Today I was meant to go to Manhattan in the 30’s to have a CT scan at NYU, the safest way to get there would involve the E or the F train from 74st in queens to midtown Manhattan.
Well I was going to be on those trains around 10-10.30 am to head in to meet up with Ella to go with me. At 9 am the hospital cancelled so I never caught the train. At 10.30 am that very train with over 1,000 passengers on board was trapped in pitch black for over an hour when it being a 10 carriage express train going full speed derailed, 19 passengers were injured. I had a panic attack and don’t know if I can ever catch underground trains again.
I posted on face book and friends calmed me down partially but all day I have been dwelling on it, and at 5pm the news explained the route the people took to get 45 ft up to the surface and It became apparent If I was there in my wheelchair with Zeus I would have been trapped.
My wheelchair, with my off road kenda wheels on it is almost 31 inches wide, the doors between carriages are not even 30 inches and do not have a surface that wheels can roll over and the carriages with the poles down the middle do not leave a space either side wide enough for any chair let alone my hybrid.
So with that in mind the reporter filmed and said that the passengers had to walk single file in the dark through one carriage after another till they reached the last one then jump down 4ft to the tunnel floor which is gravel and then they walked 400ft along the track climbed construction ladders one after another 6 in total then climbed up through a circular cement manhole kind of tube so narrow a average persons shoulders rubbed and when I could stand I am 6ft4 and have body builders shoulder width and my chair would not have fit and Zeus could not have got up the ladders.
I ask you mayor diblasio with the already dismal record of the MTA when it comes to caring for the disabled how would you have got a 6ft 4 large built paraplegic with a wheelchair and a 60lb service dog out of that tunnel or any tunnel in an emergency? It’s already bad enough when out of 468 subway and train stations you only have 65 elevators at 28 stations and hubs and on any given day less than half of them work and even when we do we are harassed beaten abused by other riders who don’t want us in our wheelchairs in the elevator and when we ask your staff for help they in most cases have never heard of the ADA let alone know it well enough to enforce it.
Cute signs saying help the disabled don’t work 60ft underground in pitch black, and face it when was the last time you saw in a emergency anyone else stopping long enough to help anyone let alone a para in a chair with a dog?
Get you act together MTA it’s bad enough with the way were treated on a good day but today shone a light on just how poorly your system works in the worst of times.