NEWBURGH — Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) sent a letter to Metro-North’s Acting President Catherine Rinaldi asking for her help to resolve access issues for people with disabilities at Metro-North’s Port Jervis Station.
Currently, people in wheelchairs or with other mobility issues have to call the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for bus service to Middletown if they want to access Metro-North trains.
“Metro-North is technically complying with the law, but I believe there are simple ways to fix this so our veterans, older Americans, and people with disabilities don’t have to jump through extra hoops just to get on a train,” said Rep. Maloney, a member of the House Transportation Committee and Bipartisan Disability Caucus. “Everyone should have equal access to basic transportation services like Metro-North, and I think if we all work together on this, we can make life a lot easier for folks in western Orange County.”
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) required all train stations built after 1990 to be accessible to people with disabilities. Not all older stations were required to be accessible, but transit authorities were instructed to identify “key stations” that would be. Middletown’s train station was designated as a key station, but the Port Jervis station was not. As a result, people who wish to board a Metro-North train in western Orange County have to contact the MTA to arrange bus service to the Middletown station.
The full text of the letter is below and a copy of the original letter is available here.
I’m writing today about an issue of great local concern – access to trains for people with disabilities at your Port Jervis Station. I recognize that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Metro-North is not required to make this particular station accessible for individuals with disabilities because of alternative accommodations. However, I believe that it is necessary to work together to ensure that veterans, the elderly,and people with disabilities who live in the area are not negatively impacted by the current level of access. I have heard from dozens of individuals in and around Port Jervis who are dissatisfied with the status quo, and could benefit from improved accessibility accommodations at the station.
I am confident that there are simple steps that can be taken to lessen the burden on these individuals and ensure they have the same ease of access to basic transportation services as everyone else. At minimum, temporary accommodations should be made while a more permanent solution is identified. This would have great impact in the lives of many of my constituents in western Orange County. It’s a common-sense move that would be greatly appreciated.
I know that we share a commitment to ensuring that all Americans, regardless of age or disability status, can access basic transportation services. I respectfully ask that Metro-North works alongside the city of Port Jervis and the rest of the local communities to find a solution amenable to all parties involved. I would also like to offer my services if I can assist in any way to ensure a successful resolution of this issue.
Thank you for your attention to this letter, and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can assist you with this matter in any way.