Rally to urge MTA to make subway stations accessible prior to settlement hearing with Judge Schlomo Hagler
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New York, NY – Rise and Resist’s Elevator Action Group , Brooklyn Center for the Independence of the Disabled (BCID), Center for Independence of the Disabled New York (CIDNY), TransitCenter, Transportation Alternatives, and The People’s MTA called on the MTA to make a binding legal agreement to make New York City’s subway system fully accessible at a rally outside the New York State Supreme Court, on October 5, 2018 prior to settlement hearing with Judge Schlomo Hagler.
At the rally calling on MTA to make the subways accessible for all New Yorkers, speakers talked about how elevators would allow them to use the city’s subways. It’s not public transit if only some people can ride.
Afterward, rally-goers headed into the court house where Judge Schlomo Hagler held a settlement conference between Disability Rights Advocates and the MTA.
Disability Rights Advocates represents several disability groups who have charged that the MTA violates New York City Human Rights law by denying access to the subways for people with disabilities and others who need elevators to ride freely throughout the city. New York City has the least accessible subway system of all major US cities.
On April 25, 2017, DRA filed a class action lawsuit against the New York City Transit Authority (“NYCTA”), Metropolitan Transit Authority (“MTA”), and New York City (“the City”) for their failure to make the subway system programmatically accessible for persons whose mobility and other disabilities restrict them from using stairs. The City’s subway system has long been City’s lifeline, enabling over 6 million people per day to participate in its economic, political, cultural and civic life. Indeed, an average resident of New York depends on subways to carry out a vast array of essential tasks every day of his/her life.
For people with disabilities, however, meaningful access to the subway system has remained all but illusory. The rare accessible stations tend to be spaced out by at least 30 blocks and constitute less than 20 percent of the total number of stations. In numerous parts of the City, residents with disabilities have no access whatsoever. As a result, they remain completely barred from a mode of transportation that has shaped City’s life in a way that is unparalleled elsewhere in the country.
DRA’s ultimate goal is to ensure that the Defendants institute a comprehensive remedial scheme that can meaningfully address this devastating exclusion of people with disabilities from one of the nation’s largest and most important public transportation systems.
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