Erik McGregor Photography

Erik McGregor is a New York City based artist, photographer and activist.

Access Denied: The MTA is asking a Judge to dismiss a case demanding elevators in all subway locations

Access Denied: The MTA is asking a Judge to dismiss a case demanding elevators in all subway locations


NEW YORK, NY – The Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), on behalf of a coalition of several organizations and individuals, filed a lawsuit against the city for violating the New York City Human Rights Law by not offering desperately needed elevators in 75% of subway stations. Members of Rise and Resist, Center for Independence of the Disabled New York, the People’s MTA and other allies held a rally in support, outside of the New York State Supreme Court on 60 Centre Street at 9AM. Oral arguments scheduled to start at 10AM with several plaintiffs and supporters on hand to witness this historic case.
The MTA wants to dismiss our case against them that would require them to install new elevators. Judge Shlomo Hagler set a time for all the parties to appear and argue why or why not the case should be dismissed. 
The plaintiffs understand elevator access as a universal need. Sasha Blair-Goldensohn, one of the plaintiffs, explains, “This court case is critical for the future of our city, not just for people with disabilities but for everyone – people on crutches or casts, seniors, families with strollers and workers with carts.”
Jennifer Van Dyck a leader in the Elevator Action Group within Rise and Resist argues that the current system is financially foolhardy, “They have been spending half a billion dollars a year on the unpopular Access-A-Ride and Paratransit van rides, a discriminatory, second class form of transit to which they have become beholden as a result of the lack of accessible subway stations. It’s a clear example of throwing good money after bad.”
One argument in the case is a familiar one as Mr. Blair-Goldensohn states, “This is a civil rights issue, and so far the MTA has pursued only separate-but-equal solutions. It’s not going to be simple, but making a truly accessible system will ultimately pay off with a more equal, just and functional transportation infrastructure.
#AccessDenied #Accessibility #ADAcompliant #AmericansWithDisabilitiesAct #BrokenElevators #CIDNYfightsback #CourtHearing #Disability #GovernorCuomo #LetUsRide #mobility #MTA #NewYork #NoElevator #NYC #NYCSubway #NYCTransit #PeoplesMTA #Photography #PressConference #RiseAndResist #StrandedByCuomo #straphangers #SubwayStation #SupremeCourt #TrainStation #TransitCenter #transportation #WheelchairAccesible #wheelchair
© Erik McGregor – – 917-225-8963

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  1. ra March 5, 2018

    Daily News editorial:
    Monday morning in Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Shlomo Hagler’s courtroom, lawyers for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Transit Authority and the City of New York will argue that the MTA/TA (the state-run operator of the subway) and the city (the owner of the subway) do not have to make the system accessible to people who use wheelchairs.

    While Hagler and the courts will sort out the legal obligation, the moral obligation — and the moral failing — of the TA and the city are clear cut: Over many years, they have done an atrocious job enabling the estimated 100,000 New Yorkers who use wheelchairs to ride public transit.

    These are people who by accident of disability, disease, injury or age can’t walk up and down stairs. All they want is the same lousy service that the rest of us suffer with.

    Yet more than three-fourths of the city’s 472 subway stations have no elevators at all, with no plan to add more. In the small number of stations that do have lifts (which tend to be bigger and busier stops), the elevators are often broken.

    Office and residential buildings don’t have this problem. Nor do other cities’ mass transit systems. Why should our subways?

    Even what should be a simple task — maintaining an accurate list of elevator outages on its website — is apparently beyond the capabilities of the $10-billion-a-year Transit Authority.

    To compensate for these huge gaps, the MTA has Access-A-Ride — a half billion-a-year program that takes people from Point A to Point B via Point Z in accessible vehicles. It takes forever and costs many times more than a cab or Uber ride.

    The men at the top, Gov. Cuomo (MTA) and Mayor de Blasio (city), have to do better. Much better. Key to this will be the new TA President Andy Byford, who wants to make accessibility a priority and in his last job running Toronto’s subway put in place a schedule to have every station accommodate wheelchairs. While Toronto is nowhere near New York’s size, Byford should ramp it up — pun intended.

    Last month, de Blasio had his MTA board appointees vote against a series of pricey station upgrades, grousing that accessibility hadn’t been included in the plan. It’s a start, but only the slightest. The MTA board has a task force on elevators and one on Access-A-Ride. To what end?

    Both state and city must make accessibility integral to the MTA’s next capital plan.

    People with disabilities have things to do, people to see, places to go. Underground, they deserve respect — and, finally, action.

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