MBTA’s System-wide Accessibility Department Launches Communication Survey
Posted on February 2, 2022
This survey aims to identify existing communication barriers, to develop strategies to better connect with older adults and people with disabilities in order to update travel-training-related materials so that they are more inclusive, and to seek feedback on accessibility-related decisions.
The MBTA announced that its System-wide Accessibility Department (SWA) launched an online survey about how the MBTA can improve its communication efforts, communicate more effectively and inclusively, and better connect with people with disabilities and/or older adults. The online survey serves as just one step in the T’s continued work to improve the inclusivity of its communication and outreach strategies with SWA staff having previously connected with local community and advocacy groups, requesting these groups to encourage their members to take the survey. This online survey is available today through February 16, 2022, at mbta.com/SWA-survey.
“The MBTA has made great progress in working toward a fully accessible service, from upgrading stations to operator trainings to the design and procurement of new vehicles – but we know there’s always more we can be doing,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “The results of this survey will help us to better understand how we can better communicate with riders about important accessibility and T-related topics.”
The MBTA is more accessible than ever before. Over the last several years, the T has upgraded over 20 stations to make them fully accessible, constructed more than 50 new station elevators, purchased new buses with ramps and reconfigured seating layout with more space, designed and purchased its most accessible subway cars yet, retrained operators and station agents on safety and accessibility, partnered with a new customer advisory committee to involve riders in key decisions, and more.
Despite these achievements, the MBTA recognizes that there is still more work to do, especially in sharing information inclusively and engaging with as many riders (or future riders) with disabilities and/or older adults in order to shape important decisions about the future of accessibility at the T.
With this in mind, SWA designed this online survey to help supplement feedback from riders and future riders about the kinds of communication barriers that exist, how the MBTA can narrow the information gap in communicating with riders, and how the MBTA can improve its communication efforts about important accessibility and MBTA-related issues. Through this survey’s results as well as other outreach efforts, the MBTA hopes to develop strategies to better connect with riders, particularly non-native-English speakers and older adults.