Despite the MTA needing a $12 billion bailout from the federal government, local officials have lobbied enough funding for the the agency to make necessary upgrades to its facilities in the Bronx.
On Oct. 15, it unveiled the opening of new elevators at the Bedford Park Boulevard subway station. In addition to the new elevators, crews refurbished the station and platform areas to make the station fully ADA compliant.
In December 2019, the MTA announced that 11 subway stations in the Bronx would be part of a $5.2 billion investment, the largest in city history, which aimed to install or renovate elevators in 70 subway stations throughout the five boroughs.
Congressman Adriano Espaillat said he had been in Washington, D.C. fighting for funding for the MTA.
“This is an extraordinary project that allows folks access to the subway system, which continues to be the engine of our local economy,” he said. “For far too long this subway line has been neglected.
Espaillat noted that due to COVID-19, ridership on the subway has drastically been reduced and the MTA is losing $200 million a week. He said there was $400 million allocated for the MTA in the CARES Act and $8 billion in the Heroes Act, but the Senate has yet to approve that.
Janno Lieber, president of MTA Construction & Development, praised Espaillat for advocating for funding. According to Lieber, the pandemic has slowed construction, but the MTA is doing the best it can to install elevators at stations.
“Every new elevator that we put in this system represents an opportunity for more people to access MTA’s amazing transit system,” he stated.
With only about 25 percent of the stations upgraded, Liber noted that there is still a lot of work to do.
“The federal government has to act now to support the MTA to survive the COVID crisis,” Lieber stressed. “We are on the brink of a fiscal cliff. Accessibility has to be a priority.”