Seniors, transit activists and AARP members gathered outside the Penn South apartment cooperative on Thursday to call for better accessibility in the subway system. The property, on 8th Avenue and 25th Street, is home to a number of older and retired residents, and while there’s a subway station on the corner, many of them can’t use it since it lacks an elevator.
“I have not been able to use the subway since 2008, when I broke my hip, and I find the stairs impossible,” said Harriet Kriegel, who lives at Penn South. “I will tell you, as grubby as the subway was, I missed it terribly.”
Only about a quarter of the city’s subway stations have elevators, making the rest of the network inaccessible to those who can’t traverse stairs. The number of residents cut off from the system due to its lack of elevators will only grow as more of the population ages: In the next two decades, New Yorkers 65 and older will account for 18 percent of the city, according to the AARP.
The group is calling for state lawmakers to fund the MTA’s “Fast Forward” plan, which would install elevators at 50 new stations in the next five years, and another 130 additional stations over the next decade.
Watch the whole event below.