Advocates of disability rights celebrate the new light-rail station at 50th and Washington streets.

Posted: Sep 29, 2016 11:08 AM MST
Updated: Sep 29, 2016 11:18 AM MST

All credit for this story belongs to KPHO Broadcasting Corporation. To view this story on their website: New light rail station to serve riders with disabilities

A new light rail station coming to 50th Street & Washington will be designed to serve riders with disabilities.

Officials from the city of Phoenix and Valley Metro, alongside community representatives, gathered Wednesday to announce the first light rail project slated under Phoenix Transportation 2050 (T2050).

“The 50th Street Station is becoming a reality,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “We asked Phoenix voters to make an investment in ourselves and our shared future and they responded overwhelmingly. This project will make them proud.”

The new 50th Street Station will serve local businesses and provide added convenience for riders who are traveling from across the Valley to access independent lifestyle resources for people with disabilities at Ability360. Ability360 was a catalyst in the development of the new station.

“It is a great day for people with disabilities,” said Ability360 President and CEO Phil Pangrazio. “This station is going to be so important for people with disabilities to get to the Ability360 center and access the one-of-a-kind resource.”

Pangrazio also serves as a member of Phoenix’s Citizens Transportation Commission, providing program oversight and community focus for the T2050 plan.

The station will be a model of increased accessibility with design elements incorporated as a result of the PHX Innovation Games challenge. Station designer Gannett Fleming is working with Innovation Games winner, Dig Studio, on station access, aesthetics and station entry areas. Artist Barbara Grygutis will develop public art, working in partnership with the construction contractor, Stacy and Witbeck, Inc.

“By advancing transit in the region we are building our future, creating greater regional access for all residents and supporting economic growth,” said Phoenix Councilmember and Valley Metro RPTA Board Chair Thelda Williams.

The 50th Street Station is scheduled to break ground in spring 2017 and open in summer 2019.

Valley Metro is also focusing on rider safety.

Earlier this week, Valley Metro announced the addition of new safety barriers being added to trains. The between-car barriers are designed to keep riders from stepping between the train cars.

Images courtesy of Valley Metro

Phoenix Mayor Gren Stanton speaks to a crowd about the new light-rail station opening near Ability360.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
An image of plans for the coming lightrail station. The accompanying tweet from Valley Metro reads "#50thStreet station slated to start construction Spring 2017, opening Summer 2019. Designed to be a model for accessibility. #T2050"

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A photo of people gathered on the roof. The tweet from Valley Metro reads, "'It is a great day for people with disabilities' @ability360 CEO Phil Pangrazio. #50thStreet station to provide access to resources. #T2050

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