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Some At RTA Still Upset With Chairman’s Comparing Paratransit Service To Limos

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roberts250 Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – There’s more criticism from within the Regional Transportation Authority over comments by the RTA’s chairman about its paratransit service.

The “limousine service” comment made last month by RTA Chairman John Gates in reference to the area’s paratransit service still sticks in the craw of the advocates on the RTA’s own ADA advisory committee, despite the board’s approval Wednesday of a measure that is expected to put 130 more accessible taxis on Chicago streets and provide better navigation on the CTA for the visually impaired and on Metra for the hearing impaired.

ADA Advisory Committee Chair Barry Taylor said the entire RTA board needs awareness training about disabilities.

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“Even if you have experience with the disability community, we think having that training is really important because disability issues evolve over time,” he said.

That is especially important when it comes to terminology, he said. For instance, he said the term “mental retardation” now provokes outrage in many quarters and suggests use of the phrase “intellectual disability” instead.

Gates said he would consider such training and asked RTA Executive Director Joseph Costello to determine how it would be done. Board member Donald Totten suggested special taxi stands at downtown train terminals specifically for cabs equipped for those in wheelchairs.