Accessibility Upgrades at 17 Subway Stations
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced a strengthening of its commitment to make the NYC Subway 95% accessible by announcing the 17 stations scheduled for contract award in 2023.
The 2020-2024 Capital Program is the most ambitious accessibility program in MTA history, with $5.2 billion to make 67 stations accessible—more than the previous three Capital Programs combined.
In 2022, contracts were awarded for 13 new stations, including eight stations as part of the agency’s first Public-Private Partnership package. As a result, the MTA is currently in construction at 34 stations throughout the system.
In 2023, the MTA intends to award ADA station upgrades at these stations:
- Van Cortlandt Park-242 St
- Harlem-148 St
- 96 St
- 81 St
- 86 St
- 46 St-Bliss St
- 33 St-Rawson
- Court Sq-23 St
- New Lots Av
- Classon Av
- 36 St
- Huguenot SIR
- 168 St
- Broadway Junction (3 stations)
- Broadway Junction
- Broadway Junction
- Broadway Junction
As construction continues at previously awarded stations, the MTA also projects that accessibility upgrades will open at 12 new stations in 2023. These stations are:
- Dyckman St (NB)
- Tremont Av
- 181 St
- E 149 St
- Court Square
- Lorimer St
- Grand St
- Metropolitan Av
- 7 Av
- New Dorp SIR
- 8 Av (SB)
- Beach 67
“We are determined to make the NYC Transit system fully accessible, not just for persons with disabilities, but also for seniors, for parents with children who are in strollers and travelers with luggage,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “That’s why we are doing station accessibility projects at four times the pace of previous MTA Capital Programs, and why we made an agreement with disability advocates that we won’t slow down until the system is truly accessible to everyone, once and for all.”
“We are upgrading accessibility throughout the system at an unprecedented pace,” said MTA Construction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer. “Our 2023 commitment targets are just the latest example of MTA C&D using tools like design-build and bundling to advance these critical projects better, faster, and cheaper.”
“More elevators and ramps, spread throughout the subway system creates a mass transit system that is open to everyone,” said MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo. “A large number of riders with disabilities, customers with children in strollers and visitors with luggage will benefit by being able to get to work, school and entertainment easily.”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler said: I have long advocated for the MTA to make the entire Subway system ADA accessible for both individuals with disabilities and for our seniors and for those carrying infants in strollers. I’m pleased to hear of the ADA investments that the MTA is making across the City and in particular in my Congressional district at 86th/Lexington Station and at 96th/CPW and 81st/CPW.
Rep. Adriano Espaillat said: “I commend MTA Chair Janno Lieber on prioritizing equity in New York’s 13th Congressional district to ensure that stations are accessible to all riders and patrons. I am proud to have helped secure funding for the All Stations Accessibility Program in the Infrastructure and Jobs Law which shepherds transit accessibility projects closer to the finish line. Today’s announcement about the 148th Street/Lenox Avenue 3-train station in Harlem and the 168 Street 1-train Station in Washington Heights brings much-needed relief to the community by updating these stations’ elevators and platforms to be wheelchair and ramp accessible. I look forward to construction beginning and completing these vital projects.”
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis said: “It’s critical that the MTA make necessary upgrades to its facilities, so they are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The current construction at New Dorp station and this planned installation of an elevator at Huguenot will further make public transit more accessible to handicapped members of our community who deserve equal access to these services.”
New York State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris said: "After years of pushing for accessibility improvements, the MTA listened to western Queens residents, activists and elected leaders advocating for better subway access. These improvements will go a long way to making our subway available for all. While there is still a long way to go in making the entire subway system 100% accessible, these elevators represent a step forward."
New York State Senator Leroy Comrie said: “This latest round of ADA accessible stations being announced, demonstrates the MTA's commitment to improving the system for people with disabilities, families with small children, older adults and anyone who would benefit from these upgrades. I’m glad to see the MTA/NYCT has continued to make these investments a priority across the city. My colleagues and I will continue to work with but also push the MTA to meet the full threshold of accessibility as required, to ensure that our system is optimal for all riders."
New York State Senator Timothy Kennedy said: “Every New Yorker deserves safe and convenient access to their station, and this announcement by the MTA brings us one step closer to that reality. Thank you to the MTA for this important step in ensuring ADA compliance throughout their network."
