Transit riders call on federal government to aid MTA's quest for accessibility
Local leaders are calling on President Joe Biden to help make New York City's transit system more accessible.
Transit riders, advocates and elected officials called for $20 billion in funding to help complete the MTA's Capital Program, which would help provide new elevators and make subways, buses and paratransit more reliable and accessible.
They're calling for funding for elevators at every station across the city. The Straphangers Campaign, a public transit advocacy group, said that less than 25% of all subway stations in the city are accessible to people with disabilities, including outside the 149th and Grand Concourse station where the rally was held.
In addition to elevator access, the MTA Capital Program would fund new signals, electric buses and would increase and expand service to transit deserts - like some areas of the Bronx.
Jessica de La Rosa is in a wheelchair and says getting around the city on mass transit is exhausting and she wants equal access.
"I have to plan it out, I have to make sure that the elevator is working and that when I get there I check again, just to be sure," she said. "I really want accessibility. You know, especially for people who use wheelchairs, walkers and you know everybody, but elevator access is so incredibly important."
A representative from the MTA at the rally said the Capital Program seeks to invest $5.2 billion in accessibility and that they can't execute it without additional funding support.