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Rep. Molinaro's Bill To Make Amtrak ADA Compliant Passes House With Bipartisan Support

Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY-19) announced the Think DIFFERENTLY Transportation Act passed the House of Representatives last night with bipartisan support. He introduced this bill alongside 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). This is Rep. Molinaro's 39th bipartisan measure to pass the House. He has gotten 11 bipartisan measures signed into law. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (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 still has work to do to become ADA compliant. My bipartisan bill forces their hand to ensure all trains and stations are accessible for individuals with disabilities. I’m grateful to have this bill pass the House with immense bipartisan support, bringing us one step closer to an inclusive and accessible environment for those of all abilities."

In 2015, Rep. Molinaro launched the ‘Think DIFFERENTLY’ initiative, which aims to break down barriers for individuals with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities. In Congress, Rep. Molinaro has built on the effort by crafting a package of bipartisan legislation. The Think DIFFERENTLY Transportation Act was a part of this package.