Amtrak, RIDOT partner to improve accessibility at Westerly Station

July 8, 2022
New elevators, pedestrian pathways, signage, parking spots and more upgrades will improve the customer experience.

American Disability Act (ADA) improvements were completed at Westerly Station in Westerly, R.I., by Amtrak and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT).  

“Accessibility is an essential component of Amtrak’s commitment to improving the customer experience at our stations and on our trains, and we thank our partners at RIDOT for their collaboration at achieving this goal at Westerly Station,” said Amtrak Vice President of Stations, Facilities, Properties and Accessibility Dr. David Handera. “Due to the investment from our federal partners, Rhode Island train travelers, residents and visitors now get to experience the improvements Amtrak has made at Westerly Station.” 

This includes two new elevators, featuring new elevator enclosures at platform level constructed in the style of the historic station, an accessible pathway to and from the public right-of-way, two accessible parking spaces and a new sloped walkway for accessing the platform, modified handrails and guardrails, and new ADA compliant signs throughout the station environment.  

“Westerly Station is an important part of our transit infrastructure,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said. “Just a few years ago we, the town of Westerly and the Artists Cooperative Gallery of Westerly were able to breathe new life into this station and provide access to an indoor waiting area and restrooms while providing a unique community space for artists. These new improvements by Amtrak will make it easier for persons with disabilities to access this historic building.” 

Construction on these improvements at Westerly Station began in March 2019, utilizing more than $9 million in federal funds that Amtrak receives from annual appropriations of Northeast Corridor and National Network federal grants in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These funds were used for every phase – demolition, design and construction – of the project.  

Amtrak says it continues to make significant progress in advancing its accessibility projects that will bring its facilities into full compliance. Since 2011, Amtrak has invested more than $489 million in accessibility upgrades at 204 stations throughout the country. In addition, Amtrak notes it plans to spend more than $126 million in fiscal year 2022 on accessibility improvements at more than 43 additional stations. To date, Amtrak has made 168 stations ADA-compliant, and the work is continuing to address all areas for which Amtrak has responsibility.