The sign above sounds like your spinster aunt making a polite suggestion. IT IS THE LAW, the elevators were originally put in because of the americans with disabilities act the law says wheelchair users then the aged and pregnant and then ONLY IF THERE'S ROOM the general public.
to the guy who has three shopping trolleys full of illegal counterfeit designer handbags that he takes to manhattan to sell NO YOU DON'T GET ON FIRST BECAUSE YOU WERE THERE FIRST.
To the gangbanger with the neck tattoos and the pregnant barely legal girl friend "YES YOU CAN FUCK ME UP” YES YOU ARE ALL THAT AND A BAG OF CHIPS BUT NO THE LAW IS NOT ON YOUR SIDE.
The problem is made worse by the fact that when asked the transport cops told me that the seminar on the americans with disabilities act was not compulsory attendance , the average MTA employee has no idea there is a law guaranteeing our rights.
Imagine if that sign said
AS PER THE FEDERAL LAW THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT THIS ELEVATOR IS FOR THE USE OF THE DISABLED FIRST AND ANYONE PUSHING IN CAN WILL BE PROSECUTED. ONLY AFTER THE DISABLED ,THE ELDERLY AND THE PREGNANT ARE ON BOARD IF THERE IS ROOM THE GENERAL PUBLIC MAY BOARD.
And inside the elvator another sign saying
WHEN THE DOORS OPEN IF THERE IS NO ROOM AND THERE ARE WHEELCHAIR USERS NEEDING TO BOARD ALL NON DISABLED AND ELEDERLY MUST STEP OFF THANKYOU IT IS FEDERAL LAW.
These signs may sound harsh, but there are stops on new yorks subway system where street gangs and school kids take over the elevators and assault the wheelchair using community if they attempt to ride. Also in predominantly migrant communities, people who have english as a second language will violently push infront stopping wheelchair users from boarding even when they're perfectly healthy.
The Americans with disabilities act is the civil rights act for the disabled community, if it is not to be enforced why was put into law? we can't get up and walk the stairs, we have jobs too like you and we can't be late, jobs for the disabled are as rare as four leaf clovers and you pushing in front can mean the difference between me arriving on time and not making it at all.
God knows as it is the MTA doesn't give a shit about us already, out of 468 stations less than 30 have elevators and less than half on any day are working and that is the MTA'S own statistics.
Next time you're at the station and there is an elevator, sure if noones around use it but please know no matter how hard you worked , no matter how tired you are, if a wheelchair or two are beside you sorry they go first.