In his prepared remarks before Congress, FRA Administrator Joe Szabo had this to say about level-platform boarding:
Ensuring all Americans can access rail stations and trains—FRA would like to study the feasibility, including the benefits and costs, of standardizing passenger station platform heights to better enable level-boarding platforms. Access to transportation is a civil right, and FRA is committed to seeing that fulfilled on the nation’s railways.
It is mind boggling that we still build stations without level-platform boarding. Level-platform boarding isn’t just about accommodating the disabled; it reduces dwell time and operating costs. There is nothing here that requires study. So why the talk about studying the issue instead of just doing it? Because the railroads and commuter rail agencies will never agree to go along with modernization. The only way this will ever happen is when Congress forces it upon them, just as it had done with the PTC mandate.