Elected officials and disability advocates rally in support of congestion pricing

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes and Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon stood alongside Disabled In Action of Metropolitan NY and several other community groups.

Faith Graham

Feb 23, 2024, 5:54 PM

Updated 59 days ago

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Elected officials and disability advocates rallied in support of congestion pricing this morning.
State Sen. Andrew Gounardes and Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon stood alongside Disabled In Action of Metropolitan NY and several other community groups.
While congestion pricing has garnered a lot of controversy, those in attendance say they support it and that it will great benefit disabled New Yorkers.
Currently, the Metropolitan Transit Authority is legally obligated to make 95% of its stations accessible by 2055. The elected officials say congestion pricing would drum up funding to support the project. Without it, they say that dream is at risk.
They chose to meet at the Smith Street station as Gounardes says it is the tallest subway station in the world, yet it has no elevators.
"That is unconscionable in the 21st century that this is the transit system we are living with. But we know that we don't have to live this way," Gounardes said.
They're calling for an end to what they refer to as frivolous lawsuits and for the MTA board to approve the plan.
Michael Ring, a Park Slope native, took time to share his story. As a New Yorker with a disability, he says his means of transportation are severely limited in the area of the Smith Street station.
"Within walking distance or rolling distance of this station, there are three stations right now that are not accessible. Bergen Street, Carroll Street, or up the hill on Fourth Avenue. Those stations are not accessible. If congestion pricing passes, they will become accessible in our lifetime," Ring said.
The MTA board is expected to take a final vote this spring.


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