Activists rally outside MTA HQ, demand more accessible transportation for all
Activists for accessible transportation gathered outside of MTA headquarters in Manhattan on Wednesday, demanding accessible public transportation for all.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were approximately 930,000 people living with disabilities in New York City in 2017, making up 11% of the population.
As of Sept 21, 2021, only 28% of NYC’s subway stations are accessible, the lowest percentage out of all the major transit systems in the world. The city does rank the highest in wheelchair-friendly taxis.
Marc Safman, who was declared legally blind and deaf in 2017, says he relies on public transportation. He says he uses a text-to-talk app to navigate the city.
“My little app only works when there’s Wi-Fi” said Safman. “When I’m in tunnels, it’s a no-go zone.”
He says the MTA has promised accessibility for too long without taking enough action. Safman wants to see more action, not just with elevators at stations, but with signs and Braille writing that can make subway platforms easier to navigate.
“For some reason the MTA and politicians only think if you are disabled you just wanna go to a doctor… they don't want to take the time to realize that we have challenges that can easily be overcome with technology,” said Safman.
While activists voiced their concerns outside MTA headquarters, Access-A-Ride customers and disability advocates testified at an MTA board meeting, demanding improvements to the paratransit system.
We reached out to the MTA for a statement regarding today’s rally outside its headquarters and are awaiting their response.