Thursday was a big day for subway riders with limited mobility, as an Inwood station added an elevator following a push from advocates. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.
For Edith Prentiss, the Dyckman Street station is no longer off limits thanks to a new elevator.
"This is a major, major issue for people with accessibility on this side of Broadway," Prentiss said.
The elevator on the downtown 1 train platform is the centerpiece of the station's $31 million makeover, but it wasn't in the original plans until disability rights advocates came after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority with a lawsuit in 2010.
"DRA initiated legal action, and this is what was settled," Prentiss said.
On Thursday, everyone was all smiles, as MTA and local officials marked the completion of a renovation that all agreed was badly needed.
"An amazing difference between platforms that were buckling, windscreens that were falling apart, a roof that was completely in disrepair," said Carmen Bianco, president of New York City Transit. "So this station today is really beautiful."
The elevator is an instant hit with the stroller set, too.
"It's kind of nice to be able to know you can go wherever you're going and in turn, not have to worry about lugging a stroller and your child down two flights of stairs," said one woman.
Just 80 of the MTA's 468 stations are fully accessible to riders with disabilities.
The elevator isn't the only thing including in the station overhaul that's designed to make access easier for those with limited mobility. The project also included a new ramp leading to the front of the Dyckman Street station, along with new concrete platforms, canopies and restored touches in the station house.
Riders say it's a big upgrade.
"It was just straight gross," said one person. "Like, this is brand new. It was wood and it was just coming down, and now it's better."
The MTA says it plans to add 20 more accessible stations by the next decade, making the task of commuting in a wheelchair somewhat easier.