New York State Senator Roxanne Persaud said: “The MTA has made significant and needed investments to improve access to transit,” said Senator Roxanne J. Persaud. The Broadway Junction station is a major transit hub utilized by thousands of commuters daily. Making this complex ADA accessible with elevators is a giant step in improving the quality of service for commuters.”
New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera said: "I am incredibly excited that the MTA is including the Van Cortlandt Park-242 St 1 station in my district in their next procurement phase for significant infrastructure upgrades to make them accessible. As I have done in the past, I will continue to work to ensure our public transportation system is more inclusive and easily accessible for all New Yorkers."
New York State Senator Andrew Lanza said: “The Huguenot Station is a key hub along the Staten Island Rail, with thousands of students and workers accessing this site every day. Making this improvement is a much-needed upgrade, for which I am glad the funding is being allocated. I commend the MTA for making these necessary improvements.”
New York State Senator Kristen Gonzalez said: "A fully functioning subway system is one that is accessible for every transit user. While we still have a lot of work to do, I do want to celebrate the news that two more stations in my Senate district will be receiving elevators. Installing elevators at Court Square and Broadway is a victory for our neighbors with disabilities, our seniors, our families, and our entire community.”
Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz said: "All New Yorkers should be able to utilize our incredible subway system to get where they need to go. I am very excited that we are one step closer to an elevator at West 242nd Street on the 1 Train. Achieving universal subway accessibility is a major part of why it's vital to continue investing money in our mass transit system, and kudos to the new generation of MTA leadership for prioritizing accessibility in the ongoing capital program."
Assembly Member Manny De Los Santos: “It’s great news that the procurement process is underway to install new elevators at the 168th Street 1 Train station in my Assembly district. Train stations without ADA elevators mean that many residents have difficulty accessing important destinations, from places of employment to banks and housing options from healthcare and cultural centers to recreational opportunities throughout the city. With unfinished business in my district -- for example, the lack of elevators at Marble Hills’ 225th Street 1 Train elevated platform -- this keeps us on the right track to ensuring that all residents have access to all train stations."
Assembly Member Juan Ardila said: "Following today's announcement from the MTA, public transit riders and advocates of accessibility in Sunnyside and Long Island City are finally within reach of seeing ADA-compliant elevators installed at the 46th St. and 33rd St. train stations in Western Queens. I welcome these wins for transit equity in our district and hope to see changes like these across all subway stations in the city soon."
Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell said: “I am grateful and relieved that we are finally moving closer to bridging the gaps in subway accessibility. Both the 96th St (B, C) and the 81st St (B, C) stations are vital connectors for local residents, as well as vibrant entryways to the jewels of our community, from the Natural History Museum to Central Park. I am thrilled that these stations will receive accessibility improvements befitting of their vital role in our community. Nonetheless, there is much more needs to be done to make our public transit truly accessible for all. There are still stations that are primed for improved accessibility, and I look forward to working with the MTA and institutional partners to continue making progress. It is what the city that never sleeps deserves.”
Assembly Member Phara Souffrant Forrest said: “This project is a long-overdue investment in accessibility for our subway system. The Classon Avenue G station is located across the street from a public housing development which is home to over 800 residents, many of whom have accessibility needs, along with surrounding community residents. I am thrilled that this much-needed upgrade is moving forward so that customers with disabilities, people traveling with children in strollers, seniors, and others will be able to easily access the Classon Avenue station and utilize the subway.”
Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal said: "Traversing the City's public transportation system is a full-time job for people with disabilities. With only 135 of the City's 472 subway stations accessible to New Yorkers, far too many people spend their days hunting for stops with working elevators, while others throw up their hands in frustration and abandon public transportation altogether. The installation of an elevator at West 81st Street and Central Park West in my district is sorely needed and will surely unlock a world of opportunity for tourists and residents, alike. While we still have a long way to go until the MTA is 100% accessible to those who most need it, this much-needed renovation is certainly a step in the right direction."
Assembly Member Alex Bores said: “I am glad to see the MTA continue driving investment towards greater accessibility. Improvements at 86th St will be crucial to riders in the 73rd District. I look forward to supporting legislation to further fund the MTA and ensure transit is accessible to all”.
Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso said: “Transit equity isn’t just a subway station or bus stop in every neighborhood. True transit equity requires each of those stations to have the tools and infrastructure that empower people with disabilities to easily and comfortably take our trains anywhere they need to go. I’m thrilled that this effort to create more accessible public transit is continuing to move forward in Brooklyn, and I’m grateful to the MTA for spearheading these improvements. I look forward to continuing to work together toward a public transit network that is inclusive of every neighborhood and every New Yorker.”
