"Wheels on Wheels:" Commuter Rail Accessibility in Boston
|Getting to work by train and wheelchair.|
|South Station, Boston|
When a wheelchair rider boards a train, attentive conductors provide a metal plate, which is stored in "each" train car. The "metal plate" bridges the gap between the train car and the platform. Train conductors place the "plate" over the gap and wheelchair riders like myself, cruise right onto or off the train.
|Train seats "flip up" for wheelchair riders.|
|Mini-wheelchair plate, similar to what's|
used on the commuter rail to close
the "gap" between the platform and train.
Both conductors and passengers, in my experience during the past six months, are cordial and understanding regarding this policy. I get to work pretty much on time every day and feel secure and safe as I travel with fellow passengers on the commuter rail.
The Commuter Rail "Ladies Club"
One pleasantry of being a commuter is meeting folks who are traveling at the time you are. If you're lucky, you develop "commuter acquaintances." In my case, I am honored to be part of what I affectionately call the Kingston commuter line "Ladies Club," whose members have allowed me to become an "honorary member" of the group, as we ride together most days during the week.
As I am new to Massachusetts and disabled, their collegiality has made my commute to work and back more personable.
As a group, my fellow commuters and working women have made it easier for me to assimilate into my new environment, which is daunting for most members of the disabled community.
These professional women and leaders are considerate, cordial, and compassionate. They also share recipes, where to shop, and stay abreast of local news and events, and more importantly, are family oriented.
At the end of 2019, one "club" member made fudge for some of us during a recent train ride. And, a few months ago in 2019, a ladies club member asked me to speak on disability inclusion at her company, where she is an executive. I was honored to address about a 100 people at her place of work, and hopefully, I changed perspectives about living with a disability at that meeting.
These experiences continue to encourage me as society continues to slowly embrace the disabled community into the workplace and the community..
For more information:
The MBTA Commuter Rail serves Greater Boston, Central Massachusetts, and Rhode Island and offers a variety of accessible features to help you travel throughout the area.
Photos are from the MBTA website and publicly available websites.