Accessible Public Transit


SEPTA did not install elevators upon the renovation of the Broad Street subway line

In the early 1980s, SEPTA undertook a large-scale renovation of stations on the Broad Street subway line, but did not install elevators or take other simple steps to make the stations accessible to people with disabilities.

The first lawsuit, DIA v. Sykes, was filed in 1985 on behalf of Disabled in Action and nine Temple University students, seeking to compel SEPTA to install an elevator at the station at Columbia Avenue (now Cecil B. Moore) and to ensure that all newly built or renovated stations are fully accessible.

We also brought a complaint with the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, which enforces the Architectural Barriers Act (now the U.S. Access Board), alleging that SEPTA’s Broad Street line renovations – using federal funds – had not taken accessibility into account.  The Act requires that transportation projects using federal money be accessible to people with disabilities, and the Board found violations of accessibility standards at nineteen SEPTA stations.