Columbia Dinner Train Remains Inaccessible

3 years 7 months 1 week 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

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
COLUMBIA – Stephens College is offering the public an opportunity to celebrate Christmas in a different way. A Dickens... More >>
3 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 3:05:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA -Residents got updated Tuesday night on two upcoming construction projects in the northern part of the city. Representatives... More >>
10 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 8:04:00 PM CST in News
FENTON (AP) — Police are investigating the deaths of a couple whose stabbed bodies were found in their home in... More >>
11 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 7:15:16 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - It will now cost businesses or individuals who block sidewalks, traffic or parking spots in the city. ... More >>
12 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 5:59:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Several mid-Missouri housing authorities will soon be changing their rules on smoking inside or near public housing.... More >>
12 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 5:55:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Possible light snow flurries of the season are bringing about winter preparations. KOMU 8 weathercaster Tim Schmidt... More >>
12 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 5:54:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri is officially looking for a new chancellor. And it might not have to go... More >>
13 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 5:07:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY- MoDot published Tuesday, an online guide in an effort to educate Missouri drivers on what their related tax... More >>
13 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 4:56:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia is looking for input from citizens on a variety of topics, from sidewalks to... More >>
14 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 3:59:00 PM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Democratic lawmakers in Missouri want to criminalize firearm storage that allows children to easily find weapons... More >>
14 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 3:48:11 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia could be home to a new radioisotope facility as early as 2018. If the project goes through,... More >>
14 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 3:46:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Police Department received a report on Monday, Dec. 5 of a male who committed... More >>
14 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 3:33:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Property owners in Cole County are seeking voluntary annexation into Jefferson City. Some of the residents weighed... More >>
15 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 3:20:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – The speed limit on part of Providence Road will drop from 55 to 50 mph beginning Wednesday. ... More >>
15 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 3:11:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A grant approved during Monday night's city council meeting will allow for the city of Columbia to make... More >>
15 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 2:41:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A trial has been scheduled for late next year for a Missouri man accused of sexually... More >>
17 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 1:00:46 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A man with a history of violent sex offenses dating back to the 1960s has been... More >>
18 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 11:35:57 AM CST in News
WARRENSBURG (AP) — At a time when reports of anti-Muslim sentiment are rising, members of a west-central Missouri Islamic Center... More >>
19 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 11:14:00 AM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 30°
7am 30°
8am 31°
9am 31°
10am 32°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
6:00a
King of the Hill
6:30a
King of the Hill
7:00a
Cheaters

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Hairspray Live!
9:55p
To Be Announced
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Frequency
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld