An Uplifting Celebration at Beach 67th Street

 An Uplifting Celebration at Beach 67th Street

By Katie McFadden

On Friday, January 19, local elected officials joined the MTA for an uplifting announcement. The Beach 67th Street train station ADA elevator is finally available to commuters, making the A train more accessible.

To celebrate the collective achievement, a press conference was held with MTA Chair Janno Lieber, Council Member Selvena Brooks-Powers, Senator James Sanders, and Assembly Member Stacey Pheffer Amato, civic leaders and community members. The completion of the Beach 67th elevator marked the first newly accessible train station of 2024.

The addition of an ADA elevator was made possible by funding secured by Senator Sanders, an advocate for equal access and infrastructure upgrades in Far Rockaway. It’s one of dozens of ADA elevator projects to receive funding over the last few years. As the Beach 67th Station was previously not accessible, plans to bring an ADA elevator there began in 2019. As part of its 2020-2024 Capital Plan, the MTA awarded contracts for 13 stations in 2020, 10 stations in 2021, 13 stations in 2022, and 17 stations in 2023.

For Senator Sanders, Friday’s announcement of the elevator now being accessible represented the breaking down of a physical barrier and the resolution of something that long divided the community. “This elevator isn’t just nice to have, it is something we really need for the people of the Rockaways,” he said.

But Sanders, like many others, wish it hadn’t taken so long. “While I’m pleased to see the Beach 67th Street elevators finally open, let’s not forget the long wait and the countless hurdles faced by Rockaway residents. We must stay vigilant and ensure the timely completion of future projects. Reaching this milestone at Beach 67th Street is a reminder of the vital role public transportation plays in connecting people and opportunities. We must prioritize investments in accessible infrastructure across the city.”

“We know that through the years, our public transit system has too often failed New Yorkers with disabilities,” NYC Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers said. “But I want to commend the MTA for making meaningful progress toward improving subway accessibility in every corner of this city. For too many years, the Rockaways has not received its fair share of the City’s investment–in our healthcare, our schools, and our transit infrastructure. But the MTA is helping to remedy those historic inequalities with projects like this one. These investments help ensure Rockaway residents can access public transportation to get off the peninsula.”

“This is a tremendous moment for the residents of the Rockaway peninsula, especially here in Arverne. Through the installation of this elevator, we are empowering residents and giving everyone the opportunity to ride the subway. I thank the MTA for listening to the needs of the community and eliminating a physical obstacle. I look forward to seeing even more elevators installed in the years to come,” Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato said.

Photo from the MTA.

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