The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg was joined today by Commissioner Victor Calise of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), Commissioner Meera Joshi of the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Council Member Stephen Levin, officials from Metropolitan Transportation Authority, accessibility advocates, and others at the Access to Independence Day event. Access to Independence is an accessible transportation expo to educate the community about various accessible transportation options available in the city. The DOT also revealed the new ADA logo for accessible parking spaces in New York City.
“DOT is committed to ensuring that New Yorkers with disabilities have access to jobs, education and other opportunities,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “DOT works every day in partnership with New York’s disability community to ensure that our sidewalks, streets, ferries, and other facilities serve the needs for all.”
“Transportation choices are critical for people with disabilities because they provide independent access to programs, facilities, employment, education, resources, services and a means to maintain interaction with family and friends. People with a disabilities have to be aware and understand the options to help maintain their independence and their quality of life,” said Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Victor Calise.
“With more accessible yellow and green taxis coming on-line every day, and all of the different ways to connect with them, such as the TLC’s Accessible Dispatch Program, this expo is an excellent one-stop shopping opportunity to learn about the ways that these and other new options can really make a difference in people’s lives,” said TLC Commissioner and Chair Meera Joshi.
“In the last several years, we have worked hard to make our transit system increasingly accessible to members of our community who have disabilities,” said New York Transit President Carmen Bianco. “There are currently 82 fully accessible stations in the New York City Transit system and we are well on our way toward achieving our goal of 100 stations by 2020. And each of our 5,600 buses is fully accessible.”
“It is important for all New Yorkers, regardless of their abilities, to know that this city cares for them and has the necessary services to support their daily challenges, said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Accessibility is one of my greatest priorities regarding transportation in our borough, and I am pleased to be a part of this expo that brings all of our resources to the table for constituents needing assistance. Working together, we can make sure disabled New Yorkers are truly able to exercise full independence in their daily travels.”
“All New Yorkers have the right to easy and accessible transportation. Today’s ‘Access to Independence’ event is vital to educating transit riders on their options,” said Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez. “As Chair of the Transportation Committee I am committed to expanding accessibility for all people with disabilities in New York.”
“Every New Yorker deserves to have mobility to move about the city and have access to transportation options,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “Thanks to Commissioner Trottenberg and the Department of Transportation for their work in creating access to transportation for all New Yorkers.”
“From events like today, persons with disabilities can at least learn their travel options,” said Edith Prentiss, Vice President of Disabled in Action. “We need, as a community, to work together to insure people have the opportunity to practice and use these accessible transportation options.”
Access to Independence Day brings together dozens of exhibitors, including NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Department for the Aging, Office of Emergency Management, Taxi and Limousine Commission, Department of Education’s Office of Pupil Transportation and Office of Travel Training, MTA Access-A-Ride, Long Island Railroad, NYC Transit Office of ADA Compliance, MTA Mobile Sales Unit, Water Taxi, Amtrak, Port Authority of NY & NJ, Independence Care System, Bussani Incorporated, FR Conversions, AxsMap, InTandem, Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, Interagency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies, Guide Dog Foundation, Lighthouse Guild for the Blind, Pedestrians for Accessible and Safe Streets, Baruch CCVIP, and uberWAV. DOT had twelve of its programs exhibited at Access to Independence: Mobility Management, Language Access, Accessible Pedestrian Signals, Sidewalk Management, Parking Permits, Staten Island Ferry, Select Bus Service, Safe Routes to Transit, CityBench Program, Pedestrian Projects Group, and Safety City/Safety Outreach. The expo allowed attendees to ask questions about the programs and vehicles and made them more familiar with various transportation options.
Attendees of the expo were allowed to try out the vehicles on site, including a MTA Access-A-Ride MV-1, MTA Access-A-Ride Ford F350, MTA Low Floor Bus, MTA Nova Artic, MTA Nova Rear Lift, NYC DOE Accessible School Bus, TLC’s Accessible Green Taxi, and Bussani Wheelchair Accessible Van. These accessibility options and programs allow for all New Yorkers to move around the five boroughs safely.
DOT also unveiled the new accessible parking signage and logo, which have been updated and removed the term “handicapped.” The new logo is more dynamic and allows for better readability on signage. DOT anticipates to restripe parking spaces with the new logo in all public accessibility parking garages and fields by the end of this year.
For more information about DOT’s transportation accessibility programs, please visit www.nyc.gov/dot.