CTA to install 1,300 tactile signs on bus stops to help riders with visual impairments
The No. 20 Madison route features the new signs but crews will add them along 11 other routes over the next few months.
The Chicago Transit Authority has begun installing more than 1,300 tactile signs across a dozen bus routes as the agency works to improve transportation for people with visual impairments.
The pilot, which was launched Tuesday, is designed to make boarding locations for bus stops easier to identify for riders who are blind or have low vision.
“As part of our ongoing dialogue with members of the disability community, we learned that many who were blind or low vision would often avoid taking the bus, opting for paratransit or rail service out of frustration from being unable to confidently locate a bus stop,” CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. said in a statement.
Carter said the goal of the pilot is “to create and test a practical solution to help remove a barrier” that some riders face and “ensure everyone has convenient access to affordable and reliable public transit service.”
The 4-by-6.5-inch signs are solid blue with a white border. They also feature the words “BUS STOP” in Braille and a raised typeface. These signs will be centered on poles of existing bus stops between 4 feet and 6 feet off the ground.
The No. 20 Madison route features the new signs but crews will add them to bus stops along 11 other routes over the next few months:
- No. 4 Cottage Grove
- No. X4 Cottage Grove Express
- No. 9 Ashland
- No. X9 Ashland Express
- No. 12 Roosevelt
- No. 49 Western
- No. X49 Western Express
- No. 63 63rd
- No. 66 Chicago
- No. 79 79th
- No. 157 Streeterville/Taylor
Rachel Arfa, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, welcomed the new signs and applauded the CTA for seeking input from riders with disabilities.
The pilot is part of the CTA’s efforts to improve services outlined in its “Meeting the Moment: Transforming CTA’s Post-Pandemic Future.” That plan, released earlier this month, is a road map for how CTA looks to improve many issues facing one of the largest transit systems in the country.
The CTA said that even though the installation of these tactile signs isn’t required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, it furthers the agency’s efforts to be more equitable among its riders — and possibly bring back new riders.
This effort also runs parallel with CTA’s All Station Accessibility Program that looks to make the 42 remaining non-accessible rail stations vertically accessible via elevators over the next 20 years.