known as electric bus, trolley bus, trolley coach, trackless trolley, trackless tram or simply trolley) is a bus powered by two overhead electric wires, from which it draws electricity using two trolley poles. ... Map The Silver Line is the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authoritys (MBTAs) sole Bus Rapid Transit line, running in two, unconnected sections, from Dudley Square in Roxbury to downtown Boston, Massachusetts and from South Station to several points in South Boston and to Logan Airport in East Boston. ...


The T also has paratransit program, called The Ride which provides lift-equipped vans to transport people who cannot use general public transportation because of a physical, cognitive or mental disability, including those who use wheelchairs. Paratransit is an alternative mode of passenger transportation which does not follow fixed routes or schedules, like a bus line. ...


Visually Impaired

"Service animals are allowed on the T during all hours of operation, but must be kept under control at all times. No certification is required, nor is the animal expected to wear a special harness, scarf or other identifying markings." MBTA Web site, 2004 A service dog, a type of assistance dog, is a dog that is specially trained to help people who have disabilities with everyday tasks. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Recorded station announcements are sometimes hard to understand. Most, but not all, stations have yellow warning strips with bumps at the edge of the platforms.


Buses and trains are supposed to have either recorded announcements or driver announcements of station stops, but these announcements are often muffled, inaudible, or omitted, particularly on the Green Line and buses.


Hearing Impaired

The MBTA has a TTY number for "T" information: (617) 222-5146. Many stations have TTY pay phones. The MBTA web site has a list. A telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) is an electronic device for text communication via a telephone line, used when one or more of the parties has hearing or speech difficulties. ...


External links

  • MBTA Web site

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