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State Lawmaker: MTA Is Not Doing Enough For Disabled Commuters

Sen. Eric Adams: Smith-9th Street Station Is City's Tallest, Has Only Stairs
Smith-9th Streets subway station in Brooklyn - April 26, 2013 (credit: Jim Smith / WCBS 880)

Smith-9th Streets subway station in Brooklyn – April 26, 2013 (credit: Jim Smith / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York State Sen. Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn) called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Sunday to improve accessibility for the disabled at subway stations.

Joined by an 87-year-old straphanger, Adams made a point about a lack of accessibility at some stations in the subway system by climbing the flights of stairs leading to the platform at what he said was the world’s tallest subway station – the elevated Smith-9th Street F and G train stop in Brooklyn.

The station reopened in April after a two-year, $32 million renovation project, but does not include elevators or ramps for the disabled.

“The Smith and 9th Street station is the highest station in our city, yet we don’t have an elevator after doing a state-of-the-art renovation,” Adams told 1010 WINS.

As a result, Adams complained, the station has been left inaccessible to thousands of straphangers, and even fit riders are worn out after climbing all the stairs.

The woman who joined Adams has been visiting from Israel, and has been unable to use the Smith-9th Street station because of the stairs, Adams said in a statement.

He called on the MTA to implement a shuttle to the Church Avenue station, which is fully accessible and serves both the F and G lines.

“The free shuttle can be similar to what we have now, which is called the Access-a-Ride, but they have to pay for that,” Adams said. “And we don’t believe a handicapped or disabled person should have to pay an additional fare to gain access to the public transportation system that their tax dollars help build and maintain.”

Adams said with no options at the Smith-9th Street station and no easy transportation to another stop, the MTA is failing to serve the entire public.

“Our public transportation system is supposed to be accessible to the entire public, and those who are part of the disabled population are included in having accessibility,” he said.

Speaking to Gothamist in April, an MTA spokesman said structural issues at the Smith-9th Street station made it impossible to include an elevator in the new design.

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