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Molinaro Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Force Amtrak To Be ADA Compliant

Molinaro: Amtrak Has Neglected Its Responsibility To Make Trains & Rail Stations Accessible to Individuals with Disabilities

Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY-19) today introduced the Think DIFFERENTLY Transportation Act, a bipartisan bill to compel Amtrak to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The effort builds off Rep. Molinaro’s nationally recognized ‘Think DIFFERENTLY’ initiative, which breaks down barriers for individuals with disabilities. Rep. Molinaro introduced this bill with U.S. Reps. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ-10), Troy Nehls (R-TX-22), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Jenniffer Gonzales-Colon (R-PR), Chris Pappas (D-NH-1), and Andre Carson (D-IN-7).

The ADA passed in 1990 and established a 20-year timeframe for intercity rail stations to be accessible to those with disabilities. From 2017 to 2021, Amtrak received $275 million in federal funds for accessibility upgrades and continues to receive near this amount through 2025. However, as of July 2023, Amtrak has only made 30% of its 385 stations accessible to those with disabilities.

Rep. Molinaro’s bill compels Amtrak to address the dire need for accessibility upgrades by directing the agency to commission a report to Congress on its ADA compliance for all its trains and rail stations. The report also requires Amtrak to provide a deadline for when the upgrades will be completed by. 

Rep. Molinaro said, “Thirty years after the Americans with Disabilities Act passed – Amtrak’s leadership still has work to do to meet the law and make trains and rail stations accessible to individuals of all disabilities. My bipartisan bill forces the issue.”

A member of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, Rep. Molinaro has supported Amtrak and its local workforce, and even bucked his own party over proposed deep cuts to the agency. However, during a recent hearing, Rep. Molinaro grilled Amtrak’s CEO for the agency’s lack of attention given to individuals with disabilities.