South Brooklyn

Sen. Gounardes, blaming decades of underfunding, laments suspension of MTA’s accessibility upgrades

June 26, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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SOUTHERN BROOKLYN — STATE SEN. ANDREW GOUNARDES LAMENTED THAT SEVERAL UPGRADES TO MTA SUBWAY STATIONS will be deferred indefinitely following the transit agency board’s 10-1 vote Wednesday afternoon to pause its tolling plan. Had it taken effect this Sunday, June 30, the congestion pricing plan would have raised $15 million in revenue toward transit infrastructure. Four Brooklyn stations whose upgrades will be postponed include the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station on Boerum Hill, the 8th Ave D and Kings Highway N stations, and a Neptune Ave. station. A map published on X shows that the Nostrand Avenue A/C station is also impacted. The deferral is angering Sen. Gounardes, whose district includes these stations. “It’s so deeply frustrating to learn that the MTA is planning to defer many of the accessibility upgrades we fought so hard to get included in the last Capital Program, including the long-awaited elevators at 18th Ave D and Kings Highway N stations, as well as the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station. These elevators were so important to my neighbors that we managed to amend the already-finalized Capital Program to include them. By deferring these legally mandated accessibility upgrades, the MTA and the state are breaking a promise to New Yorkers with disabilities. Shame on the elected officials who are cheering this indefinite pause while providing no real alternative—they’ve cost our communities these elevators.”

State Sen. Gounardes at a 2021 rally in which he was pushing for elevators to be installed at the stations which are now being back-burnered due to the congestion pricing postponement. Brooklyn Eagle photo by Steve Solomonson
State Sen. Gounardes at a 2021 rally in which he was pushing for elevators to be installed at the stations which are now being back-burnered due to the congestion pricing postponement. Brooklyn Eagle photo by Steve Solomonson

Gounardes also blamed the subways’ worsening disrepair on his predecessor’s inability to prioritize monies for the MTA. “For decades, successive governors and legislatures have underfunded the MTA’s capital budget,” he said.

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