MTA needs improvements for disabled riders, group finds

By Marlene Naanes

The MTA needs to improve its communication with disabled riders, an advisory group to the agency said yesterday, recommending that the Authority make better use of its Web site and upgrade its announcement systems.

“While much has been accomplished, more remains to be done, and the MTA is legally and morally obligated to improve accessibility for all riders on its buses, commuter rail services, and subways,” William Guild, chairman of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said in a statement Tuesday.All buses and 82 subway stations are wheelchair accessible, with 34 additional accessible stations expected by 2020. And while the MTA has or is testing other technologies to help disabled riders, more needs to be done, the citizens group said in a report issued Tuesday.

“When it comes to improving service to our customers with disabilities - from the efforts underway to install tactile warning strips at railroad and subway stations, to our exploration of ways to add more elevator and escalator information on our Web site - we are pleased that the MTA and the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee are thinking alike,” said an MTA Aaron Donovan spokesman.

The report’s recommendations include:

- Create Web site pages for all subway stations and post any information related to accessibility, including the location of elevators and escalators within the station.

- Install tactile strips along the floor of newly constructed or significantly renovated stations that lead visually impaired customers to Braille signs, ticket booths and other important locations.

- Post floor plans in all key stations with the location of the elevators at that station. They should be placed at the entrance to the station near other maps or passenger information centers and on platforms.

- Accelerate implementation of technology that provides automated audible and visible stop announcements on buses to reduce the impact of operators failing to make announcements. All new buses should have this feature.

Tags: mta , metropolitan transportation authority , disabled riders , wall street

advertisement | advertise on newsday

advertisement | advertise on newsday