ELEVATOR ACTION GROUp

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MISSION STATEMENT

We are a coalition of concerned New Yorkers and activists moving to push wheelchair accessibility in the subways to the top of the MTA agenda. Accessibility is not a dismissible issue. It Is not a luxury or convenience. It is a necessity and a civil right.

CONTACT

riseandresist.eag@gmail.com

Join our Google Groups for announcements and / or to get involved in planning our actions. Click "Apply for membership" after following the link (you must be logged in to Gmail). 

DESCRIPTION

Through actions at subway stations, attending MTA meetings, petitioning community boards, writing letters, attending court hearings and working with other organizations, we are determined to make New York City’s transportation system more accessible.

CAMPAIGN

EAG’s campaign, Elevators are for Everyone demands MTA reform.

The MTA must address their failure to comply with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990) as well as the simple economic imperative that people with disabilities are taxpayers. Wheelchair users are taxpayers. New Yorkers over 65 are taxpayers. Parents and caregivers who need to maneuver the subway are taxpayers. Delivery people are taxpayers. All these people ride the subway and need access to working elevators.

The MTA must address their failure to comply with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990) as well as the simple economic imperative that people with disabilities are taxpayers. Wheelchair users are taxpayers. New Yorkers over 65 are taxpayers. Parents and caregivers who need to maneuver the subway are taxpayers. Delivery people are taxpayers. All these people ride the subway and need access to working elevators.

Out of 472 subway stations, only 110 (23%) are accessible under the ADA. By excluding people with disabilities from the subways, Cuomo and the MTA are complicit in rejecting our civil rights, forcing us to fend for ourselves or rely on inferior transportation options. New York City is dead last in the country by percentage of accessible subway stations.. Given the success of other old American cities in improving access to their subways, excuses like cost and age of stations are not valid.

New York City is currently experiencing a breakdown of the subway due to years of neglect, and prioritizing vanity projects over basic system maintenance. New Yorkers are experiencing delays like never before, without realizing that this has been the daily reality of wheelchair users for decades. As the MTA and the State of New York grapple with bringing overall service back to the system, it is imperative that elevators are part of their long-term plans and part of ALL station renovations and enhancements in the future. Not doing so is a major liability for all New Yorkers and jeopardizes our city's future.

ally ORGANIZATIONS

AARRG! (the Access-A-Ride Reform Group)

CIDNY (Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY)
The lead plaintiff in Center for Independence of the Disabled New York (CIDNY), et al. v. New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA), et al. (S.D.N.Y.) and part of AARRG. Also see their subway disabilities map - Here!

Disability Rights Advocates (DRA)
Legal counsel for dual class action lawsuits challenging the New York City subway system’s illegal discrimination against wheelchair users and others Case Files and (In)Accessibility Map

TransitCenter - Report: Access Denied , TransitCenter Goes to the Panorama

Straphangers Campaign

past actions

July 15, 2018 - Disability Pride Parade, New York City

May 10, 2018 - Accessible Subway Stations Now! Rally at 60 Centre Street

May 7, 2018 - Rally for Accessibility: 72nd St. B/C Station

April 26, 2018 - "Only in New York" event at the Museum of the City of New York with MTA Chairman, Joe Lhota, was disrupted by The People’s MTA. Rise and Resist was in attendance with other disability rights protesters.

April 13, 2018 - Members of Rise and Resist tour the subway system with Andy Byford, President of the NYCTA -  Photos

January 23, 2018 - Community Board 1 Meeting approves elevators at Broad St. Station - Rise and Resist is there

January 22, 2018 -  Accessibility Map presented to Andy Byford, President of New York City Transit

December 16, 2017 - This Station is a Dinosaur - Press Release | Photos

November 15, 2017 - Elevators Are For Everyone - Rally at MTA Headquarters - Press Release | Photos

October 16, 2017 - Stranded By Cuomo Flash Mob - Press Release | Photos

in the news

Challenges Ahead for the Man in Charge of the MTA 7/10/18

Can Andy Byford Save the Subways? 7/9/18

Why Aren't Elevators Part of Subway Renovations? - CBS Radio - 5/7/18

Disability Rights Activists Disrupt MTA Talk, Demanding Subway Accessibility - Gothamist - 4/27/18

Disability rights protest derails MTA event in East Harlem - NY1 - 4/26/18

MTA Transit president Andy Byford takes the train with disability rights advocates - amny - 4/16/18

NYC Subway elevators need an urgent lift - amny - 1/31/18

MTA’s Andy Byford gifted map of stations lacking wheelchair access, courtesy of Rise and Resist - amny - 1/22/18

Bronx residents call for full accessibility at Parkchester subway station - News 12 The Bronx - 10/16/17

FAQS

1. Do we endorse candidates?                                                                                         
No, we do not. But we ask all candidates to support policies that prioritize accessibility for all.

2. Aren't elevators very expensive?                                                                                             
Yes, they are. But we can’t afford not to make the subways accessible. We are heartened by these words in Transit president Andy Byford's Fast Forward plan:

“Accessibility strengthens our transit system, and it's the right thing to do. As a conduit to employment, opportunity, culture and community, transit should give all members of the public a reliable way to travel. An accessible system benefits us all, because at some point, many people will find getting around more challenging — it could be because we use a wheelchair, or have vision or hearing loss, or are elderly and have trouble climbing stairs, or have a cognitive disability, or have a baby in a stroller, or any number of other challenges.”

3. How many subway stations need to be made accessible?
All of them, as quickly as possible. There are more than 350 stations that are not wheelchair accessible. As taxpayers, we have a right to equal access to our city. A single inaccessible station is one too many. The MTA has had an abysmal record on accessibility. We want to change that through direct action and putting public pressure on our elected officials to fund accessibility improvements.

4. Aren't some stations too hard to make accessible?
We are a city with literally hundreds of thousands of buildings with elevators of all shapes and sizes, going up and down dozens of stories. Given the expertise that exists here, we can make this happen. In the vast majority of cases a two-floor elevator or ramp will likely be feasible. The MTA is currently conducting a 2-year study to assess the cost and feasibility of making the remaining stations wheelchair accessible. This is the first time they have systematically assessed the whole system rather than throwing out wild guesses in the tens of billions of dollars.

5. Aren't other cities' subway systems smaller?
Yes, and so are their tax bases. We use that money to put stop lights at all our intersections and schools for all our children. Why not subways for all our people? To quote Andy Byford (again): “The world’s greatest city needs world-class transit.”

6. Aren't other cities' systems newer?
Mostly, and new systems have the advantage of being built with wheelchair accessibility in mind. However, Boston built the first subway system in the U.S. and is now 94% accessible. Older systems in Chicago and Philadelphia are approaching 70% and 50% respectively. NYC remains dead last at 23%, embarrassingly far behind.       

7. Aren’t there vans for people with disabilities who need transportation?
Yes. Access-A-Ride is the MTA's paratransit service and is supposed to provide service comparable to public transportation for people who can't use the subway or buses due to their disability. Unfortunately, the current system is wildly inefficient, extremely costly, and doesn't compare to the travel times or availability of the subway. It costs more than half a billion dollars per year to provide service to 150,000 passengers, and a single ride costs more than $70 on average. While paratransit service will always be a necessity for some people with disabilities who need more help, many Access-A-Ride passengers would rather take the subway, which is the fastest way to get around town. The subway is just not a viable choice for many people because of its inaccessibility.