Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials unveiled three shiny new elevators at the Greenpoint Avenue G line station on Thursday — the second elevator ever installed on the G line.
The newly accessible station, which took 29 months to complete at a cost of $23.4 Million, comes as the state-run agency is facing an massive budget crisis amid an unprecedented revenue drop, and is pleading with the federal government to provide desperately needed cash it needs to keep buses and trains running and continue making improvements.
“We need more ADA accessible stations just like this one, and we are ready and committed to making an unprecedented investment in ADA stations,” said Chief Customer Officer Sarah Meyer during a press conference on Dec. 10. “But this critically important work cannot be achieved if the MTA is forced to make hard choices between operating the trains and buses, and capital improvements.”
The authority says it needs a $12 Billion bailout in order to avert a “doomsday” situation for transit in New York, which could include layoffs of thousands of workers, the elimination of entire bus and subway lines, and headways of up to 8 minutes.
Accessibility projects would also be put on hold under a cash-strapped authority — a fate that could doom the agency’s goal of bringing elevators to 70 stations in the enormous transit system.
There are currently 133 stations with elevators throughout the system. 70 new elevators are planned in the 2020-2024 Capital Plan, most of which are on hold due to budgetary restraints, except for those that qualify for other sources of funding, according to authority spokesman Shams Tarek.
“The future of accessibility is hanging in the balance, and we need federal support,” said MTA board member Victor Calise, who uses a wheelchair. “We need creative ways, we need public-private partnerships, we need everything.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated incorrectly that this was the first elevator along the G line. It has been updated to address this inaccuracy.