After Annie Young lost her vision several years ago, she saw transit as key to maintaining her independence. So, she made it her mission to do what she could to help it feel safer to get around on buses and trains.
Young’s interest led her to Doug Cook, a Metro Transit Community Outreach Coordinator who works closely with the accessibility community.
With Cook’s support, Young visited the Mall of America Transit Center with staff to demonstrate the challenges she and others with low or no vision face there and to offer recommendations on how the busy transit hub could be improved.
Young’s feedback led Metro Transit to install six-inch wide textured strips along angled crosswalks and on sidewalks that lead people to bus boarding areas. Benches were also relocated further from the curb, giving people a clearer path.
“We are trying unique solutions and working with contractors to install products normally found only on highways in environments that are unique to transit facilities,” said George Serumgard, who works in Engineering & Facilities and helped implement the changes.
For her part, Young is happy to have helped and looks forward to offering more feedback in the future.
“I do this as much for myself as for others,” she said. “Before losing my eyesight, I had a job, volunteered in my community, and took care of my family, much of which I had to give up until I regained my independence. I want the same for others – independence and safe transportation, the ability to live under one’s own power.”
To provide feedback on accessibility issues, contact Customer Relations or representatives who serve on the Met Council’s Transportation Accessibility Advisory Committee.