Assemblyman Cymbrowitz to MTA President: Fast-Track Sheepshead Bay B/Q Station for Full Accessibility

Lawmaker reiterates offer of $1.3 million for the project
January 24, 2019

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) has asked NYC Transit President Andy Byford to prioritize the Sheepshead Bay B/Q train station for handicap accessibility and reiterated his offer of $1.3 million toward the project should the station be included in NYCTA’s new accessibility plan.

In a letter to Byford, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz noted that while his Assembly district includes more people 65 and over than the citywide average, only one station, the Kings Highway (B/Q), is fully accessible.

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ district, the 45th A.D., includes Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach, Gravesend, Midwood and Homecrest. The district is served by 14 stations across four subway lines.

“One issue that my constituents bring up frequently is the lack of accessible stations in our area,” the lawmaker said, adding that the problem will likely get worse as the senior population grows. “As New York City Transit formulates its post-2020 accessibility plan, I believe the Sheepshead Bay (B/Q) train station should be prioritized to become a fully accessible station.”

“In addition to seniors and people with disabilities, Sheepshead Bay is the closest train station serving Coney Island Hospital and Kingsborough Community College, two vital community institutions that serve not only my constituency but Brooklyn as a whole. It also serves as the closest station for neighborhoods such as Manhattan Beach, Marine Park, and eastern Sheepshead Bay, which do not have train service,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said.

Back in 2016, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz wrote to Byford’s predecessor at NYCT making available $1.3 million in capital funds toward projects that promote accessibility for seniors and people with disabilities in his district. That offer still stands, the lawmaker said.

“Look on a map. We’re a no-man’s land as far as subway accessibility is concerned, and this is unacceptable,” said Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, the former Chair of the Aging Committee.

“Right now the only options are to rely on buses, which are less predictable than trains and require multiple transfers, and Access-a-Ride, which is both costlier to the MTA and notoriously unreliable,” he said.

“By the year 2030 the population of older adults is expected to comprise a quarter of New York State’s population. As we look to find ways to help more seniors remain independent, it would be prudent to work together and focus our attention on those communities that require accessibility the most,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said.