Bay Ridge

Letter to the Editor November 13

Funding ADA-compliant elevators in the subway

November 13, 2020
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Dear Editor,

This week’s news that the MTA completed construction of three fully Americans With Disability Act (ADA) accessible elevators to the NYC Transit Brooklyn 59th St. N & subway station along with improved security and fire systems is great news. “Elevators open at 59th Street Station” (Jamie DeJesus — November 13). It will benefit thousands of N & R NYC Transit subway riders from Sunset Park, Bay Ridge and other adjacent neighborhoods. Instead of the usual cry of insufficient resources, here are two ways the MTA can obtain financial support to pay for bringing more of the 472 NYC Transit subway stations into compliance with the ADA. The MTA receives $1.4 billion in annual assistance from various Federal Transit Administration grant funding programs. In 2021, this will grow to $1.5 billion. I had the privilege of working with the MTA and NYC Transit in the development, review, approval and subsequent oversight of federal grant funding which financed construction of numerous ADA subway station improvements while working for the Federal Transit Administration. They all turned out to be a great investment of your tax dollars.

Why not ask any major business, college or hospital who benefit from NYC Transit subway stations adjacent to their facility to sponsor installation of or upgrades to existing elevator(s). Let them split the cost 50 percent with the MTA NYC Transit in exchange for naming rights to the elevator(s). The MTA needs to make some difficult decisions as to what other projects and programs may have to be canceled or reduced in the $51 billion MTA 2020 – 2024 Five Year Capital Plan which is no longer financially viable. This is necessary to find funding for installation of ADA compliant elevators at more subway stations in Brooklyn along with the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and at Staten Island Railway stations. .

– Larry Penner (transportation advocate, historian, and writer)


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