A multiyear campaign is over. The Hartsdale train station off of E. Hartsdale Avenue will have two elevators installed, with initial construction beginning in spring 2020, according to Catherine Rinaldi, president of Metro-North Railroad.
“It’s interesting because this has been something that I’m super excited about,” said Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner. “You know there’s not that many things that you work on while you’re in office that really changes people’s lives, this is one of these quality of life initiatives that really will enormously have a positive impact on many residents’ day-to-day lives.”
The elevators, which are contracted to be built in 20 months at the inbound and outbound platforms, have been one of Feiner’s longest battles of his 28-year tenure as town supervisor.
“I have basically written letters to Metro-North over the years. I’ve forwarded copies of letters, I’ve called them, and over the years they’ve always said they can’t do it,” said Feiner. “I just really didn’t want to give up.”
A letter sent by Feiner to Metro-North dated Jan. 8 finally dealt some results.
“Metro-North is currently completing the construction document for building two elevators at Hartsdale station, located at the inbound and outbound platforms,” announced Rinaldi in a letter dated March 15. “Metro-North will be reaching out to the Town to obtain the necessary easements for the locations of the proposed elevators in the near future.”
Many residents are looking forward to the elevators’ arrival at the train station.
Martha Alpert, 79, a resident of Hartsdale for 25 years, is ecstatic to see the elevators being put in.
“I’ve been getting off at Scarsdale and taking a taxi home,” said Alpert. “I know it’s a couple of years down the road but we’ll wait.”
Alpert, who has been hearing from neighbors and friends for years about the limited access for the elderly and disabled at the train station, said she is happy residents can finally be accommodated.
“I’m in pretty good shape, but there’s a lot of people here, my age and older than me, and this is a source of conversation,” said Alpert. “So when I got the email [from the town supervisor] saying we’re going to have an elevator, everybody was thrilled, absolutely thrilled.”
Marian Green, chair of the Advisory Council for People with Disabilities in Scarsdale, is excited that new elevator access at the Hartsdale train station will also be able to help the residents of Scarsdale.
“Finally it’s happening,” said Green who has been the council’s chairperson since 2012. “It makes it better for everyone, even if you don’t have a disability. If you employ someone with a disability, it will make their day easier to begin with and easier to end.”
Green also wants to make sure that the elevators are properly maintained so that all residents can access them.
“Its great to have elevators, but if they’re not working, it’s not helpful,” said Green.
Getting the elevators at the station was a difficult and long journey for Feiner, but he credits his perseverance and community involvement with finally getting Metro-North to accept.
“There is also a lesson that if there’s a cause you believe in, don’t take no for an answer,” Feiner said.