PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Port Chester officials are looking to make the northbound platform at the railroad station more accessible to riders with disabilities.
The southbound side of the tracks has a handicap accessible ramp, but the north side does not. Citing the expense of the project, the Metropolitan Transit Authority has not installed ramps on the northbound side, and instead directed riders to use the nearest full access stations in Rye or Greenwich.
Village officials are now working to bring full accessibility to the Port Chester station. Spearheaded by Trustee Gene Ceccarelli, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution directing the village attorney to make an inquiry with the Department of Justice to confirm that the station should have ramps as part of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Village Attorney Tony Cerreto said that he has contacted the Department of Justice as well as the Federal Transit Administration, who advised him to file a formal complaint in order to look into the issue.
"It may turn out that the MTA has a legitimate position, and it may turn out otherwise. We won't know until we file the complaint."
"Basically, it's just to try to get what we should fairly have for our village," said Ceccarelli. "We shouldn't be inconvenienced by having to send people to Greenwich or to Rye to have to use their facilities to be able to get back to Port Chester. It's ridiculous, and the MTA's been ignoring it."
Trustee Dan Brakewood said that the area around the train station has experienced economic revival in recent years, with the opening of several businesses including the Capitol Theatre opening up and increasing the number of visitors to the downtown area.
"The MTA itself is constructing the Hartland Brewery and investing $1.2 million in the station to bring more traffic," said Brakewood. "Clearly over the past ten, fifteen years the entire vibrancy around the train station and the importance of this train station has increased dramatically."