The First Avenue subway station on the L train has undergone a series of improvements with the latest being the installment of elevators making the stop Americans with Disabilities Act compliant after 30 years of the law being on the books.
In February, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority opened an Avenue A entrance that gave Alphabet City riders a better advantage. Thursday, they were back at the station to announce with disability advocacy groups that the elevator is now in service which the agency is the fourth this week to come online.
“We want one map that shows for the disabled community, for disabled riders, as for the ridership at large. We want a fully accessible MTA system and it’s overdue,” MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber said.
Like a mirror, Bedford Avenue, the first stop on the Brooklyn side of the L train, also has elevators installed all of which was funded in the MTA’s last capital plan.
Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Victor Calise and other advocates called for the federal government to bring provide funds in order to protect the MTA’s 2020-2024 capital plan which is in danger of being shelved due the financial loss after COVID-19 left a devastating mark in the agency’s revenue.
With only about a quarter of the New York City Transit’s 472 stations being ADA accessible, the MTA at large has faced a series of lawsuits over the years pushing for these stops to be updated or for a timeline to be provided for when the full system will be accessible.
The $52 billion capital plan at risk would make at least every other station ADA accessible over the next five to ten years.