Columbia Dinner Train Remains Inaccessible

5 years 4 months 3 weeks ago Monday, April 29 2013 Apr 29, 2013 Monday, April 29, 2013 1:30:00 PM CDT April 29, 2013 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
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis homicide detectives are investigating after four people were slain in less than a day.... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 8:17:00 AM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
CASSVILLE (AP) — A $1.9 million renovation of a southwestern Missouri trout hatchery won't interfere with the tens of thousands... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 6:19:00 AM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Ameren Missouri announced a rate decrease for electric starting Monday. The Missouri Public Service Commission approved... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 2:28:00 AM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri Task Force 1 is in Kinston, North Carolina waiting for its next mission. The task force's... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 9:58:00 PM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford said in a statement on Sunday that she has committed to testifying in... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 6:31:00 PM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Farmers across the United States will soon begin receiving government checks as part of a billion-dollar bailout... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 6:27:00 PM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the Tour Championship (all times local): 5:58 p.m. Tiger Woods is a... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 5:12:00 PM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - According to Missouri state law, all children over the age of eight do not have to ride in... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 4:51:00 PM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police are searching for a person who ran away from a traffic stop in south Columbia around... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 4:22:00 PM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Both China and the United States' newest round of tariffs go into effect on Monday. The US' tariffs... More >>
18 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 2:51:00 PM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Over 100 activists walked around Stephens Lake Park on Sunday to raise money and awareness to end hunger... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 11:58:00 AM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One person died and another was hurt in a one-vehicle crash Sunday morning. Police said Perri A.... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 9:57:00 AM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri basketball forward Mitchell Smith was arrested early Sunday morning by the Boone County Sheriff's Department and charged... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 8:45:00 AM CDT September 23, 2018 in Sports
CLAYTON (AP) — A St. Louis man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for a 2012 police chase... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 8:27:14 AM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – About one in 10 children are subject to sexual abuse, according to a local expert on the subject.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 11:18:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A water main break in MU's Hearnes Center early Saturday morning caused at least $100,000 worth of damage,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 7:17:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
FULTON - The Fulton Police Department responded to shots fired at a McDonald's located at 303 S. Business 54 early... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 5:49:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a past sexual assault,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 5:16:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 68°
10am 75°
11am 77°
12pm 76°
1pm 78°