Next Stop #4 - Mobility For All

MON, MAY 23, 2022 (1:01:06)

Accessibility is central to transportation. For people with disabilities and for our aging population, access is a deal-maker. While the Americans with Disability Act has been the law for decades, the MBTA and other transit agencies are making slow progress towards providing full accessibility. How is the MBTA prioritizing accessibility improvements, and what are the partnerships that are necessary to success? In addition, the advent of e-bikes have made cycling more accessible and convenient for many more people than conventional bikes.

What is needed for e-bikes to realize their potential and to encourage widespread adoption.

The panel for Next Stop: Mobility for all, moderated by GBH News Reporter, Bob Seay, includes Laura Brelsford, MBTA Assistant General Manager for System Wide Accessibility, Reggie Ramos, Director of Inclusive Public Transit at the Institute for Human Centered Design, and Sarah Dylan Breuer, Co-host of Bike Talk, KPFK radio.

Resources

Accessibility at the MBTA
History of Accessibility at the T
Current Accessibility Initiatives
How to Get Involved
Public Meeting on Status of Settlement Agreement
An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities
MBTA Bus Network Redesign

+ BIO: Laura Brelsford

Laura joined the MBTA in 2007 as part of the newly formed Department of System-Wide Accessibility. Since that time, she has worked to advance the MBTA’s mission of becoming the global model for accessible public transportation. She and the dedicated SWA team have spearheaded a number of major accessibility initiatives including the development of an internal monitoring program, a first-ever training for front-line staff responding to customers with disabilities during emergencies, and the development of the Plan for Accessible Transit Infrastructure—a roadmap for making the system fully accessible.

Her top priority, however, is to ensure that people with disabilities, employees as well as riders, have a voice in decision-making. As a full-time wheelchair user, Laura leverages the MBTA’s accessibility on a regular basis and (when not quarantining) can frequently be spotted on the Red Line. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College.

+ BIO: Reggie Ramos

Reggie B. Ramos is a public policy practitioner with global experience in the
areas of public transit, law, project finance and infrastructure development.

For over 10 years, Reggie has worked at the intersection of law and public transit having served in various capacities from legal advisor, consultant to
Transportation Undersecretary of the Philippines. A lawyer by profession,
Reggie is a competent international negotiator having served as one of the
Philippines’ Lead Climate Negotiators in the Paris Agreement. She has led
various Public-Private Partnerships in the transportation sector including the
Mactan-Cebu International Airport and Manila’s Automated Fare Collection
System, both of which have been internationally recognized as exemplary
projects in their own right. As a senior government official, she represented the Philippine Government before the UN, World Bank, ASEAN and other
multilaterals, which ultimately provided her with a unique perspective in
policymaking.

Before joining IHCD, Reggie managed service pilots and the innovation platform at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority where among others, she led efforts to provide additional service on the Fairmount Line. At the onset of the pandemic, Reggie was a partner to the T’s Transition Planning which aimed to provide an organizational framework to systematize and strategize an adaptive response to COVID-19 and its impacts on public transit.

Reggie holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the Harvard
Kennedy School, and a Juris Doctor Degree from the Ateneo de Manila University. She is both a Mason Fellow at Harvard and an AsiaGlobal Fellow at the University of Hong Kong. Reggie is committed to working towards true and meaningful diversity, equity and inclusion in public transit, and public policy.

+ BIO: Sarah Dylan Breuer

Sarah Dylan Breuer is a writer, musician, and activist, having retired from youth ministry due to disability, and is a co-host of Bike Talk on KPFK radio.
She is living with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, an incurable, degenerative, genetic connective tissue disorder. When not going to medical appointments, she loves cycling on her e-bike, cooking, and volunteering to make the world better and more just for all people.

Resources

Sarah’s website

+ BIO: Bob Seay

Bob Seay is the transportation reporter for WGBH News.

He formerly hosted Morning Edition for WGBH News, and has worked as a broadcast journalist for more than three decades. Before joining WGBH in October 2010, Bob was Morning Edition host at Rhode Island Public Radio and the director of community radio station WOMR in Provincetown. For more than 15 years, he was the news and public affairs director at WQRC in Hyannis covering Cape Cod and the islands. Bob has also worked as a host on WBUR.

Partner
Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA)
Series
Next Stop: The Future of Mass Mobility