The MTA will set up two elevators on the 14th Road and Seventh Avenue subway station to serve riders of the 1, 2 and three strains, increasing its present dedication to construct elevators on the related Sixth Avenue station for the F and L strains, incapacity rights advocates introduced at a press convention Saturday.
However the victory is topic to the Federal Transit Administration approving and releasing previously-allocated funds to start the venture, which Arthur Schwartz, president of the Authorized Basis Advocates for Justice, referred to as on the federal authorities to behave rapidly on.
“Everybody ought to think about what it’s like not just for folks in a wheelchair, however for somebody like my very own mom who makes use of a walker, or somebody who’s blind, or somebody who has arthritic knees, and might’t stroll alongside stairways to know that they don’t have entry to the subway system,” Schwartz mentioned on the press convention exterior the 14th Road station Saturday.
Whereas the MTA had agreed to construct 4 elevators at 14th Road and Sixth Avenue as a part of a settlement to Schwartz’s 2018 lawsuit, the work was supposed to begin by the tip of December 2020, Schwartz mentioned.
As that deadline got here and went, Schwartz mentioned he requested the MTA if authorized motion could be required once more to get the venture began. In response, a consultant for the MTA proposed including the extra two elevators at Seventh Avenue, and a request for bids was issued in February. However the MTA continues to be awaiting approval from the federal authorities to launch the funding.
“Tasks like MTA’s 14th Road elevator installations are key to modernizing the system and making the subway extra accessible for the driving public, together with New York’s substantial disabled group, which has lengthy suffered from poor entry to our area’s mass transit system,” Majority Chief Senator Chuck Schumer mentioned in a letter to the FTA Friday.
Schumer mentioned on the press convention he plans to additionally foyer for added funding within the upcoming infrastructure invoice that would doubtlessly repair the inaccessibility of New York Metropolis’s subway system for good.
“Cease the stalling, launch the cash, let’s get these elevators constructed,” Schumer mentioned. “And that can make New York a greater place, as was mentioned, for everyone.”
“FTA’s swift approval of this crucial venture will assist the MTA in its steadfast dedication to advancing systemwide accessibility and making certain no New Yorker is greater than two stops away from an accessible station,” mentioned MTA spokesperson Kayla Shults in an announcement Saturday. The MTA didn’t reply to an inquiry of how a lot the elevator venture is estimated to value.
With the addition of those new elevators, anticipated to be completed by 2023, the L practice line will now have elevator entry in any respect Manhattan stations besides Third Avenue.
The Biden administration’s stimulus invoice included $6.5 billion for the MTA — nonetheless wanting the $8 billion the MTA projected it could must get by means of 2024 however sufficient to stave off the worst doomsday situations it had been projecting as not too long ago as December.
The MTA continues to be litigating quite a lot of different lawsuits over the accessibility of the subway system, together with a lawsuit by the Brooklyn Heart for Independence of the Disabled and different teams that argues the transit company has violated the Individuals with Disabilities Act by renovating stations with out including elevators and failing to keep up present elevators. Additionally they declare an total lack of subway accessibility is a violation of New York Metropolis’s Human Rights legal guidelines.
With reporting by David Cruz