AHRC praises MTA pilot project bringing accessibility to Jay Street-MetroTech station

An MTA pilot project in Brooklyn is getting rave reviews from an influential advocacy group.
The AHRC, who helps people with disabilities, is praising the new accessibility lab at the Jay Street- MetroTech station.

The project includes colorful way-finding strips to help direct commuters where they need to go. Just one of several experimental features of the accessibility station lab at Jay Street- MetroTech.

"We wanted to pick a station that was busy, that was accessible, that was in a vibrant area like downtown Brooklyn, and would give us a good opportunity to test a lot of things," says Michael Lettman, AHRC.

Things like tactile guideways, braille maps and five new way-finding apps. They've all been at the station since the pilot launched in October, and so far, have debuted to rave reviews.

"I'm impressed. I do research on stuff that could help the autistic community or people with disabilities, or anyone else, and this accessibility station lab is a big help for many people with disabilities," says Matthew Estep, AHRC self-advocacy adviser.

While the AHRC praises the lab as being a step in the right direction, the group says it needs to expand to all stations.

"If you can't depend on them to always be there, you can't depend on them at all," says Lettman.

However, there are budgetary constraints, and the MTA says it'll be strategic with expansion. 

"We're going to be looking to the stations that we recently announced are going to be made accessible in the 2020-2024 capital plan as some early opportunities to roll out the most successful features," says Rachel Cohen, director of systemic accessibly, NYC Transit.

To determine the most successful features, they're seeking feedback from commuters through the end of Friday.