New York’s Transit Should Be For Everyone

February 19, 2019

Disability Justice, Legislative, News

Access-A-Ride vehicle in New York

NYLPI’s Director of Disability Justice, Ruth Lowenkron, gave testimony before the New York State Senate today about New York’s transit systems. New York’s Transit System does not appropriately serve persons with disabilities, either on subways, buses, through paratransit, taxis, or for-hire vehicles, Ms. Lowenkron said.

Then she outlined critical steps for improving the situation:

    • Ensure that elevators are installed in New York’s subway stations;
    • Ensure that all subway elevators and escalators are well-maintained to remain continually functional;
    • Mandate mandatory and repeated bus driver training regarding services for riders with disabilities, and establish fines for non-cooperating drivers;
    • Ensure that bus lifts are well-maintained to remain continually functional;
    • Oversee the institution of borough-to-borough bus routes;
    • Establish fines for inappropriate bus stop snow removal;
    • Ensure that the Taxi and Limousine Corporation adheres to the settlement agreement in the Taxis For All litigation;
    • Mandate that for-hire vehicles, including Uber, Lyft and other operators, provide comparable service to its customers who require wheelchair-accessible vehicles;
    • In order to support the environment and reduce health impacts of diesel pollution for riders, drivers, and pedestrians, mandate bus and Access-A-Ride fleet replacement with electric vehicles;
    • Ensure that the AAR on-demand pilot program is extended to all AAR users, is made permanent, and is free of any limitations on services;
    • Make all current MTA transit discounts available to AAR users;
    • Mandate route optimization so that AAR riders can reach their destinations without wasting hours traversing multiple boroughs;
    • Ensure that all AAR employees receive extensive training in serving their customers with disabilities;
    • Prevent any fare increase for AAR users; and
    • Invest in public transportation via congestion pricing, as set forth in the Fix NYC report, or by other appropriate means which do not force passengers to experience a fare increase and deteriorating service.

You can read Ruth’s full testimony here.

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