FOX25 Investigates wheelchair ramps boarded at Commuter Rail stations

NATICK, Mass. — FOX25 Investigates has been looking into more problems at Commuter Rail stations when it comes to accessibility.

Many of the handicapped accessible have been boarded up. Now, some riders are furious because their pleas for help have gone unheard.

“Honestly, I feel like a trapped rider, confined in a system that’s failing,” said disabled commuter Anesi Dora.

For months now, Dora says the wheelchair accessible ramp at the West Natick Commuter Rail station has been boarded up.

The station has a portable wheelchair lift, but Dora says she stopped asking to use it because it is embarrassing and makes her feel like a burden. In order for passengers to get on the lift, employees have to delay the train to move the lift and operate it.

“I feel like the ramp is supposed to provide self-sufficiency. That's what I deserve and that's what I work towards,” Dora said.

FOX25 called the MBTA, but they referred us to Keolis, the company that operates and maintains the Commuter Rail. FOX25 spoke to Keolis spokesman Mac Daniel, who told us the MBTA has to approve any repairs. Until they approve funding for the project, the lift will be the only option.

“It’s not the best solution in the world, but for a temporary fix, it does the job. We are currently reviewing the possible repairs costs for that station platform and are in the process of submitting those costs estimates to the MBTA for approval,” Daniel told FOX25.

This is not the first time FOX25 has investigated MBTA accessibility issues. Last March, FOX25 questioned the MBTA about broken elevators and escalators at the Route 128 stop in Westwood.

Meantime, FOX25 found all seven stations between West Natick and Yawkey do not have any handicap accessibility.

The MBTA emailed FOX25’s Stephanie Coueignoux stating they had not been able to find funding for the ramp project, but they have earmarked funding for this upcoming fiscal year. Meantime, they have also approved a $4 million project for the West Natick station.