Skip Navigation
Back to Home Page Search
January 25, 2022Advocacy Matters

Amtrak ADA Station Improvements

Disability Matters with Joyce Bender

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

#AdvocacyMatters Segment

Amtrak ADA Station Improvements

Listen Here to Advocacy Matters

Since October 2017, Amtrak has brought 36 train stations into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities. 312 train stations remain out of compliance. Amtrak has a plan to bring those remaining 312 train stations into compliance with the ADA over the next 6 years.  

A recently released report from the Amtrak Office of Inspector General shows a need for better planning and coordination at Amtrak if the train expects to meet its compliance obligations over the next 6 years. 

Even though the ADA became law in 1990, Amtrak had until 2010 to ensure that train stations were accessible to people with disabilities. Amtrak missed that deadline but set out a plan to make progress towards accessibility. Unfortunately, little progress was made.  

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice concluded that Amtrak had not complied with the ADA and negotiated a settlement agreement in December 2020. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Amtrak had to structure a plan to achieve compliance. Amtrak’s new plan calls for compliance by 2027. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Amtrak had set up a fund to compensate individuals with disabilities who experienced accessibility discrimination at their train stations. The New York Times reported that Amtrak paid out more than $2 million dollars to over 1,500 people with disabilities. 

In Pennsylvania, Amtrak announced on January 10 that renovations were completed at its Middletown train station. The renovations included accessibility improvements that now bring the station into compliance with the ADA. 


Disability rights groups, under the umbrella of the National Disability Rights Network, undertook a survey of Amtrak and published a report in 2013 that documented Amtrak’s noncompliance with the ADA. It was NDRN’s report that helped push the U.S. Department of Justice to negotiate the settlement agreement with Amtrak. 



U.S. Department of Justice Settlement Agreement with Amtrak 

National Disability Rights Network’s 2013 Report: All Aboard, (Except People with Disabilities)  

Amtrak Office of Inspector General Report  

New York Times Article, January 12, 2022: Amtrak Pays $2 Million Dollars to Passengers with Disabilities Who Faced Obstacles at Stations