Attorney General Lockyer, Metrolink Officials Unveil Improvements Making Mass Transit Accessible to Visually-Impaired Commuters

Court Settlement Results in Raised Lettering, Braille and Tactile Instructions

Thursday, April 24, 2003
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(LOS ANGELES) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today unveiled improvements at Metrolink stations across Southern California that will make the commuter rail network more accessible to visually-impaired commuters.

"Providing raised lettering, Braille and tactile instructions on ticket machines will ensure that visually-impaired Californians can join other Southern California commuters who rely on Metrolink to get where they need to go," Lockyer said. "The improvements made here not only bolster the ability of all Californians to safely use this commuter rail system, but also go a long way in helping curb traffic congestion and pollution."

"As a public agency, Metrolink has a civic responsibility and a moral duty to provide equal access for all. We are pleased to demonstrate the improvements we've made for thousands of Southern California commuters," said Bill Alexander, Chairman of the Metrolink Board of Directors. "In addition, we've pledged to make the system even more user-friendly to visually-impaired commuters by phasing in audio instructions and services when we install video instructions at our stations."

The improvements were the result of a settlement agreement reached in December between the Attorney General's Civil Rights Section and the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) over alleged violations of public access laws. Under the agreement, SCRRA agreed to retrofit each of its 109 Metrolink ticket vending machines with raised lettering, Braille instructions and tactile graphics to help visually-impaired commuters check instructions and schedules and purchase tickets.

The investigation into accessibility at Metrolink was sparked by a complaint received by the Attorney General's Office from a citizen regarding problems disabled commuters faced when trying to connect from Metrolink to local transportation at the East Portal of the Los Angeles Union Station. A series of meetings led to a resolution on the lack of access regarding ticket machines at that location. However, the Attorney General's Office investigation revealed problems with access throughout Metrolink's 53 stations.

The Metrolink rail network serves commuters in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. It provides an estimated 9 million passenger trips a year.

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