I’ve had no shortage of complaints about access on the NYC subway system — and for good cause, as currently only 118 out of 472 stations are wheelchair-accessible. But that’s all set to change in a big way in the coming months, thanks to a new program and a new accessibility chief.
The Fast Forward program, which was revealed in May, proposes to add enough new elevators in the next five years, so that subway riders will never be more than two stops away from an accessible station. Additionally the plan calls for the addition of 180 elevators over the next 10 years. And redesigning the entire city’s bus network, as well as improving customer communications are also addressed in the plan,
But it takes more than just a plan to improve accessibility. It also requires some oversight — and that’s where Alex Elegudin comes in. Elegudin was recently appointed to the newly created position of Accessibility Chief, who will oversee the Fast Forward program and report directly to NYC Transit President, Andy Byford. Elegudin is the former Accessibility Program Manager of the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, so he comes to the position with a great deal of experience.
I’m hopeful that this will be a winning combination for accessibility in the NYC subway system. Onward and upward, as they say.