Thursday, December 16, 2010

Announcing Amtrak 2011 Improvements to Access

We are excited to announce we are at the very beginning of a long adventure with Open Doors and Amtrak, who signed an agreement on Monday to train nearly 8000 employees in 17 cities throughout the United States. 

The Open Doors Organization (ODO) works tirelessly to improve access across the board in the travel industry, having spent the last year building an amazing Airline Ground Crew training program, collaborating with the Mobility Shop to educate tarmak employees on how to handle wheelchairs and mobility equipment efficiently, safely, and without damage.  Craig has been one of ODO's main trainers for this program for the last six months and has heard some great and amazing feedback from 40-year veterans who've simply never gotten training such as this.  What started out as a program with just a few airlines, this program has such good feedback, that most national and some international airlines are now receiving this training.

ODO also works with the airlines on their Complaint Resolution Officer (CRO) training program and recently begun working with Celebrity Cruiselines on assessing their ships and creating a training program for their employees as well.

So it seems natural to carry this expertise and training over to the Amtrak system, covering all the bases of national travel!  I headed down to Delaware this week for our first initial planning meeting to set up training dates and begin building the curriculum; we begin training in January!

Seeing the country via train is going to make for a fascinating year, and we're thrilled to be a part of this amazing training that will encompass the largest group of employees that ODO has taken on.

Making this training interesting for the employees always involves stories, so if you have a personal story about traveling on Amtrak and/or the accessibility of this mode of travel, please email them to

Stay tuned for many in-station reports coming next year!

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