With Access-A-Ride service getting cut (and really, Access-A-Ride just sucking in general), the city's handicapped citizens have been forced to brave the subways to get themselves around. But with just 110 of the subway and commuter rail stations wheelchair accessible, that hasn't been working out so well either. Now, the United Spinal Association and the Disability Rights Advocates are filing a suit against the MTA, claiming they're in violation of the Americans With Disabilities act for not doing everything required to make subway stations accessible.
The lawsuit specifically alleges that the $20 million overhaul of the Dykman Street 1 station has no funds allocated to making the station more handicapped accessible. According to PR Newswire, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires 20% of the budget for any upgrades made to an existing station to be set aside for improving accessibility. Plaintiffs' counsel Sid Wolinsky said, "Access to the subway system is absolutely essential to life in New York City. A person who does not have access to the subway in New York simply does not have access to the range of professional opportunities, cultural events, and social relationships which are so essential to the fabric of life in the City."
The Daily News reports that 81 "key" stations are either handicapped accessible or are undergoing construction, and $500 million has been set aside to make additional stations accessible by 2014. But until then, remember handicapped folks, you can always call 911.