Accessibility Upgrades Include New Elevator, Ramp, Wheelchair Access Gate, Platform Enhancements, Turnstiles and Widened Staircase
Court Sq-23 St Station to Become Fully Accessible in Both Directions as Part of 2020-2024 Capital Plan
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that the Manhattan-bound side of the Court Sq-23 St subway station in Long Island City, Queens, is now accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), with plans to make the Queens-bound side accessible as part of the 2020-2024 MTA Capital Plan. The recently completed accessible entrance is adjacent to and built by the developers of the new Skyline Tower residential skyscraper at 23-15 44 Dr. The upgrades include a new elevator, ramp, gate for wheelchair access and additional low turnstiles to make the platform served by Manhattan-bound and trains fully accessible and to improve passenger flow.
The Manhattan-bound accessibility project was completed through the MTA’s Transit-Oriented Development Program and the MTA External Partner Program, in which the MTA works with developers, architects and contractors to enhance the MTA system when property is being developed near MTA facilities. With MTA guidance and oversight, the improvements were built and financed by developers United Construction & Development Group, FSA Capital and Risland US Holdings LLC.
“Last year, despite COVID, we added 11 stations to the list of accessible stations, tying the all-time record for the most ADA completions in a single year,” said Janno Lieber, President of MTA Construction & Development. “And we are keeping that progress going here in Long Island City, Queens where we leveraged private developer investments to add a new elevator and further expand accessibility. This is a good model for how we can increase accessibility – which is why we have been working with the City on a zoning plan to apply this tool more widely.”
“This is a great example of how the MTA is harnessing the private sector to assist in the rollout of full systemwide accessibility,” said Quemuel Arroyo, MTA Chief Accessibility Officer. “I like this a lot. I want to see more projects like this.”
“Increasing accessibility is good for transit and it is good for developers too,” said MTA Board Member and Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Victor Calise. “The new improvements at Court Sq-23 St will ensure that the station can be used by all riders, including New Yorkers and visitors with disabilities. I look forward to working with the MTA and the private sector to add more accessibility features throughout the entire transit system via the External Partner Program.”
“Skyline Tower’s ownership group is excited to see the expansion of the Court Sq-23 St subway station open to Long Island City locals and visitors alike. The Court Square neighborhood will greatly benefit from the newly-accessible subway station, and future Skyline Tower residents will enjoy even easier access to and from Manhattan,” said Louis Yu, Project General Manager at Risland US Holdings LLC.
The Court Square complex is comprised of two other stations in addition to the Court Sq-23 St Station: one serving the line which is fully accessible, and one serving the line. In 2011, the station complex expanded with a transfer linking all the lines. The transfer area has two escalators, three elevators that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a transfer stairway between the and mezzanines and a stairway connecting the Court Square station's mezzanine with the northeast corner of Jackson Avenue and 23 St. A passageway connects the line with the lines. A future developer-built elevator will connect the Manhattan-bound platform to the rest of the station complex.
The MTA is adding the new accessibility information for the station to print and digital assets over the coming days.
The MTA remains committed to increasing its number of fully ADA-compliant stations despite the financial challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. While some projects in the 2020-2024 MTA Capital Plan are able to move forward thanks to $8 billion in federal aid secured by the New York congressional delegation led by Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, further emergency federal aid in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is needed to allow the entire 2020-24 MTA Capital Plan to be completed.
For more information about accessible stations across the MTA network, visit https://new.mta.info/accessibility/stations.