Disabled LIRR

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

Disabled Riders Call On LIRR To Make Stations More Accessible

July 17, 2019 - 3:24 pm

MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Disabled Long Islanders rallied together on Wednesday, demanding the Long Island Rail Road became more wheelchair accessible.

Douglas King, a LIRR commuter that has been in a wheelchair for over 40 years, challenged LIRR President Phillip Eng and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to see what people like him had to go through because so many stations are not equipped with elevators.

He says the two of them should “spend the day with me and going around to the different train station so they can see what a person with a disability goes through.”

At the Massapequa Park train station, King pointed out that 15% of LIRR stations are not accessible, even with the Americans with Disabilities Act passing nearly 30 years ago.

“This is not a Republican thing, this is not a Democratic thing, this is ‘do the right thing’ for people with disabilities,” King said.

He called on lawmakers to immediately address the issue.

In a statement an LIRR spokesperson said the agency is working to meet the goal of having every station accessible to all and that they expanded the LIRR-CARE Call Ahead Program, which helps disabled riders.

"This spring, we also began piloting a ‘Help Point’ kiosk that allows riders with special mobility needs to alert the crews of upcoming trains that they may need additional assistance. The initial reception to these initiatives has been very positive," the agency said in a statement. "We engage regularly with disability advocates to seek their feedback as we make our system more accessible."