We’re pleased to unveil Access2024, a map of the next 50 subway stations in New York City that should be made fully accessible under the MTA’s Fast Forward plan. The map was developed in collaboration with our partners at United Spinal Association, Riders Alliance, Rise and Resist Elevator Action Group, and the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee of the MTA. Adding elevators and ADA accessibility to these 50 critical subway stations by 2024 would greatly increase the travel ability of riders with limited mobility, and must be an urgent priority for Governor Cuomo and the state legislature.
If Governor Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Heastie, and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins don’t fully fund the Fast Forward plan to add these elevators, there’s no end in sight for the abysmal state of subway accessibility affecting countless New Yorkers every day. Currently, three quarters of the MTA’s 472 subway stations lack elevators, making them completely inaccessible for people who use wheelchairs and impeding travel for older New Yorkers and parents with strollers. The consequences can be tragic. On Monday night, Malaysia Goodson, 22, lost her life after falling down one of seven flights of stairs she was forced to climb at the 7th Ave B/D station while carrying her 1-year-old daughter in a stroller.
Entire neighborhoods and many elements of city life remain out of reach for subway riders with disabilities. Roughly half of the neighborhoods served by the system today lack a single accessible station. Many of New York’s major cultural attractions, including the Natural History Museum, universities including CUNY-City College, medical centers, and major business districts are inaccessible.
This is unacceptable. After dragging its heels for many years, the MTA now lags far behind on station accessibility compared to Chicago and Boston, where less than a third of stations are inaccessible and concrete plans are in place to make systems 100% accessible.
With Fast Forward, the MTA finally has set a goal to accelerate subway accessibility improvements, aiming to add elevators at 50 stations in the next 5 years and make the whole system accessible by 2034. But so far it’s just a plan on paper –– Governor Cuomo and state legislative leaders need to provide the funding to make it a reality.
TransitCenter selected the 50 stations on this map to maximize subway accessibility in neighborhoods with high populations people with disabilities and those in living in poverty; to connect with major destinations like universities, museums, hospitals, parks, naturally occurring retirement communities, and business districts; and to serve major transfer points between the bus and the subway. All told this map would more than triple the potential station-to-station trips riders who rely on elevators can make using accessible stations.
TransitCenter’s selection criteria should be a model for NYC Transit as it begins community outreach for the subway accessibility components of Fast Forward.
The experience of being a WMATA rider has substantially improved over the last 18 months, thanks to changes the agency has made like adding off-peak service and simplifying fares. Things are about to get even better with the launch of all-door boarding later this fall, overnight bus service on some lines starting in December, and an ambitious plan to redesign the Metrobus network. But all of this could go away by July 1, 2024.Read More