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MTA Enhances Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Micromobility Access Across the Network Ahead of Central Business District Tolling

Updated Dec 20, 2023 2:15 p.m.
Bus Bike Rack

With NYC DOT Collaboration, 99% of Subway Stations Now Have Bike Racks Nearby

Contract Awarded to Make Queens Span of Robert F. Kennedy Bridge Accessible to Cyclists and Pedestrians

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority today delivered a year-end review of improvements and projects underway to enhance cycling and pedestrian access across the subway, buses, commuter railroads, and bridges to better connect with the transit system as recommended in the Extending Transit’s Reach plan. These improvements include adding bike parking at key stations and bus stops, installing more front-of-bus bike racks, and continued coordination with New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) to collocate bikeshare and e-scooter share at key transit hubs on MTA-owned property, such, as additional Citi Bike docks, and expanding the e-scooter program to Eastern Queens. These enhancements expand the reach of the transit network deeper into communities, making it easier to hop on a train, a subway or a bus, and beginning next spring, making it easier to avoid paying the Central Business District toll.

In 2023, NYC DOT installed bike racks at 34 subway station entrances. As of December 1, 2023, 99% (469 out of 472) stations have bicycle racks within 100 feet of an entrance. For the remaining three stations, NYC DOT has already approved MTA’s siting recommendations and plans to install the bike racks next year. Utilizing the MTA’s Small Business Mentoring Program, 13 Metro-North stations, six Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) stations, and one LIRR employee facility will see new bicycle parking installed in 2024. With these improvements, 85% of all MTA suburban commuter rail stations will provide bike parking.

“Mass transit is already the best way to get around New York City and we are making it easier and more convenient through the MTA’s comprehensive bike and pedestrian plan,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “We are also bringing improvements to suburban commuter rail stations to maximize convenience and also decrease reliance on cars. This plan supports the rise in micromobility, facilitates congestion pricing, and enhances transit equity and sustainability.”

“The MTA has made great progress in planned capital improvements to pedestrian and bike accessibility on bridges with work underway to make three bridges fully accessible, ensure bike racks are widely available, and pilot secure bike parking facilities in commuter rail territory,” said MTA Construction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer.

“By improving bike infrastructure around subway stations, we can make it much easier for New Yorkers to access mass transit—especially in the outer boroughs where there are more residents living farther than a short walk to the nearest train,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We were thrilled to work in close partnership with the MTA to identify subway stations with a high need for bike parking, particularly at outer-borough, end-of-line stations. And we look forward to our continued collaboration to improve New Yorkers’ access to safe, sustainable, and environmentally friendly transportation options.”

MTA’s Transit-Oriented Development team continues to work with NYC DOT to seek opportunities to increase the number of bike racks at major transit hubs where there is high bike demand. NYC DOT installed a cluster of bike racks at Metro-North's Fordham Station in November 2023, a bike corral is planned at Spuyten-Duyvil in the spring of 2024, and planning is underway for additional bike racks at key commuter rail stations within the five boroughs.

Multimodal Integration

To increase bike-transit integration, MTA installed front-of-bus bike racks on three key Select Bus Service (SBS) routes that cross three bridges operated by MTA Bridges and Tunnels:

  • The Q44 SBS, which operates between West Farms Square in the Bronx and Jamaica, Queens, via the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge.
  • The S79 SBS, which operates between New Springfield, Staten Island, and Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, via Hylan Blvd and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
  • The M60 SBS, which operates between the Upper West Side of Manhattan and LaGuardia Airport via 125 St and the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge.

MTA bus routes that already had front-of-bus bike racks are the S53, S93, Q50 and Bx23. Future expansion will consider customer input and operational space availability, operational constraints, and budget.

Improvements On MTA Bridges

The MTA is delivering on its commitments to improve conditions for cyclists, pedestrians, and micromobility users on MTA bridges, leveraging MTA’s infrastructure assets to promote walking and cycling and enhance safety across the region.

