Times Ledger: Federal complaint against MTA strengthens Astoria elected’s position

Times Ledger

March 21, 2018

Originally published in Times Ledger on March 21, 2018.

Astoria’s elected officials and community leaders have been arguing since October that the MTA’s massive renovation project that completely closed the 30th and 36th Avenue stations on the N and W stations violated federal law for not upgrading accessibility with elevators.

Now, state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) points to a federal lawsuit — filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District against the MTA and New York City Transit Authority for failure to make a Bronx subway station accessible after a full renovation — that proves their complaints have merit.

“The MTA’s continued emphasis on style over substance wastes scarce resources, hurts transit riders, and stunts our economy while its failed Enhanced Station Initiative continues to cosmetically renovate stations without improving service or accessibil­ity,” Gianaris said. “It should not take federal legal intervention to force the MTA to do its job, yet here we are. It is past time for the Enhanced Station Initiative to end and for the money to be spent instead on actually fixing our subways.”

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