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MTA: Congestion Pricing Could Lead To A More Accessible Subway

March 27, 2019 - 7:13 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Dozens more elevators could be installed at subway stations with the help of money from congestion pricing, the MTA says.

At an MTA board meeting Wednesday, officials talked about the plan to make the subway system more accessible for people with strollers, wheelchairs, walkers and more.

Among those at the meeting was Dontaysia Turner, who said an elevator would have saved the life of her cousin, Malaysia Goodson.

The 22-year-old died in January after falling down a subway stairwell while carrying her baby’s stroller. There was no elevator at the station.

Related: Cops: Mom Dies Carrying Baby Stroller Down Subway Stairs

“I feel like you guys are raising the pricing and nothing is being done,” an emotional Turner told the board.

“I want to know: Where’s all the money going to? We need elevators, if not at every station, at least at every other station or every two stations,” she said.

After Turner spoke, Acting Chairman Fernando Ferrer said the plan is to install many more elevators – an effort that would be furthered by congestion pricing.

“We have an ongoing commitment,” Ferrer said. “That’s why the congestion pricing effort is so important. That’s how we get capital funds to be able to build these elevators.”

“We’re serious about it,” he said.

The MTA board meeting was the first since state legislators voiced their support for congestion pricing this week, all but guaranteeing the plan's fruition.

Related: Manhattan Congestion Pricing One Step Closer To Passing

Ferrer says Phase 1 of congestion pricing – which upped the surcharge on yellow cab rides and imposed a new fee on Uber and Lyft rides into the busiest parts of Manhattan – has already pumped $50 million into the MTA.

MTA President Andy Byford says that after the completion of elevators at more than 50 stations, riders will “be no more than two stops away from an accessible station.”

“In the following five years, another 130 stations. So we will then be within striking distance of the fully accessible system,” he said.

Byford says the renewed push for an accessible subway system will be Malaysia Goodson’s legacy.