Robert F. Kennedy Bridge: The MTA has completed a new bike/pedestrian ramp connecting the northern walkway of the Manhattan span (Harlem River Lift Span) to the future East River Greenway in East Harlem. The new ramp will connect to the East River Greenway, a project currently underway by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

Today the MTA Board approved the award of a contract that will create a new bike/pedestrian shared-use path to replace the current walkway across the RFK’s East River suspension and Queens approach structure, providing an ADA accessible connection between Astoria and Wards/Randall’s Island. The MTA will complete this work by the end of 2027.

The MTA is also constructing end-to-end ADA connectivity between Randall’s Island, Manhattan, and the Bronx. This work is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

Henry Hudson Bridge: The MTA is replacing and widening the bridge’s Lower-Level walkway to build ADA compliant ramps on both sides of the bridge and provide better connectivity between Spuyten Duyvil in the Bronx and Inwood Hill Park in Manhattan. This is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

Cross Bay Bridge: The MTA is expected to complete by the end of 2024 a new ADA compliant bike/pedestrian ramp on the south side of the Cross Bay Bridge between Broad Channel and Rockaway Beach.

More to Come

Secure Bike Parking Pilot: The MTA plans to release a Request for Proposal (RFP) in the first quarter of 2024 for an on-demand, app-enabled secure bike parking pilot at select outlying commuter rail stations. The aim of the pilot is to have secure bike cages accessible to commuter rail customers through the TrainTime application installed at up to three Metro-North Railroad and three Long Island Rail Road stations.

First-Mile/Last-Mile (FMLM) Planning Study Progress: The MTA coordinated with communities across Metro-North Railroad and the LIRR to develop pilot programs at 10 stations to improve station access, based on the communities’ station typology and characteristics, to use other modes such as cycling, walking, micromobility, on-demand transit, ridehailing, etc. The five Metro-North Railroad stations are Nanuet, Fleetwood, Mount Vernon West, and Mount Vernon East. The Long Island Rail Road stations are Valley Stream, Riverhead, Floral Park, Bellerose, and Hempstead. Four pilot communities have applied for grants, four communities have won and have scoped projects from the FMLM pilot, and two have received grants and are in the midst of scoping their projects.

"2023 is now the second-deadliest year for bike riders in New York City’s recorded history,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal. “We have the power to reverse this trend by building infrastructure that prioritizes safety and accessibility for all road users. I enthusiastically welcome the MTA’s latest comprehensive bike-related improvements announced today. Street safety improvements are a matter of life or death for my constituents and vulnerable road users throughout the city. These latest upgrades, one of many to come, prioritize the safety of New Yorkers and are a great step in the direction towards Vision Zero."

"I'm excited to announce significant progress in enhancing NYC's bike infrastructure for Bronx residents,” said Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz. “In collaboration with the NYCDOT and MTA, 37 gap locations have been addressed, and nearly 100% bike parking coverage near subway stations has been achieved, highlighting the commitment to secure and convenient transit options. Installation of 130 bike racks at 34 locations, set for completion in 2024, ensures increased accessibility for Bronx cyclists. Higher-capacity racks at key commuter rail stations will benefit our community's commuter rail users. These initiatives, including bike racks on key bus routes and connectivity projects, enhance network connectivity and offer flexibility for Bronx residents to integrate biking with other transportation modes. Shared-use path projects on the Henry Hudson Bridge and connectivity projects linking Randall's Island to the Bronx provide additional biking options and recreational opportunities."

“This announcement is a significant win for cyclists and advocates of alternative modes of transportation as MTA is helping to make traveling with your bike easier and more convenient,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “I want to thank the MTA Chairman Janno Lieber, and the NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez for their commitment to expanding our biking infrastructure and eliminating barriers for cyclists to get to and from their destination.”

"With congestion pricing coming soon, today's announcement from the MTA is an important step toward a seamless connection between bikes and transit," said Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives Danny Harris. "From expanding bike parking at transit stations to more bus routes with bike racks to new bike paths along bridges, New Yorkers now have easier and sustainable ways to move around our region. We look forward to continuing to work with the MTA to expand bike access to its entire network."

"Developing new cycling routes from the Bronx, Queens and the Rockaways and facilitating easy bike-transit connections couldn't be more timely with implementation of congestion pricing slated for 2024,” said Advocacy Director for Bike New York Jon Orcutt. “We are excited and impressed by the MTA's progress on its Extending Transit's Reach program.”