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Selecting subway stations for accessibility upgrades

The MTA is committed to improving transit access for everyone, including customers with disabilities, people traveling with children in strollers, seniors, and others who benefit from elevators, ramps and other features that make it easier to navigate the subway.

More than 130 of New York’s nearly-500 subway and Staten Island Railway stations are accessible today. In an effort to maximize the benefits of our next investments, the MTA makes strategic decisions about which stations to prioritize for accessibility improvements in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and in consultation with riders and advocates. When determining which stations to include in each capital planning cycle, the MTA considers the following factors:



A critical strategy for increasing accessibility across the subway system is to reduce gaps in coverage -- in other words, to reduce the number of stops between accessible stations. This way, customers in neighborhoods across the city are never too far from an accessible station.


Participants in our public meetings have given us input on local preferences and priority destinations in their communities, such as schools, parks, retail, cultural hubs, medical centers and other community institutions served by different subway stations.


Within the framework of increasing geographic equity and systemwide coverage, we consider which stations could serve the greatest number of customers. We also consider which neighborhoods are growing.


To ensure that accessibility investments reach communities with the greatest need, the MTA gathers data on the populations of seniors and people with disabilities, and the socioeconomic status of neighborhood residents, surrounding each station.


Making accessible the subway system’s major transfer points helps customers travel more seamlessly throughout the region. This includes subway stations that are transfer points between subway lines, as well as stations that are major connection points to bus or commuter rail lines.

Constructability and Cost

The cost and time required to retrofit a station can vary dramatically based on site conditions. By considering project costs and complexity in our selection process, we can extend the reach of our accessibility investments and more quickly deliver benefits to our customers.

1st Ave ADA Elevators
ADA Elevators

The information on this page is required pursuant to subdivision 10 of section 1269-B of the NYS Public Authorities Law.