Last week, The City published a disturbing story about the challenges facing Access-A-Ride users. While the story focused on problems at Access-A-Ride assessment centers, the entire program has been plagued with problems for years. There are countless stories about passengers having wait hours for rides, or vehicles just not showing up at all.
Some elected officials have already stepped up to address the problem. According to an op-ed written last month by Council Members Diana Ayala and Justin Brannan, "[t]he MTA could streamline management of Access-A-Ride and ambulatory services, encourage more competitive bidding, and lower administrative costs." They are calling on the MTA to improve the Access-A-Ride program by expanding their current pilot program which allows users to hail accessible rides via an app.
As a candidate for City Council, I pledge to use the Council's oversight powers to audit the Access-A-Ride program and identify ways to reform its operations. I also pledge to fight for more funding in our city budget, to make sure that we have the resources to accommodate every New Yorker who requires its services.
Access-A-Ride serves many of this city's most vulnerable citizens. We owe it to them to make sure that the system works.