National Council on Disability Document Archive

S1041, Accessible Transportation Act

Posted by: Jamal Mazrui
Date Mailed: Thursday, July 24th 1997 03:12 PM

               Congressional Record dated Monday, July 21, 1997
                                Senate Section
Remarks by KERRY, JOHN (D-MA) on S. 1041
         Accessible Transportation Act of 1997 [CR page S-7770, 63 lines]
                  Attributed to KERRY, JOHN (D-MA)
        By Mr. KERRY:
    S. 1041. A bill to amend section 5314 of title 49, United States Code, to
  assist compliance with the transit provisions of the Americans with
  Disabilities Act of 1990; to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban

    Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, today I am introducing the Accessible
  Transportation Act of 1997. This legislation will continue the progress we
  have made improving access to transportation services for individuals with
    There are 25 million Americans with disabilities who are transit dependent.
  Access to transportation for these Americans is the critical factor that
  determines whether they can pursue opportunities in employment, education,
  housing, and recreation. I believe that assuring access to transportation is
  critical to promoting maximum independence and achieving meaningful
  integration for persons with disabilities.
    In 1987, Congress created Project Action to promote transportation
  accessibility and to enhance cooperation between transit providers and the
  disability community.
    In 1990, Congress passed the Americans With Disabilities Act [ADA] to
  ensure that every American has access to transportation, buildings and other
  necessary locations, services, and activities which are essential to lead an
  active life. The ADA guarantees equality of accessibility for all Americans
  regardless of the challenges that their disabilities present.
    In order to facilitate the implementation of the transportation provisions
  included in ADA, I sponsored the Accessible Transportation Action Act of 1991
  which was included in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of
  1991. This legislation authorized funding of $2 million each year for the
  Easter Seals Society to undertake a national program of research,
  demonstrations, and technical assistance to provide new solutions to the
  problems of providing transportation for persons with disabilities. Project
  Action has become the Nation's foremost resource for information and guidance
  on implementing the transportation provisions of ADA.
    The National Easter Seals Society has administered Project Action and has
  assisted in building strong working relationships between transit operators,
  disability organizations, and the U.S. Department of Transportation in order
  to find cost-effective ways to promote transportation accessibility.
    Project Action has developed an impressive resource center of informational
  materials for a wide variety of transit and disability community audiences on
  the nature and progress of ADA implementation. It has initiated consumer
  campaigns to insure that people with disabilities are aware of their rights.
    The positive effects that have developed from Project Action activities
  have been impressive. Nationwide bus fleet accessibility has grown. Rail
  station access has increased. Paratransit services have improved and
  expanded. And the disability and transit communities have learned how to work
  together to promote accessible transportation.
    However, there are a number of challenges which remain in order to assure
  that the disabled have full access to transportation services. The chief
  concern is how to insure the implementation of ADA in the most cost-effective
  manner. Paratransit costs are high and resources are limited. At the same
  time, overall Federal assistance for transportation and mass transit has been
  limited. America needs Project Action to continue to find innovative ways to
  allow every disabled person to gain equal access to our Nation's public
  transportation systems.
    Therefore, I am today introducing legislation which will continue the
  Project Action for the next 5 fiscal years to continue the vital process of
  implementing the transportation facets of the Americans with Disabilities

               S.1041 As introduced in the Senate, July 21, 1997               
  105th CONGRESS
    1st Session
                                     S. 1041
  To amend section 5314 of title 49, United States Code, to assist compliance
      with the transit provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of
                       IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
                                  July 21, 1997
  Mr. Kerry introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to
      the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

                                     A BILL
  To amend section 5314 of title 49, United States Code, to assist compliance
      with the transit provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of

      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
  States of America in Congress assembled,

      This Act may be cited as the "Accessible Transportation Act of 1997".

      (a) In General.--Section 5314(a)(2) of title 49, United States Code, is
  amended by striking "$2,000,000" and inserting "$3,000,000 in each fiscal
      (b) Reauthorization.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, not
  less than $3,000,000 is authorized to be appropriated from the Mass Transit
  Account of the Highway Trust Fund for each of fiscal years 1998 through 2002
  for the Secretary of Transportation to carry out section 5314(a) of title 49,
  United States Code.

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