New York MTA Sued for Lack of Handicap Access  

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A new class-action lawsuit filed against the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in New York alleges the agency did not make its stations wheelchair accessible when it made a number of recent upgrades.

The lawsuit was brought by two disability advocacy groups on behalf of people with physical disabilities who use MTA’s facilities. According to those groups, the MTA paid no attention to the Americans with Disabilities Act in its $21 million renovation of the major Middletown Road station, located in the Bronx.

The new station does not include an elevator, which makes it impossible for people who need to use wheelchairs to use the facility. The renovations did include certain accessibility improvements, such as raised platform edge warning strips, ADA compliant and braille signage and stair handrails, but the lack of elevators is a significant problem.

Problem exists across MTA facilities

According to Disability Rights Advocates, only about 19 percent of the subway stations across New York City are fully accessible and meet all of the standards set in the ADA. This compares to 100 percent ratings in major cities like Washington and San Francisco, as well as 74 percent in Boston, 68 percent in Philadelphia and 67 percent in Chicago.

However, a representative from the MTA argues the agency is actually not legally required to install elevators if it is not technically feasible. The MTA claims it would not have been feasible to install elevators at the Middletown Road station because of lack of space in the facility.

It remains to be seen whether this argument will hold up in legal proceedings. Despite the few improvements that were put in place as part of the recent renovations, people in support of disability rights say the new improvements do not go far enough in ensuring handicapped people are able to have the same access to the facilities as anyone else.

Public transportation accessibility is a major issue because a lack of such accessibility prevents people with disabilities from being able to make their appointments, participate in community activities and more.

For more information about complying with all ADA standards, contact our team to learn about our ADA signage.

Filed Under: ADA News

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