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MTA Board Approves Contracts That Advance Accessibility, Reduce Carbon Footprint and Improve Infrastructure

Updated Dec 20, 2023 5:15 p.m.

Authority to Award $1.8 Billion in Contracts for Accessibility Upgrades at Subway and LIRR Stations

Board Approves Purchase of 205 Electric Buses, Affirming Authority’s Commitment to an All-Electric Bus Fleet by 2040

LIRR to Replace Webster Avenue Bridge on Port Washington Branch 

Metro-North Brewster Yard Improvements Program Phase One Moving Forward


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board today approved a series of pivotal procurements that advance the Authority’s goals of achieving systemwide accessibility, reducing its carbon footprint and maintaining the transit system in a state of good repair. These contracts are made possible by the support and investment from the Federal Government and will ensure that riders can have a safe, efficient and reliable commute for years to come.

“The procurements moving forward today advance top 2023 MTA goals – expanding accessibility systemwide, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and keeping the transit system in a state-of-good repair,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “Together they will help move forward the transit system riders deserve. Many of these projects include federal funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and – as always – we thank Sen. Schumer, House Democratic Leader Jeffries, the New York congressional delegation, and our USDOT partners.”

“MTA Construction & Development is delivering on the MTA’s historic capital program to ensure our network’s longevity and reliability for decades to come,” said MTA Construction & Development President Jamie Torres-Springer. “The procurements moving forward today bring us to 42 subway stations in construction for full ADA-accessibility — the most in MTA history and a further demonstration of our commitment to expanding accessibility systemwide.”

“We are moving full-speed ahead on our commitment of a zero-emission bus fleet by 2040, bringing cleaner, greener buses to our nation’s largest bus fleet,” said NYC Transit President Richard Davey. “Today’s procurement is the largest electric bus order we have made to date at the MTA. We thank our federal partners for supporting this critical milestone in our zero-emission future at New York City Transit.” 

Accessibility Upgrades at 13 More Subway Stations

The MTA is completing ADA projects faster than ever before. MTA Construction & Development continues to award and execute ADA upgrades at an accelerated pace. The Authority completed eight station projects across all five boroughs in 2023 and 24 stations since 2020. 

The new elevator cabs are equipped with modern technology features including security cameras and two-way communication systems that give riders the ability to reach MTA staff at the Operations Control Center in the event of an emergency. Customers can communicate audibly via speakers or visually using a touch screen in the elevator.

This package of accessibility upgrades encompasses 13 subway and Staten Island Railway stations and spans all five boroughs. The project includes the installation of new elevators or ramps compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act at each of these stations as well as other accessibility upgrades and work to bring the facilities into a state of good repair.

The following subway and SIR stations will receive accessibility upgrades:

  • Van Cortland Park – 242 St  
  • Harlem 148 St  
  • 96 St  
  • 81 St  
  • 86 St  
  • Broadway  
  • Court Sq-23 St  
  • 33 St-Rawson St  
  • 46 St-Bliss St  
  • Classon Av  
  • New Lots Av 
  • 36th St  
  • Huguenot Station 

Broadway Junction 

The MTA will perform a significant rehabilitation of the Broadway Junction complex, which is the third-largest subway station in Brooklyn and serves as a major transfer point between the  and  lines. The project will create a stair-free path of travel throughout the entire complex rendering it fully ADA-accessible. In addition, crews will replace existing escalators and construct a new entrance from Van Sinderen Ave that leads riders directly to the  train platform. The MTA will also build a new comfort station at Callahan Kelly Playground.

Bus Fleet Modernization

The MTA’s bus fleet is the largest in the nation with 5,840 buses and serves a ridership greater than the next three largest bus agencies combined. The Authority currently has over 1,300 low-emissions hybrid buses in its fleet, including 399 second generation hybrid buses which run on battery-only EV mode a portion of the time, greatly reducing fossil fuel usage, and 15 electric buses. 

Today the MTA Board approved two contracts to purchase a total of 429 new buses for $552.8 million that will replace buses that have reached the end of their useful life. The purchase includes 205 low-floor battery-electric buses (with two options for up to 1,215 additional battery-electric buses) and 224 low-floor 60-foot clean diesel buses (with two options to purchase up to 446 additional 60-foot clean diesel buses). The purchase contracts also include related items such as spare parts, special tools, equipment, diagnostic testing, technical documentation, and requisite training from the bus manufacturer. The battery electric bus purchase, part of the MTA’s current capital plan, was made whole with support of the $116 million in federal low-or-no-emission grant funding via the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  

The purchase of 205 low-floor battery-electric buses supports the Authority’s commitment of transitioning to a fully zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040 and is the first set of battery electric buses earmarked in the 2020-2024 Capital Plan. The projected pilot bus delivery for the first of the 205 battery electric buses is slated for 2025, with production deliveries beginning later that year. While work to retrofit the necessary infrastructure to support the 205 battery electric buses is underway, beginning fall of next year, 60 battery electric buses will begin arriving to multiple depots across all boroughs, with prioritization to environmental justice communities, putting green buses on the roads of the neighborhoods that will most benefit from them.

Accessibility and State-of-Good-Repair on the Long Island Rail Road 

Systemwide accessibility remains a top priority for LIRR which is committed to maintaining its significant level of investment to make stations ADA-accessible. The projects moving forward will make the stations at Forest Hills and Hollis accessible and improve accessibility at Babylon. In addition, platforms at Forest Hills and Hollis will be extended to allow for increased future capacity. Babylon will also receive a full platform and canopy replacements.

Webster Avenue Bridge Replacement

The Webster Avenue Bridge spans the LIRR’s Port Washington Branch in Manhasset and has reached the end of its useful life. This project will replace the bridge and reconstruct the adjacent roadway, sidewalks and retaining walls. Crews will also install catch basins and a new drainage system to prevent roadway drainage onto the track.

Metro-North Railroad’s Brewster Yard Improvement Program

MTA Construction & Development and Metro-North Railroad have planned multi-phased improvements at Metro-North's Brewster Campus in Putnam County.

The Brewster Yard Improvements program will transform the campus into a strategic maintenance facility and transportation hub. The current campus includes Southeast station, customer surface parking lots, the Harlem Line tracks, the existing train storage yard and the Brewster Yard maintenance facility. 

The project scope comprises of the existing MNR Brewster Campus and an undeveloped 52-acre property situated to the east of the Harlem Line.

The Brewster Yard Improvements Program is structured into three distinct phases:

  • Phase One - Southeast Station Parking and Access Improvements
  • Phase Two - Northward Yard Expansion
  • Phase Three - Existing Yard Reconfiguration

The first phase will include relocating the existing Southeast station parking lot to a new facility to facilitate future yard expansion. Crews will construct a state-of-the-art 1320-space parking garage with an overpass that will take riders to the platform level.

“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Law that I was proud to champion and pass, the MTA is making significant investments to improve the ridership experience, make stations fully accessible and reduce carbon pollution by buying electric buses,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “With this funding, MTA riders will have improved accessibility on public transit, at Broadway Junction and more, new low- and no-emission buses that will reduce air pollution, an improved LIRR experience, and state of good repair improvements to the whole system.”

“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act delivers real and transformational change to New York,” said House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries. “This law provides the largest single federal investment in infrastructure in the history of the Republic and will help make our mass transit systems accessible to every single American, including right here in Central Brooklyn and East New York. I applaud the MTA for working to implement such updates here in Brooklyn so those with disabilities will have the access and accommodations they deserve.”

“ADA accessibility is essential—and I applaud today’s announcement of funding which will help fulfill the MTA’s commitment to accessibility throughout the city,” said Congressman Jerry Nadler. “I look forward to seeing these new developments come underway at the W. 81st and W. 96th Street stations for riders on the () lines, as well as the 86th Street () stations to the benefit of riders on both the East and West Sides. The arrival of new Electric Buses at the Michael Quill bus depot is a welcome development for advancing sustainability in our city. I applaud today’s announcement which will help reduce emissions and encourage bus ridership across Manhattan.”

“After years of pushing for accessibility improvements, the MTA listened to western Queens residents, activists and elected leaders advocating for better subway access,” said State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “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.”

“I am pleased to see that the MTA is moving forward with its commitments to both the Hollis LIRR Station ADA Project to bring much needed safety and accessibility upgrades and the addition of 205 electric buses to its fleet,” said State Senator Leroy Comrie. “I have been fighting for these capital commitments to be fulfilled as they have been long requested by my community. Accordingly, my colleagues and I insisted that these projects and nearly twenty additional public transit-related improvements be fulfilled as preconditions for congestion pricing. Our commuter rail and bus lines must be as accessible and convenient as possible for riders if their use is to be heavily encouraged. I commend the MTA for advancing these initiatives and look forward to their timely delivery to the community.”

“Installing elevators across the subway stations is a key part of our commitment to accessibility, convenience, and safety for New Yorkers and visitors alike,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal. “I’m grateful that the latest round of ADA upgrades will benefit the Upper West Side’s 81st and 96th Street  stations in my district. Elevators at these popular stations will invite more people to utilize our public transportation services, especially for individuals with disabilities, our seniors, parents and caregivers with strollers, and travelers with heavy luggage. I thank the MTA for taking a step towards its commitment to making the subway 95% accessible by 2055.” 

“I am pleased that this project is moving forward,” said State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud. “The transformational vision for Broadway Junction is a major step to improving the lives of many commuters that pass through this major transit hub; creating a more safe and equitable New York.”

“I’m proud to see this progress toward accessible public transit at the Court Square and the Broadway stations,” said State Senator Kristen Gonzalez. “Our office is committed to working with the MTA and other community stakeholders to see this project completed safely and swiftly and to continue to increase access to transit across our district.”

“I am pleased that the LIRR is moving forward with Babylon Station Platform Extension Project,” said State Senator Alexis Weik. “These more spacious platforms and two new ADA-compliance elevators will provide a safer and more comfortable commute for hard working Long Islanders.”

“The expansion and improvements of Metro-North's Brewster Campus are key to bettering train service to hundreds of thousands of Harlem Line commuters,” said State Senator Pete Harckham. “Reliable and convenient train service is vital in reducing reliance on the automobile, which improves air quality.”

“I commend the MTA for their procurement of a greener and cleaner bus fleet, and I am particularly heartened that today's announcement means that we will be significantly reducing emissions in our neighborhoods in and around Mother Clara Hale Bus Depot,” said State Senator Cordell Cleare.

“I am pleased that the Van Cortlandt Park-242 St  train station has been selected for a significant ADA package, marking a major stride in improving accessibility,” said Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz. “This is something I have long supported and advocated for. This month's upcoming award is part of an initiative to enhance accessibility. It is important that we continue to make more and more stations fully accessible.”

“The Brewster Yard Improvements Program is an exciting enhancement for Putnam County and the 94th Assembly District that will modernize a crucial transportation hub, expand parking options and improve pedestrian connectivity,” said Assemblymember Matt Slater. “I look forward to seeing this project's next steps and the benefits it will bring to the Hudson Valley.”

“I am very excited and pleased that the MTA is installing new elevators at the Classon Avenue Station,” said Assemblymember Phara Souffrant Forrest. “This is a much-needed upgrade that will improve accessibility to transit options for those who most need them: seniors and the disabled. We must continue to work to make sure all stations in District 57 and across the city are accessible to everyone.”

“I’m proud to join my counterparts in government in announcing projects that are integral to giving commuters a better experience and enabling greater access for those with disabilities,” said Assemblymember Michael Durso. “Babylon and nearby residents deserve top-notch services and I’m excited to see these improvements come to completion.”

“This transformative project is a significant step forward in enhancing commuter safety and accessibility,” said Assemblymember Alicia L. Hyndman. “The addition of two new platforms, equipped with state-of-the-art snow and ice melting systems, along with a modern canopy, reflects our commitment to providing a secure and comfortable transit experience. The inclusion of ADA-compliant features such as an elevator and ramp underscores our dedication to inclusivity. The reconstruction of the existing tunnel, coupled with the construction of a new tunnel, further exemplifies our investment in modern infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of our community. This initiative is a testament to our unwavering focus on creating a more efficient, accessible, and resilient transportation hub for all.”

“After decades of enacting the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Sunset Park and South Brooklyn will soon have an accessible elevator project at the 36 Street Station,” said Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes. “The station is a major junction, where many working-class communities connect as they travel for work, leisure, and family.  Our district is excited to see another elevator open and made accessible to our vulnerable disabled and elderly community. I look forward to our continued relationship with the MTA to make AD51 (Sunset Park, Red Hook, Bay Ridge, and BoroPark) more equitable to our residents.”

“The two recently approved bus fleet replacement contracts will bring New York City closer to its goal of reducing harmful carbon emissions,” said Assemblymember Michael Benedetto. “We should start realizing the benefits of this purchase as soon as 2025. I am looking forward to the new buses appearing on the bus routes in my district.”

"I am thrilled the MTA's accelerated progress in making our subway stations more accessible," said Assemblymember Al Taylor. "With eight projects completed in 2023 and 13 more on the way, including the Harlem 148th Street Station (3) right here in the 71st Assembly District, we're ensuring that everyone, regardless of ability, can navigate our public transit seamlessly. The new elevators, equipped with modern technology, prioritize safety and enhance communication for riders with disabilities during emergencies. I appreciate the MTA's commitment to creating a more inclusive transportation system for our community. Thank you for making accessibility a reality."

"I am delighted the MTA is taking a significant step towards a cleaner and greener future in  the 71st Assembly District. The approval of $552.8M for the purchase of 205 low-floor battery-electric buses citywide, with additional options, signals a commitment to improving our local environment," said Assemblymember Taylor. "The Mother Clara Hale Bus Depot, located in my district, will play a pivotal role in this transformative initiative. As your Assembly Member, I am proud to see our community leading the way in sustainable public transportation. This investment not only enhances our transit system but also underscores our dedication to environmental responsibility. I look forward to the positive impact this will have on the air quality and overall well-being of our residents, making our community a model for clean and efficient public transit solutions."

“I commend the MTA for its ongoing progress toward its accessibility and sustainability goals,” said NYC Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks Powers, Chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “The authority has a legal and moral obligation to ensure New Yorkers with disabilities can access its stations, and every new elevator the MTA installs empowers more community members to make use of the city's subway network. And by electrifying its electric bus fleet, the MTA can reduce emissions and help the city achieve carbon neutrality. I look forward to working with the MTA to ensure further investments in accessibility and sustainability citywide.”

“I want to thank the MTA for their commitment to sustainability and for procuring these new electric busses, many of which will be housed in our district at the Michael J. Quill Bus Depot,” said NYC Council Member Erik Bottcher. “We need to modernize and shift away from gas powered public transit, to help protect the environment, lessen air and noise pollution, and save the planet. I’m glad the MTA is taking this effort seriously and applaud their achievements here.”

“In far too many ways, our City and State need to do better in taking down barriers to entry for differently abled New Yorkers,” said NYC Council Member Alexa Avilés. “I'm grateful to hear about the MTA's accessibility upgrades at 36th Street Station, a connector for a wide set of South Brooklyn neighborhoods. Our community has long awaited this project and we all look forward to its completion.”

“Our city’s trains connect us to nearby neighborhoods and boroughs across the city and I’m excited that three of our train stations will receive ADA enhancements to make our transit system more equitable,” said NYC Council Member Julie Won. “For years, our neighbors have advocated for elevators and ADA enhancements to make our trains accessible to seniors, people with disabilities, and parents traveling with their children in strollers. These improvements will benefit thousands of riders and afford our neighbors the choice to use more climate-friendly transit.”

“Situated at the intersection of three communities of color, Broadway Junction is one of Brooklyn’s busiest stations and serves as a vital transfer point in our subway system,” said NYC Council Member Sandy Nurse. “The MTA’s $400 million investment into Broadway Junction will finally modernize and bring this community transit hub into ADA compliance. We are encouraged by today's awarding of the construction contract and will continue working with our government and community partners to ensure we minimize disruptions, costs, and see this project to completion.”

"It is great news that the process of making the Broadway N/W stop more accessible is moving forward," said NYC Council Member Tiffany Cabán. "Especially in a neighborhood that has suffered so many horrific traffic deaths and other incidents of vehicular violence, it is vital that we make mass transit a more readily available option; today's announcement is a step in the right direction. I look forward to the day when these infrastructure improvements are unveiled and opened to the public."

“The Van Cortlandt Park-242 St  train station is a major transit hub for commuters in the Northwest Bronx connecting our residents to Manhattan, Westchester, and beyond” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “We are excited this station will be included an in ADA package that will ensure parents with strollers and our residents living with disabilities or with mobility issues will have easier access getting to and from their destination. I want to thank the MTA for their work to modernize our subway stations and commitment to making them more accessible for all New Yorkers. We look forward to seeing the final design.”

“New Yorkers deserve not just a high-quality mass transit system, but one that is rooted in accessibility and equity as well. These ADA enhancements slated for four busy Queens subway stations will make a world of difference in giving commuters of all ages and abilities equitable access to the city they call home,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “I look forward to working with the MTA to ensure these enhancements are installed as quickly as possible as we build a more vibrant borough and city that is truly open to all.”

“Queens knows all too well the disastrous impacts of unchecked fossil fuel consumption and climate change have had on our communities. That’s especially true in places like Southeast Queens, which has historically suffered from higher levels of air pollution,” said Queens Borough President Richards. “Today’s announcement of the purchase of hundreds of new electric buses is not only welcome, but absolutely critical in our push to promote a more sustainable, healthy environment. I look forward to working with the MTA to double down on resiliency efforts like these going forward.”

“The Long Island Rail Road is such an integral part of the Village of Babylon for our village residents and guests and even those who travel to Manhattan for enjoyment,” said Babylon Village Mayor Mary E. Adams. “I thank the MTA and look forward to the renovations and updates coming our way that will enhance the train riding experience for everyone as well as the continued effort to keep safety as a priority.”

“This project is a significant step toward enhancing our community's transportation infrastructure and ensuring accessibility for all,” said Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer. “I would like to express my gratitude to all those involved in making this project a reality.”