A Malvern Patch reader who watched the $9.2 million renovation of the Malvern SEPTA station has been wondering something.
Rob Anderson, a daily rail commuter for more than 12 years, writes:
[T]hey installed all the ADA required ramps, etc. and that is great. But, how can a person in a wheelchair get onto the train? Has SEPTA made any indication of how they are going to install ramps for riders to get on/off the train?
We reached out to SEPTA, and spokesperson Kristin Geiger explained that there's currently no way for someone in a wheelchair to board the train in Malvern, despite the many new ramps. They can, however, request free transportation from Malvern to a nearby station with a high-level platform.
High-level platforms will be installed in Malvern someday, when the funding is available, Geiger said.
The full SEPTA response is below:
The improvements made to Malvern Station were extremely important as we not only improved pedestrian safety and increased parking - we were able to bring the station one step closer to being Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible. Under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, SEPTA was able to fund the construction of a new pedestrian tunnel and reconfiguration of the parking lots at the Malvern Station to improve pedestrian and vehicle access and safety. With pedestrian safety being a top priority, a new pedestrian tunnel was constructed between the inbound and outbound platforms to provide safe access to both sides of the station.
In order to accommodate the new pedestrian tunnel and conform to ADA regulations, the existing stairways had to be replaced and accessible ramps installed. This work was designed to accommodate the future installation of high-level platforms at Malvern Station. High-level platforms provide all passengers level boarding access to all cars from the platform. With the current lack of available capital funding, SEPTA is progressing many projects on in a phased approach.
Currently, SEPTA has over 100 stations that are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs. Of these stations, 64 are located on the Regional Rail System. On the Paoli/Thorndale Line, there are 5 accessible stations with 2 more scheduled to be accessible at the end of 2013. Passengers requiring level boarding near Malvern can board SEPTA Regional Rail trains at Exton or Berwyn Stations. Both of these stations are fully ADAaccessible through the use of mini-high platforms.
Free transportation is also available to or from the nearest accessible boarding location for paratransit registrants. To learn more about paratransit service, please contact SEPTA Customized Community Transit (CCT) Customer Service weekdays at 215-580-7145.