The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the appointment of Quemuel Arroyo as the Authority's first all-agency Chief Accessibility Officer. Arroyo, who begins work in his new role today, will have primary responsibility for all matters pertaining to accessibility and will report directly to MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye.
The appointment advances the MTA's commitment to increasing access and ensuring the system meets the needs of all riders, including those with disabilities. In addition to fashioning Authority-wide policy and initiatives in the accessibility space, Arroyo will serve as a key point of contact for the region's diverse community of disability rights advocates. Arroyo previously served in a similar capacity at the New York City Department of Transportation and most recently was Interim President and Global Head of Community for GetCharged Inc, overseeing strategic partnerships and government relations.
"Quemuel is immensely talented and will provide invaluable strategic guidance and leadership on a range of accessibility related endeavors," said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye. "The MTA has made critical strides on accessibility issues in recent years, particularly in the realm of expanding the number of accessible subway stations throughout the system and launching innovative pilots that facilitate access to our system for all riders, but we still have much work to be done. Quemuel will help us think more holistically about what accessibility looks like across the system and advance and execute core goals. I look forward to his leadership on this important work."
"I'm eager to begin my work at the MTA. I am a New Yorker and this is an opportunity of a lifetime," said Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo. "Over the last few years, New York City Transit has made huge strides in assisting riders with disabilities. I look forward to building on the great work already being done and also to expanding the way we think about accessibility so that we can incorporate the commuter railroads into more of our initiatives as well. 'Accessibility' encompasses many areas of our operations and means different things to different people. Part of my job will be reshaping the way in which we conceive of accessibility as a public authority and working closely with the public to broaden our impact across the region."
"It is great to see Quemuel Arroyo appointed as the MTA’s Chief Accessibility Officer,” said MTA Board Member and Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Victor Calise. “I have had the pleasure of seeing Quemuel in action while he was with the New York City Department of Transportation where he helped integrate accessibility into our streetscape and improve disability awareness throughout the agency. I look forward to his leadership at the MTA as we work together to achieve our shared goal of full accessibility for people with vision, hearing, mobility, and intellectual/developmental disabilities across the entire MTA system."
“I’m proud of Quemuel Arroyo, who served as the former Chief Accessibility Specialist for the New York City Department of Transportation and now will serve as the new first Chief Accessibility Officer for the MTA. In my role of Chair of the Transportation Committee I have worked closely with Arroyo and it brings me great joy to know he will be taking on this role,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chairman of the Transportation Committee. “I am confident he will serve and advocate on behalf of the over one million New Yorkers that experience some kind of disability. Having previously worked with the DOT and now with the MTA I am confident that our goal remains the same: to continue expanding the accessibility of our transportation system for all New Yorkers.”
In his new role, Arroyo will place a strong emphasis on deploying technology solutions that can be utilized by both New York City Transit and the commuter railroads. He'll also work to expand public awareness around what constitutes a disability and the various ways in which different disabilities can impact transit riders.
The Authority has, in recent years, launched the most ambitious set of capital goals in its history with respect to expanding the number of ADA accessible stations and Arroyo will support MTA Construction & Development in advancing and completing these critical projects. Arroyo also plans to take on initiatives that assist those with cognitive, visual or hearing disabilities and to improve the ways in which the MTA communicates to customers with disabilities. In this role, he will serve as a vital conduit between the MTA board, its leadership, the disability community and the public.
MORE ABOUT QUEMUEL ARROYO:
Quemuel Arroyo spent five years at the New York City Department of Transportation as Chief Accessibility Specialist and ADA Coordinator/Disability Service Facilitator. In these roles, he established the agency’s strategic plan on accessibility policy while representing NYCDOT on all matters of accessibility locally and internationally, including speaking at the United Nations and Chairing an International Summit on Sustainable & Accessible Transport at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Most recently, Arroyo served as Interim President & Global Head of Community for GetCharged Inc, overseeing government relations and strategic partnerships.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Arroyo immigrated to New York in 1997. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree in Management and Leadership from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Policy. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Design & Architecture Studies from New York University. Arroyo currently serves as a Board Member for New York City Outward Bound and previously served on the Board of NYU’s Alumni Association.