September 20, 2019
The MTA on Thursday identified 45 subway stations* it said it would make accessible to people with disabilities in the 2020-2024 capital program, with a promise of nearly two dozen more to come. That’s real progress.
Unfortunately, the MTA has a decades-long record of missed deadlines, funding diversions and deficient maintenance when it comes to accessibility. We can’t let that happen again. The only guarantee that counts is a legally binding settlement of our civil rights lawsuits over subway accessibility. It’s time for the MTA and Gov. Cuomo, who controls the MTA, to make that happen so that all New Yorkers can be certain that subway elevators and ramps are truly coming their way.
Our groups sued the MTA more than two years ago over the lack of access across the subway system, then sued again this year over the MTA’s long-standing violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act by renovating stations without making them accessible. The MTA has refused to settle those two cases and a third, over the horrendous maintenance of subway elevators. If the MTA is serious about its commitment to accessibility, it needs to go beyond a press release or promises in a capital plan.
*The MTA also identified three Staten Island Railway stations that it would make accessible. Fewer than 25% of subway stations are accessible now and only a third would be accessible after completion of the 2020-2024 plan, as proposed.
For more information, contact (all listed are organizational or individual plaintiffs):
Joe Rappaport, Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled, 646-284-1078 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jess Powers, Center for Independence of the Disabled, 917-721-7699 or email@example.com
Brett Eisenberg, Bronx Independent Living Services, 718-515-2800 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Christina Curry, Harlem Independent Living Center, 917-828-5500 (text only) or email@example.com
Jean Ryan, Disabled In Action, 917-658-0760 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sasha Blair-Goldensohn, email@example.com