Columbia Dinner Train Remains Inaccessible

3 years 11 months 15 hours ago April 29, 2013 Apr 29, 2013 Monday, April 29 2013 Monday, April 29, 2013 1:30:00 PM CDT in News
By: Cat Willbrand
loading

COLUMBIA - The Columbia Star Dinner Train remains inaccessible almost two years after it first opened to protests over its inability to provide wheelchair access for riders.

Members of the Mid-Missouri Advocacy Coalition, along with other opposition, staged a protest during the train's inaugural trip in July 2011.  Demonstrators protested the train's lack of accessibility for those in wheelchairs, and the city's involvement through a grant and access to public tracks.

ADA specialist Troy Balthazor was at the protest in 2011, and said the city's contract with the train, which included the $45,000 grant, was the main issue behind the demonstration.

"The primary concern was the use of tax money to support inaccessible ventures--ventures that aren't accessible to all the people who pay tax money in our city," said Balthazor.

Columbia Star Dinner Train owner Mark Vaughn said he explored different options to make the train accessible.

"It's a challenge because to make a car accessible, it's quite expensive, and we've looked for funding to assist with the project.  And, we haven't been successful in finding any of that funding, and the project we're working on now is at least a step in the right direction," said Vaughn.

Vaughn said he's working to get a lift from the airport.  If it is usable with the train, he said he wants to get it in place as soon as possible.  However, he said he's never had to turn away customers due to disabilities.  Currently, train employees are manually lifting passengers in wheelchairs aboard the train. 

"That's very unsafe practice--it's been specifically ruled out in the ADA as a means of accommodating people with disabilities," said Balthazor.

 Founder of the Mid-Missouri Advocacy Coalition John Hinten was at the protest and still raises issue with the train.

"We don't want special treatment.  We want equal access.  We want to be able to spend our money in businesses and support a business just like everybody else, but then they drug the city into it by using tax dollars, which made it a whole different issue.  It's not just a business now that isn't accessible; it's also a city that's in partnership with the business," Hinten said. 

Deputy city manager Tony St. Romaine said the city wanted to bring the train to Columbia because it would be a regional attraction.

"It certainly brings people from outside of Columbia, especially from the Saint Louis and Kansas City regions.  If you look at their ridership, you will see that they are actually attracting a lot of folks into Columbia that are from outside of Columbia," said St. Romaine.

St. Romaine said getting the train toward full compliance with ADA standards is a top priority for the city.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri residents are one step closer to being able to get a driver's license that... More >>
1 hour ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 4:00:00 PM CDT in News
KINLOCH, Mo. (AP) — Police say human remains found last month in the St. Louis suburb of Kinloch are those... More >>
1 hour ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 3:51:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Emergency Medical Service Association (MEMSA) and the University Hospital collaborated to bring new technologies and medical... More >>
2 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 3:43:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Despite making up more than half of the American population, women only make up 24.8 percent of... More >>
2 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 3:32:20 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House has passed a bill that would repeal the state's "prevailing wage" law... More >>
2 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 3:15:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Eric Greitens announced Thursday that Anna Hui will become the new Director of the Department of... More >>
2 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 3:03:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
SEDALIA - Two Pettis County Ambulance District (PCAD) employees were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of stealing from the organization. ... More >>
3 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 2:34:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House passed a bill overturning a St. Louis ordinance that seeked to protect women... More >>
5 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 12:38:00 PM CDT in News
Updated 3/30 4:00 Two other people, 51-year-old Donald Nussbaum and 56-year-old James McChan, were charged Thursday with allegedly taking... More >>
6 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 11:18:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The president of Lincoln University traveled to the nation's capital Thursday to seek higher funding for higher... More >>
6 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 10:59:00 AM CDT in News
TROY (AP) — An eastern Missouri woman has been ordered to spend 60 days in prison for her role in... More >>
7 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 10:00:00 AM CDT in News
PINEVILLE (AP) — A jury in southwestern Missouri's McDonald County has convicted a man of a lesser felony domestic assault... More >>
7 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 9:54:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A grand jury in Missouri's Cole County has indicted a Jefferson City man in connection with... More >>
8 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 9:45:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Zoo officials said a new $11-million grizzly bear exhibit is expected to open in... More >>
8 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 9:13:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's Republican-led House has squashed an attempt by Democrats to expand Medicaid eligibility. Members... More >>
18 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 11:25:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Less than a week away from election day, and Columbia City Council candidates are still working to out... More >>
19 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:49:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - People looking for jobs and education opportunities will have the chance to meet employers and educators at... More >>
20 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:31:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Prosecutors say a Nigerian citizen living in St. Louis was part of a stolen identity fraud... More >>
23 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 6:35:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 51°
6pm 56°
7pm 55°
8pm 53°
9pm 51°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy
6:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
Powerless
8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
The Blacklist: Redemption
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Riverdale
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld