First Subway Station to Become Accessible This Year
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the completion of the elevator project at the Beach 67 Stsubway station in Queens making the station fully accessible. The project included the installation of two new elevators, taking customers from the street to the mezzanine to the platform, a new staircase and new ADA platform edges.
The installed elevators include a new fire alarm system, smoke and heat detectors and cameras inside the elevator cabs, all to enhance customer safety. Each elevator is also equipped with an emergency two-way communication system which gives riders the ability to communicate with dispatchers in the event of an emergency via standard voice communications or visually by answering on-screen questions, which greatly improves communication for riders with hearing or speech disabilities.
“New York couldn’t function without the transit system. Everyone should be able to use it – people with mobility issues and disabilities, seniors, parents with strollers, even folks with beach umbrellas and surfboards – these elevators are in the Rockaways after all,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “It is exciting to see so many new ADA stations added to the map. 24 stations completed since 2020. That’s double the number of ADA stations brought on line in the preceding six years.”
“Newly accessible stations like Beach 67 Stare the fruits of our efforts to execute projects better, faster, and cheaper through innovative delivery methods like project bundling,” said MTA Construction & Development President Jamie Torres-Springer. “We are on track to complete this eight-station package of ADA upgrades, which will improve accessibility not only on the Rockaway Peninsula but throughout the entire transit system.”
"Accessibility improves the experience for all customers," said MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo. “Whether you are using a stroller, have a disability, or are just carrying something bulky like a beach umbrella or surfboard, having an elevator, particularly one that travels directly from the street to the platform, allows all customers to easily access our amazing transit system."
Beach 67 StADA upgrades were fully funded by a grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). This project is part of an ADA-improvement package of eight subway stations, which is MTA Construction & Development’s second such package being delivered better, faster, and cheaper through innovative contracting tools such as design-build and project bundling.
Delivering Accessibility Projects Better, Faster, and Cheaper
The pace in which the MTA is awarding contracts for accessible projects is five times what it was before 2020. The MTA has awarded contracts for 13 stations in 2020, 10 stations in 2021, 13 stations in 2022, and previously announced its plan to award contracts for 16 stations by the end of 2023. There are accessibility upgrades funded by private developers at the 57 Ststation in Manhattan, and the Queensboro Plaza station in Queens.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when ridership significantly decreased, the MTA prioritized expanding accessibility improvements in the subway by completing 15 accessibility projects. Following today's announcement, there are 145 accessible stations and 27 stations in construction for accessibility upgrades.
The 2020-2024 MTA Capital Plan includes a historic investment of $5.2 billion to make 67 subway stations ADA accessible, more than any capital plan in the MTA’s history and more than the last three capital plans combined. In addition, the Authority is delivering accessibility projects at an unprecedented pace, completing 24 ADA stations since 2020, double the number of ADA stations completed in the previous six years.
"While I'm pleased to see the Beach 67 St elevators finally open, let's not forget the long wait and the countless hurdles faced by Rockaway residents,” said Senator James Sanders. “We must stay vigilant and ensure the timely completion of future projects. Reaching this milestone at Beach 67 St is a reminder of the vital role public transportation plays in connecting people and opportunities. We must prioritize investments in accessible infrastructure across the city."
“This is a tremendous moment for the residents of the Rockaway Peninsula, especially here in Arverne,” said Assembly Member Stacey Pheffer Amato. “Through the installation of this elevator, we are empowering residents and giving everyone the opportunity to ride the subway. I thank the MTA for listening to the needs of the community and eliminating a physical obstacle. I look forward to seeing even more elevators installed in the years to come.”
“We know that through the years, our public transit system has too often failed New Yorkers with disabilities,” said NYC Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “But I want to commend the MTA for making meaningful progress toward improving subway accessibility in every corner of this city. For too many years, the Rockaways has not received its fair share of the City’s investment–in our healthcare, our schools, and our transit infrastructure. But the MTA is helping to remedy those historic inequalities with projects like this one. These investments help ensure Rockaway residents can access public transportation to get off the Peninsula.”
“All our neighbors, regardless of ability, deserve the same level of access to our transit system and to the rest of our city. But seniors, those with disabilities and others with mobility issues lack that critical access if their neighborhood subway station isn’t fully accessible. For those who live near the Beach 67 Sttrain station, however, access is no longer an issue,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “Thank you to the MTA for this important investment in the residents of central Rockaway and in equity itself. Finally making this station fully accessible will make a world of difference for many in this community.”