January 23, 2024
NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation and C2SMARTER Center hosted “Building an Accessible Transit System in New York,” a workshop to discuss findings from the report of the same name. NYU Rudin Center Director Sarah M Kaufman kicked off the event by presenting highlights from the report, which addresses the pressing need to enhance accessibility in New York’s public transportation system.
A major topic of discussion throughout the day was progress on the 2022 agreement by the MTA to make at least 95% of the remaining inaccessible subway stations accessible, or under construction to be made accessible, by 2055. The MTA’s increased pace of improvements, as well as challenges and opportunities to reach this goal, were also discussed. In addition, the presentation highlighted the integral role that congestion pricing will play in financing the MTA’s planned upgrades.
Kaufman’s presentation was followed by a conversation with transportation accessibility leaders:
- Quemuel Arroyo, Chief Accessibility Officer, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
- Carmen de la Rosa, Representative, District 10, New York City Council
- John Ross Rizzo, MD, Health System Director, Disability Inclusion, NYU Langone Health, and Board Member, MTA
Leveraging their unique perspectives, the panel discussed the strides NYC has taken to correct inadequacies of the past while also acknowledging areas that still need to be improved. Each panelist, who is involved in a different facet of the transportation industry, brought their professional expertise and personal experiences to the dynamic discussion.
The event, held at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn, concluded with a Q&A in which various audience members (many of whom identified themselves as people with disabilities) voiced their questions and concerns to the speakers.
This workshop serves as an example of how the city and the MTA will achieve their inclusive goals, a process whose success hinges on buy-in and input from stakeholders within the various NYC communities represented at the workshop.