This is a campaign to bring necessary attention to the inconsistencies in wheelchair accessibility within the NYC MTA Subway System. This is an issue of corporate accountability. This is an issue of safety. If the MTA lists a station as "Wheelchair Accessible" then it needs to BE wheelchair accessible, but it's not consistently so. I've personally experienced this too many times, which was not only scary but downright dangerous. When you file a complaint with the MTA, they give you the same answer : "thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention. We will pass this on to the appropriate supervisors." and then nothing changes. It's time to fight back. Whether you are in a wheelchair or not, please sign the petition and share this with everyone you know. The MTA should not be allowed to get away with this, and it is only because they are the only game in town, that they do. Thank you. http://mindthegapmta.tumblr.com/
Don't let the MTA get away with this!! This isn't just about safety! This is about corporate accountability! This is a campaign to bring necessary attention to the inconsistencies in wheelchair accessibility within the NYC MTA Subway System. If the MTA lists a station as "Wheelchair Accessible" (meaning that a person in a wheelchair will have access to it) then it needs to BE wheelchair accessible, but it's not consistently so.
This is not only scary but downright dangerous to the rider. When the rider (in a wheelchair) files a complaint with the MTA, they get the same answer : "thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention. We will pass this on to the appropriate supervisors." and then nothing changes.
It's time to fight back. The MTA should not be allowed to get away with this, and it is only because they are the only game in town, that they do. There is no reason why when a wheelchair accessible subway station becomes temporarily wheelchair inaccessible, there aren't signs posted in the station. When the user asks the booth employee to use the autogate, the employee isn't informed so that they can notify the rider. Lastly, why there isn't MTA Mobility Assistants available upon request to assist people in wheelchairs in getting on and off the subway, so that they may do so safely.
Below are just three examples of how dangerous the company is, and how nothing gets done despite the many complaints.
example one: "On Tuesday (July 10th 2012), I took the subway to the Dekalb station in downtown Brooklyn to show my support for a local union picket line... but after 3 hours of being in the strong sun... I decided it was time to go home.
I headed back to the Dekalb station, pay my fare and make my way (via the elevator) to the platform to get the downtown Q. I see a B train head towards the station, but for some reason the ledge (the part that sticks out of the subway car by the doors, so the gap between the car and platform is minimalized) was rather high up. I was looking at it and it just didn't look wheelchair accessible. "Must be a fluke" I thought to myself, "I'll wait for the next train." And so a Q train pulls up, but it's the same situation. "Maybe it's more accessible then it looks?" I thought to myself. After all, I went on the MTA website. It said it was. I did all the preparation that you're supposed to do, and I didn't have this problem heading into downtown Brooklyn. So I decided to give it a go.
Well, cut to my chair getting stuck. and I don't mean a little stuck where I could back my way out. I mean STUCK. Stuck, where the chair was tilted back and I was unable to move forward or backwards. Immediately, four complete strangers, jump out of their seats on the subway to help me. It took two burly looking men to push from behind, to even get me onto the subway car (the other two spotted from the front).
And while this does speak of the generosity and humanity of NYC residents (who sometimes get a bad rap), this was a station that was supposed to be wheelchair accessible. It is listed on the MTA website as wheelchair accessible. There was no construction going on the line (that was reported) that would effect my route. Nor where there any signs in the station : The Q & B platform is temporarily wheelchair inaccessible. Nothing. I was left to find this out by myself, which not only put my chair at risk, but I could have been seriously hurt.
example two: "I once learned the hard way from a previous experience that the Kings Highway subway platform is curved towards the beginning and towards the end. This results in a wider gap between the subway car and the subway platform. Cut to my wheelchair wheel going INTO the gap, (and my wheelchair getting stuck). Thankfully, I was with a friend at the time, who as able to push me from behind. However, it should be noted, that there was no warning on the MTA website. No signs on the platform. I was left to figure this out on my own."
example three: "Every time, there is something wrong with the NYC subway system, where they say on the website, it's safe to go this route - and it's blatantly not, I have emailed my complaint to the MTA because that's what you're supposed to do. Each time, I pretty much get the same response. Thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention. Customer satisfaction is very important to us. And sometimes they'll add that they will forward this email to the appropriate supervisor. But then nothing changes!"
It's time the NYC MTA Subway System was made consistently safe for subway riders who get around in wheelchairs. We are not demanding a platform made of gold, nor that every platform become wheelchair accessible. We are demanding that the platforms that you list as wheelchair accessible, that they should be consistently wheelchair accessible. And that if something should come up that would effect this, the passenger in the wheelchair is not left to find this out the hard way. That the MTA provides the necessary assistance/information, so that they can ride safely. It's time to step up, MTA and stop putting your customers at risk!!