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U.S. Access Board Advisory Committee Submits Report on Rail Car Accessibility

July 30, 2015
Source: U.S. Access Board

The Rail Vehicles Access Advisory Committee (RVAAC) has submitted to the U.S. Access Board a final report on refreshing the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles. The committees report provides detailed recommendations on updating provisions in the guidelines for fixed guideway systems, including rapid, light, commuter, intercity, and high speed rail. Recommendations from the committee address rail car communications, boarding and alighting, on-board circulation, seating, and rooms and spaces.

The advisory committee, which the Board organized in 2013, includes representatives from advocacy organizations, transit operators, rail car manufacturers, and other stakeholders. Committee members reviewed the existing ADA guidelines and identified areas that need to be updated because of accessibility issues, advances in technology, changes in car design, and other factors.

Committee and subcommittee chairs briefed members of the Board on the report at a presentation on July 29. They highlighted key findings and recommendations of the report. These include recommendations for enhanced communication access through hearing induction loops, visual message systems, and tactile signs, greater use of level boarding, reducing gaps between vehicles and station platforms, and improved toilet room design.

At a later date, the Board will propose updates to its ADA vehicle guidelines based on the committees report and will make them available for public comment. The Board is currently finalizing updates to sections of the vehicle guidelines covering buses and vans, which were previously released for public comment.

The committees report and related material is available on the Boards website at For further information, contact Paul Beatty at, (202) 272-0012 (v), or (202) 272-0072 (TTY).

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