NYC: Wed. Oct. 25: Protest to Demand MTA Make Public Transportation Accessible!


The MTA CAN Afford to Make
Public Transportation Accessible!

 WED., OCTOBER 25, 9 am 

Speakers will include:

  • Mary Kaessinger, Disability Pride
  • Eman Rimawi, Access-A-Ride Campaign Coordinator
    for New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
  • Terrea Mitchell, Peoples Power Assemblies
  • Yannick Benjamin, Founder, Wheeling Forward
  • Michele Gilliam, TWU Local 100 Campaigns Director

Leaders in the disability rights community will reject last week’s assertion by the MTA that it cannot afford to make New York subway stations accessible.

Last week, MTA officials responded to a Bronx rally protesting the lack of elevators by telling Bronx 12 News that adding elevators would come “at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.” (See screenshot below).

Gathering in front of the MTA headquarters before the transit authority’s board meeting-and joined by representatives from the transit workers union-activists from various groups will respond that it is not lack of funds that prevents subways from complying with ADA law, but a refusal to prioritize the needs of riders with disabilities.

“The constant subway breakdowns and mass delays show that public transportation is not being run for the benefit of the riders – and this is especially true for anyone who needs an elevator or cannot use the stairs,” said Mary Kaessinger, a wheelchair user and member of Disability Pride. “Public transportation is a service, not a business. But banks are profiting handsomely from public trnsportation – from tax-free debt-service payments – while the riders suffer.”

“Both the $32 billion capital plan and the $35 billion debt the MTA owes to banks show that tens of billions of dollars are going everywhere but where money needs to go: fixing the subway and making it work for the riders,” Kaessinger said. “Not long ago, the Senate approved $700 billion for the Pentagon. We know there is enough money in this city and this system to be used for people’s needs, not war and Wall Street profits.”