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MTA pilots accessibility features at Downtown subway station

Advocates Jessica De La Rosa and Valerie Joseph said they welcome the additions 110 percent, but they want more money put into elevator maintenance.
Brooklyn Paper
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Bigwigs at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority unveiled their latest strategies to enhance subway accessibility at a Downtown Brooklyn subway station on Tuesday.

The state-run agency tricked out the Jay Street–MetroTech station in America’s Downtown with features designed to aide blind straphangers find their train, including maps with braille guidelines and textured strips that lead disabled commuters from elevators to platforms, along with apps providing audio directions for the deaf.

The Transit Authority will study whether the low-cost amenities provide actual benefits to the blind, before deciding whether to expand the program to additional stations, according to one transit guru.

“The beauty of this pilot is the ability to collect real–world feedback from riders on whether changes work or not — and to adjust accordingly,” Said Colin Wright, a Senior Advocacy Associate at Transit Center, a transit boosting non–profit.

The new features are proving helpful to more than just the blind, according to one commuter, who said that, while he sees just fine, he found it easier to find his train nonetheless.

“Its definitely made it a lot easier,” said George West, who uses a walker to get around.

Aboubaca Kaba, who uses a motorized wheelchair to get around, agreed.

“It makes it easier,” he said, while riding the elevator at Jay Street on Thursday. “I don’t have to ask anyone where the elevator is.”

But accessibility advocates weren’t impressed by the new features, saying disabled commuters need elevators over anything else.

“I want to see more money put towards maintenance in elevators, and I want to see more elevators,” said Jessica De La Rosa, a wheelchair-bound advocate for the Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled.

Reach reporter Ben Verde at (718) 260–2525 or by e-mail at bverde@schnepsmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @verde_nyc.
Posted 12:00 am, October 18, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy says:
This is a step forward, but we need every single subway and elevated station to be ADA Accessible. We are getting old these days.
Oct. 18, 2019, 6:25 am
Larry Penner from Great Neck says:
This is a step in the right directions, but far more needs to be done in dealing with the lack of sufficient accessible NYC Transit subway along with Staten Island Rapid Transit, Long Island Rail Road and Metro North Rail Road stations for riders with disabilities. There is no guarantee that the proposed MTA $51 billion 2020 - 2024 Five Year Capital Plan will be fully funded to include all the promised additional stations to become fully accessible. Here are two ways to obtain financial support to pay for accelerating the number of subway stations to reach compliance with the Americans Disabilities Act. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority receives $1.4 billion in annual assistance from various Federal Transit Administration formula funding grant programs. The MTA based upon the courts decision will have to update their long term Americans Disability Act Key Stations Compliance Plan with FTA. This is currently in place and approved by the Federal Transit Administration Washington Headquarters Office of Civil Rights. Without an approved plan in place, it is difficult for the FTA to approve any new grant funding. The upcoming MTA $30 to $50 billion 2020 - 2024 Five Year Capital Plan will probably have to program up to a billion more for New York City Transit to dramatically increase the number of additional subway stations reaching full ADA compliance Why not ask any major business, college or hospital who benefit from subway stations adjacent to their facility to sponsor installation of elevator(s). Let them split the cost 50% with the MTA NYC Transit in exchange for naming rights to the elevator(s). The MTA may have to make some difficult decisions as to what other projects and programs may have to be canceled or reduced in the next $30 billion or more MTA 2020 - 2024 Five Year Capital Plan to find additional funding for installation of ADA compliant elevators at more subway stations. (Larry Penner is a transportation historian, advocate and writer who previously worked 31 years for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for grants supporting billions in capital projects and programs on behalf of the MTA, NYC Transit, MTA Bus, Long Island Rail Road, Metro North Rail Road and NYC Department of Transportation along with 30 other NY & NJ transit agencies).
Oct. 18, 2019, 9:15 am
HONEY Pooter from Williamsburg says:
As a proud, disabled woman - I applaud this development!
Oct. 18, 2019, 9:21 am
The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy says:
It's a start but we need all of the remaining non ADA accessible subway stations ADA accessible.
Oct. 20, 2019, 10:41 am

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