Blind World

BART increases safety to aid blind and visually impaired riders.

March 04, 2005., San Francisco.

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) has increased safety for blind and visually impaired riders by adding directional tiles at train platforms in all 43 stations. The tiles guide passengers to train doors for boarding. By locating the directional tiles on the platform, a blind or visually impaired rider will be better able to locate a door when a train arrives regardless of train length.

BART trains vary in length from three to ten cars, depending on the time of day and expected number of riders. The new tiles, which are made of a rubber-like material and are thicker than the platform surface, assure riders they are at a section of the platform where a train will stop regardless of its length.

The addition of the new tiles is the latest step in BART's effort to provide safe, accessible transportation to all Bay Area residents. BART's Accessibility Task Force initially suggested the project. Now other transit systems, including Washington, D.C.'s Metro, are exploring this new safety measure.

BART already provides audio destination information at stations and on trains, an edge tile along the length of the platform and holes in BART tickets in the front left corner to assist blind and visually impaired passengers.

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