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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

NCIL Applauds Two Class Action Lawsuits Filed Against NYC Subway System

NCIL applauds the efforts of our member CILs, Bronx Independent Living Services (BILS), Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled (BCID), Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY), and Harlem Independent Living Center (HILC), in filing two class action lawsuits today against the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) regarding the NYC subway system.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingThe NYC subway system spans the five boroughs of New York City. However, less than one quarter of the nearly 500 subway stations in the system are accessible for people with mobility disabilities. Of the 10 major transportation systems in the country, NYC is the least accessible. In contrast, Washington D.C. and San Francisco’s transportation systems are both 100% accessible for wheelchair users and others who have difficulty climbing steps. Alternative transportation options in NYC, such as the Access-A-Ride paratransit program, are unreliable and segregate people with disabilities from their fellow NYC residents.

The lawsuit alleges that though the MTA has had the resources to make their stations accessible over the past several decades, they have chosen not to consider accessibility as a priority. The plaintiffs claim that the inaccessibility of the NYC subway system violates the New York City Human Rights Law as well as the city administrative code.

We support our member CILs in this effort and salute their commitment to equal access for all!

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