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MTA Installs New Escalator for L Customers at Union Square

New York City Transit
Updated September 12, 2020 12:00 p.m.
USQ L Line Escalator

Escalator Will Enable Faster and Easier Transfers and Station Departures From Station For Thousands Of Customers Leaving the  Platform


Work Was Associated With Broader Train Project That Rehabilitated Tunnel Damaged During Sandy


See Photos and Video of the Escalator


MTA officials today announced the completion of work to install a platform-to-mezzanine escalator on the platform at Union Square. Part of the broader Project, the the addition of the new escalator is expected to reduce crowding and improve circulation at the Union Square Station once ridership levels return to pre-COVID levels.

“This new escalator is another achievement for the larger project team that, delivered that huge project early and below budget," said MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber. "Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic we're using innovative strategies to deliver customer improvements faster and at lower cost than ever before."

When ridership is at normal, pre-pandemic levels, the platform at Union Square is among the most congested in the system. Nearly 20,000 customers use the platform hourly during the morning peak hour. A platform-to-mezzanine escalator helps expedite egress times, clearing the platform of customers more quickly so that the next train can enter the station safely and more quickly as well. Those upgrades, along with improvements that were made to the transfer stairs between the platform and the and lines, will ensure customers can seamlessly transfer or exit from the station. Previous station designs included the space and structural elements for the escalator, but it took the Project to actually get it built.

There are now 231 escalators in the subway system.