For decades, residents have been demanding that the MTA restore elevator service that was once available at 149th Street and Grand Concourse on the 2, 4,and 5 subway lines—the borough’s 4th busiest with 4,536,888 riders in 2014 which saw a 2.5% increase from the prior year.
Now, in the MTA’s proposed 2015-2019 Capital Program, 149th Street and Grand Concourse, along with Bedford Park Boulevard and Grand Concourse on the B and D line, and Gun Hill Road on the 5 Dyre Avenue line, stand a chance at finally getting elevator access at these critical locations in our borough—if approved.
Being able to bring subway stations into ADA compliance is a daunting task but more so when they’re underground where utility lines and the likes have to be rerouted.
Stations like 149th Street and Grand Concourse are an engineer’s nightmare (or delight if they’re up for a challenge) due to the nature of the station’s multiple levels and platforms which has a price tag of $45 million for restoration of 1 elevator and installation of a new one.
Although this is great news once approved, it will take a long time before all stations are accessible to those with mobility issues.
Manhattan has the bulk of the stations with elevators but if you’re in a wheelchair in the outer boroughs, chances are you’ll be travelling by alternative methods like Access a Ride.
Next week on Tuesday, December 1st, South Bronx Community Congress will hold a press conference regarding this victory at 12pm in front of 149th Street and Grand Concourse station on the 2, 4, and 5 subway lines.
Here’s looking towards the day that the system is equitable for all—hopefully within our lifetimes!