Metro launches priority seating campaign
Priority seats are meant for people with disabilities, senior citizens
Metro is reminding riders that priority seats located near the center doors of every rail car are meant for people with disabilities and senior citizens.
As part of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), public transit authorities are required to make priority seating available for people with disabilities and senior citizens. “Metro has complied with this law since its inception and is considered one of the most accessible transit systems in the world,” said Glenn Millis, Metro’s ADA Program Director.
While the ADA requires Metro to provide priority seating, it does not allow Metro to enforce it. “Not all disabilities are visible, and it might not always be obvious when a person needs a seat,” said Millis. “For those reasons, we are asking customers to do the right thing and make sure that priority seats are available for people who really need them.”
New signs with arrows pointing to the priority seats have been installed in each rail car as a reminder to customers that those seats are designated for people with disabilities and senior citizens.
In addition to the new signs, Metro is placing ads inside rail cars and Metrorail stations, and announcements are being made on trains and in stations. Metro staff will hand out a brochure with tips to customers today (May 18) as they exit busy Metrorail stations, including those at Metro Center, L’Enfant Plaza, Union Station, Gallery Pl-Chinatown, Farragut West, Farragut North and Dupont Circle Metrorail stations.
Customers are asked to be courteous to fellow passengers, pay attention to their surroundings and keep priority seats available for people who need them. Metro also is encouraging customers who need a seat to be proactive. “If you need a seat, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for one,” Millis recommended.
Metro created a straight-to-YouTube video that highlights customer etiquette, including priority seating, and safety tips. The video can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIr8F1KdveQ.
For more information about accessibility in the Metro system, visit http://www.wmata.com/accessibility or call 202-962-1100 (TTY 202-962-2033).
Media contact for this news release: Angela Gates or Lisa Farbstein at 202-962-1051.
News release issued at 8:49 am, May 18, 2009.