Reps. Ritchie Torres and Adriano Espaillat Announce $156 Million in Federal Funds to Ensure ADA Accessibility at 5 NYC Transit Systems

The MTA, Sen. Chuck Schumer, and Local Leaders Join the Congressmen Today for a Press Conference

Today, Congressmen Ritchie Torres (NY-15) and Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) held a press conference at Kingsbridge Road Station in the Bronx to celebrate the announcement of $156 million in federal funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that will be coming home to the Bronx and Manhattan to ensure transit stations become ADA accessible.

Reps. Torres and Espaillat played a crucial role in advocating for the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in the House and creating this new discretionary program dedicated to ensuring ADA accessibility. Funding will be used to upgrade subway stations, making them fully ADA-accessible, allowing safe and convenient travel to and from the stations for all New Yorkers, regardless of their level of mobility. Additionally, modernization work will include installing elevators, updating the platform to reduce gaps, adding tactical platform edge warning strips, making stairway repairs, improving signage, and enhancing visual and audio systems. 

Reps. Torres and Espaillat were joined by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Michael Culotta (FTA Region 2, Deputy Regional Administrator), Janno Lieber (MTA Chair and CEO), Quemuel Arroyo (MTA Chief Accessibility Officer), Pierina Sanchez (NYC Council Member), Oswald Feliz (NYC Council Member), and local residents in making this announcement.

At the event, Rep. Torres said:

“I’m proud to partner with Congressman Espaillat, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, USDOT, the MTA, and all our state and local officials to announce $156 million for 5 stations — and the majority of those stations are going to be right here in the Bronx, in the South Bronx, in the West Bronx, in the Northeast Bronx. As Bronx elected officials, we are judged by the dollars we bring here to the Bronx. And as the two members of the Bronx delegation who voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment, we have seen hundreds of millions of dollars of infrastructure funding flowing into the Bronx, and billions of dollars flowing into New York.

“In order for public transit to be public for everyone, it must be accessible to all — it must be accessible to those with disabilities. The American Disabilities Act is one of the landmarks in American law. But even a landmark law is only as good as the funding behind it. And so we in the federal government are putting our money where our mouth is. We are putting the weight of the federal purse behind the civil rights of the disabled.”

Sen. Schumer said:

“Ritchie Torres and Adriano Espaillat — I get to see all the Congressman — I don’t know any who are more hardworking, more effective, more well-liked, and who better represent their constituents than these two great guys. As one of the legacies that Sen. Moynihan left me when I became Senator, he said: protect New York’s transit dollars and New York’s transit system. And with the great help from our Congress members — the only 2 in the Bronx delegation who voted for this bill — we’ve been able to do so very successfully.

“When you can’t use our mass transit, it’s harder to get a job, harder for your kids to go to school, harder for you to see what’s going on in the city. This is like opening a beautiful vista.”

Michael Culotta, FTA Region 2 Administrator, said:

“Today, we’re celebrating how we work together to make our nation’s oldest rail stations accessible to people with disabilities and that, when we say we are making federal investments to improve the lives of all Americans, we are making investments to improve the lives of everyone, including those with disabilities and those who live in underserved communities in places like The Bronx and Upper Manhattan. Of the MTA’s 493 subway and Staten Island Railway stations, only 147 are ADA-accessible. That’s significant because only 55% of seniors and people with disabilities live within a half-mile of an ADA-accessible station. By improving stations like we are today to ensure everyone can ride, we are taking a major step forward towards promoting equity in our transportation systems.”  

The full video of the press conference can be watched here.

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