BOSTON – Today, October 9, the MBTA announced an informational public meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 18, at the State Transportation Building in Boston for the new Riders’ Transportation Access Group (R-TAG).
“The launch of R-TAG is an important step in the T’s continued efforts to become a completely accessible service,” said MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramírez. “We look forward to continuing to partner with local disability advocacy groups in order to provide the world-class service our customers deserve.”
“Most of the meaningful progress we’ve made towards improving accessibility over the past decade has stemmed from listening to our customers with disabilities and building relationships with trusted community organizations,” said MBTA Department of System-Wide Accessibility Assistant General Manager Laura Brelsford. “We are looking forward to expanding that engagement through R-TAG as we advance towards our goal of a fully accessible system.”
“R-TAG will be a vital voice of MBTA riders with disabilities, a grassroots vehicle to inform policies and practices that daily impact thousands of senior and disabled persons using buses, subways, The Ride, and commuter rail,” said Boston Center for Independent Living Director Bill Henning.
Through collaborations between the MBTA and local disability advocacy groups, R-TAG has been established as a new customer advisory group focused on matters related to accessibility for people with disabilities and seniors.
R-TAG also serves as a collaboration of current accessibility-focused committees, making it easier for the MBTA to share with and receive information for the communities it serves.
Customer-driven and autonomous from the MBTA, R-TAG will include a nine-member Executive Board with four organizational members – the Baystate Council of the Blind, Mass Senior Action, the Disability Policy Consortium, and Boston Center for Independent Living. The five additional Executive Board members will be individuals who have a disability or are 65+ years old.
Those who would like to become an Executive Board member or a general member of R-TAG are welcome to learn more at the October 18 public meeting where the planning committee will answer questions and provide additional information. General members have the opportunity to provide input on MBTA policies that affect those with disabilities and seniors, review station renovation plans and new vehicle designs, discuss new technologies designed to improve access, and meet with staff from the T, MassDOT and Keolis. The first official R-TAG meeting with its seated Executive Board will be held on November 29.
All R-TAG meetings are accessible to people with disabilities. To request a reasonable accommodation or language services, email RTAGGroup@gmail.com or call 617-222-5254 at least two weeks in advance of the meeting.