Eyes on the Street: Will Mandatory TAP Strand Disabled Passengers?

Exit to Hope Street...Unless you are in a wheel chair. Photo: Erik Griswold/Flickr

While just about everyone that doesn’t work for Metro or sit on their Board of Directors has major reservations about mandating TAP card ownership and locking fare gates at Metro rail stations, reader Erik Griswold has found a major issue that Metro has to address…that locking the gates could force handicapped passengers (or anyone needing an elevator) to have to pay multiple times or be re-routed in odd ways to leave the station.

The above picture was taken at 7th Street/Metro Center Station which serves both the Blue and Expo Light Rail Lines and the Red and Purple HRT/Subway lines.  Griswold explains:

ADA faregate, which is soon to be locked, leads to a lobby with no elevator to the surface. Once out of the paid-fare area, the wheelchair-or-other-elevator-dependent customer will have to purchase a new ticket (on the soon-to-be-required RFID (“TAP”) card which will cost an extra dollar to buy) in order to re-enter the station and head over to an exit with an elevator.

This will mean that while a wheelchair user can exit the station, they will then find themselves trapped in the ticket lobby in the background and will need to pay another fare at the Ticket Vending Machines(TVM) to get to another exit from the station that has an elevator to the surface.