Metro and Valley Metro Honored for Helping People With Disabilities

The Arizona Disability Advocacy Coalition, which has numerous Valley organizations as members, is giving Metro Light Rail and Valley metro an award for helping the disabled. Valley Metro runs the Valley's buses and oversees the light rail system.

The public transportation agencies were chosen for the group's American Disabilities Act Liberty Progress Award because they involved passengers with disabilities "in the design, development and execution of Valley transit services," Metro announced today.

Metro Light Rail officials met with disability advocates from the first blueprints to opening day, making sure their concerns were addressed, Metro says. Valley Metro, meanwhile, regularly gets input from disabled people for new designs or retrofits of existing vehicles.

To cite one example we noticed while using the trains in recent months: The train doors lead to a wide space just inside each car that seems plenty big enough to roll a wheelchair on board.

Awards for the transit agencies and other entities that help the disabled will be presented at a ceremony this Friday at the State Capitol. For more information, call AzDAC at (602) 262-2900.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.