Accessibility advocate Quemuel “Q” Arroyo (MPA 2020) creates change for the MTA

The following article was created by the NYU Alumni Association (NYUAA) as part of their annual Alumni Awards in recognition of University-wide graduates who are making an impact.

Quemuel “Q” Arroyo (MPA 2020) was received the NYUAA's Distinguished Young Alumni Award in 2023. Q the first Chief Accessibility Officer and Special Advisor to the Chairman & CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Arroyo joined the MTA from Charge, a micro-mobility docking station startup, where he served as interim President and Global Head of Community. Prior to Charge, he served as the first Chief Accessibility Specialist at the New York City Department of Transportation.

Quemuel “Q” Arroyo joined the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in 2021 as the organization’s first agency-wide Chief Accessibility Officer. In this capacity, Arroyo leads the implementation of policies, initiatives, and programs that reimagine and advance accessibility throughout the organization. He provides a holistic approach to accessibility across NYC’s subway and bus systems, Metro-North Railroad, and the Long Island Rail Road. Through his leadership, the MTA has established a $30 billion plan to make all NYC subway stations accessible.

Prior to joining the MTA, Arroyo served as Interim President and Global Head of Community at Charge, a micro-mobility docking station startup. Before Charge, he served as the first Chief Accessibility Specialist at the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT). While at the NYCDOT, Arroyo accomplished many things, including but not limited to securing funding for installing the first raised sidewalks (marked crossings that also act as speed bumps to slow down drivers and improve accessibility for seniors and people with disabilities); increasing the number of accessible pedestrian signals that assist low vision and blind pedestrians in crossing the street; and establishing a $7.5 billion long-term plan to make all intersections in NYC accessible for all.

Arroyo was born in the Dominican Republic and currently resides in Harlem. He earned his BA from New York University in urban design and history of architecture and an MPA from NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Arroyo serves as co-chair of the NYU Young Alumni Leadership Circle (YALC) and has served on the NYU Alumni Association Board of Directors, as well as the boards of New York City Outward Bound Schools, Hudson River Community Sailing, Positive Exposure, Project Sunshine, and the Heidi Latsky Dance Company. In 2002, Arroyo received NYU’s MLK Week Humanitarian Award for his efforts on equity and successful advocacy. In his free time, Arroyo is an avid scuba diver and loves to sail on the “sixth borough,” NYC’s waterways.

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