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. said: “A city and its residents cannot thrive if they don’t have high-quality and accessible mass transit. The ADA enhancements coming to Western Queens will go a long way toward making our mass transit system fully accessible. These new elevators and other enhancements will help forge a more vibrant and more equitable borough and city that are truly open and accessible to all.”
New York City Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, Chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure said: "Every newly accessible subway benefits members of the disability community across New York. We support the MTA in its efforts to upgrade stations citywide. Far too many subway stops remain inaccessible. We look forward to continued progress toward the MTA's goal of adding elevators and ramps to 95% of stations and continue to push for an expedited timeline.”
New York City Council Member Eric Dinowitz said: “Accessibility must be a top priority for lawmakers and the MTA. I am thrilled that the process for new elevators at the Van Cortlandt Park-242nd Street 1 train station is moving forward. We strive for construction that is built for all, and this project is a step in that direction.”
New York City Council Member Julie Won said: “As a new mom, so many strangers have helped me carry my baby in a stroller up the stairs to the only subway line in my neighborhood. For years, our community has called for train stations in our district to be ADA accessible for our seniors, people with disabilities, and parents with strollers. I’m thrilled that four more of our train stations will receive elevators and other ADA enhancements, which will make our transit system more equitable. Thank you to the MTA for creating safe and accessible public transportation, allowing our community to use transit that’s more climate friendly.”
New York City Council Member Sandy Nurse said: "Broadway Junction is long overdue for these ADA capital improvements. Every day I see people struggling to navigate the Junction's broken escalators, perilous stairs, and crowded entryways. As the primary mode of transportation for New Yorkers, the subway must be accessible, punctual, and meet people's basic needs. I am happy to hear that this project is moving forward and I, along with my colleagues in all levels of government, look forward to working with the MTA and all other relevant agencies to see this project's swift completion."
New York City Council Member Gale A. Brewer said: “It’s great to see progress in increasing accessibility on the city’s subways. The mild inconvenience of construction at these two stations on Central Park West will be outweighed by the major improvements elevators will provide those who are physically challenged.”
New York City Council Member Alexa Avilés said: “In order to achieve an equitable transportation system, accessible stations are a must. I’m looking forward to seeing the elevator project at 36 St, a major hub in our neighborhood, finally move forward. When completed, the 36th Street elevators will grant access to the disability community, elderly neighbors and parents with small children. I am committed to working in partnership with the MTA to ensure this project moves forward and we keep our community informed of progress along the way.”
New York City Council Member Joseph Borelli said: “I am happy to see this project coming to fruition. Once installed, this elevator will greatly increase accessibility for anyone who cannot currently manage the steps and will raise their quality of life by lowering their travel time considerably.”
New York City Council Member Kristin Richardson Jordan said: “Accessibility for all New Yorkers should be a top priority for the city government. 33 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, New York has a lot of work left to do to be compliant with the language of the law. Across the city only 135 of the system’s 472 stations are accessible, a paltry 28.6 percent. I am incredibly happy to see such work being done on the 148th Street station. Any one of us can become disabled, and unable to utilize our subway system fully. Momentary disruptions to our service is necessary to ensure that every single New Yorker can fully use the system.”
Bronx Community Board 8 Chair Laura Spalter said: “Improving access has been a number one capital priority of the Board for many years. Renovating and upgrading the 242nd Street station is the cherry on top."
Queens Community Board 2 Chair Danielle Brecker said: "Community Board 2 of Queens has long sought the safe and convenient access and mobility of all public transportation users of all ages and abilities. These additions to our community board district are welcome and we are grateful."
Accessibility Task Forces
The MTA continues its long-standing commitment to accessibility across all parts of the system by utilizing Accessibility Task Forces that provide a forum for the exchange of information about services as they relate to persons with disabilities and their transportation needs.
The Task Forces also assist the MTA in identifying opportunities for enhancing accessibility & soliciting feedback on upcoming capital projects and policy issues.
Task Force members include:
- Representatives from each county within the Long Island Rail Road service areas
- Service partners and stakeholders such as the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Connecticut Office of Rail, and NJTRANSIT
- MTA and Long Island Rail Road Staff, Board and Committee members, and advocates; Permanent Citizen Advisory Council, and the Long Island Rail Road Commuter Councils