FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 12, 2009
In a landmark decision for people with disabilities in the Philadelphia area, Disabled in Action of Pennsylvania (DIA) won a hard-fought victory in a case against the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) on Friday, September 11.
DIA brought the case against SEPTA, claiming that the agency failed to provide a means of access for people with disabilities to its 15th and Market Street stop on the Market-Frankford El, and to its City Hall Stop on the Broad Street Subway Line, both of which are principal hubs for Center City commuters and historical district visitors.
SEPTA had considered the construction of an accessible elevator to these stops “the fruitless expenditure of scare resources.” DIA brought suit on the grounds that the omission of such accessible features constituted a violation of the rights of disabled public transit users under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Commenting on Friday’s judgment in DIA’s favor, Thomas Earle, CEO of Liberty Resources, Inc., Philadelphia’s Center for Independent Living for people with disabilities in Philadelphia, said, "SEPTA can no longer omit ADA access compliance from its major transit construction projects and planning. This major court decision will help ensure that SEPTA plans and makes its transit accessible to all riders, including riders with disabilities who use wheelchairs."