MTA is sued over lack of elevator at Bronx subway station

A new lawsuit could make a nearly $22 million subway station makeover even more expensive.

The people who have filed this class action lawsuit say it's all about equality. Out of the 469 subway stations here in the city only 19 percent of them are accessible for those with disabilities.

With frustration Rodolfo Diaz looks at the stairs of the Middletown Road subway station in the Bronx, knowing he can't walk up. He's been tied to a wheelchair for the past 33 years.

He lives in the Bronx and works for the Bronx Independent Living Services. He depends on public transportation to get around the city but is limited.

In October of 2013 the MTA did a major renovation of the train station. But no elevator was put in.

This week Disability Rights Advocates filled a lawsuit against the MTA and New York City Transit on behalf of the Bronx Independent Living Services, Disabled in Action of Metropolitan New York and two Bronx residents, one of them is Diaz.

"The A.D.A requires that when you are conducting major renovations to a station like the MTA did with the Middletown Road station they have the obligation to install elevators," said Rebecca Rodgers, a staff attorney with Disability Rights Advocates.

In a statement, the MTA said: "Under the A.D.A. law, we are not required to install an elevator where it is technically infeasible to do so."

However it said New York City Transit made other significant accessibility improvements at the station including handrails, raised platform edge warning strips, braille among others.

In 2010, Disability Rights Advocates filed a similar lawsuit against the MTA over a different subway station. The outcome: an elevator was installed.