Strategic Action Plan Will Aim to Improve Equity as Agency Engages with Stakeholders and Integrates Bicycle, Pedestrian and Micromobility Options with the MTA System
Expert Consultant Hired to Bolster Planning Effort
Plan Release Slated for 2022
Members of the Public are Encouraged to Submit their Comments and Visit the Plan's Web Page
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chair and CEO Janno Lieber today announced that the MTA will create a landmark strategic action plan to enhance bicycle, pedestrian, and micromobility access to MTA facilities and services. In addition, the MTA has hired Sam Schwartz Engineering as a consultant to provide critical expertise and support to the creation of the plan. The plan, to be released this year, will redouble the MTA’s commitment to creating equitable access to transit system and supporting sustainable transportation modes. Members of the public can submit their comments to the Authority via the plan’s webpage to have their voices heard. The Authority is launching this plan in accordance with state legislation signed into law last year by Governor Kathy Hochul.
Through the strategic action plan, the MTA will:
• Improve bicycle, pedestrian, and micromobility access to subway stations and bus stops
• Improve access at Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad stations
• Integrate trip planning and payments with bike-sharing and other micromobility services like electric scooters
• Strengthen coordination with municipalities
• Improve pedestrian and bicycle access to and on MTA bridges
These improvements will support the growth of sustainable transportation modes and ensure the MTA remains focused on enhancements that will enable cyclists, pedestrians and micromobility users to better use the MTA’s transportation network.
"We want to improve customer access to our environmentally friendly MTA services, however they get to their train or bus,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “As a cyclist myself, I know that biking can be the perfect complement to mass transit. This plan improves access to our services through cycling, walking, and micromobility and will help bring riders back and reduce our carbon footprint.”
“I’m excited to see this major step toward the creation of our bicycle, pedestrian, and micromobility plan,” said MTA Construction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer. “At MTA Construction and Development, we are committed to enhancing mobility and accessibility throughout our system. This plan will reflect that, with real, tangible action steps to increase connections to our system and make it easier to move throughout the New York City region without ever getting in a car.”
“As more and more people are walking and cycling to get around – particularly in the face of our growing climate crisis – improving access to the MTA network for bicyclists and pedestrians is more important than ever," said Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA Lisa Daglian. "Making it easier to get to and from stations without a car will help increase ridership around the system, while cutting down on congestion and emissions. Improving connectivity by adding missing links to bridges, either by finishing walkways and bike paths or adding bike racks on additional bus routes, will allow more people to get where they’re going under their own power or take transit. We look forward to meeting our legislative mandate as required under the Bike-Ped Access bill as well, and working with the MTA and partners to provide input on improving bicycle and pedestrian access to MTA facilities. Recent improvements – including the Oonee Pod pilot at Grand Central and policy changes to allow bicycles on Metro-North and LIRR trains outside of rush hour – are just the beginning!”
“MTA’s infrastructure and services move the region,” said Sam Schwartz Engineering Principal and National Director Michael Flynn. “Their impact is even greater than subways, buses, commuter rail, and bridges alone – MTA can also support walking, cycling, and micromobility trips. Improving access and mobility for those modes will help achieve New York State’s climate action goals as well as increase transit ridership through more seamless first- and last-mile connections. The Sam Schwartz team is excited to work with MTA to create a durable, achievable, best-in-class framework for improving bicycle, pedestrian, and micromobility access and connectivity throughout the transit and bridge network.”
“Reliable mass transit is only as good as its surrounding infrastructure. With cycling booming and the city continuing to grow, the DOT is excited to partner with the MTA to better support healthy, environmentally friendly first- and last-mile trips,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “There are lots of great opportunities to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists transferring to buses and trains and we are working hand in hand improve transit access.”
"Expanding access for cyclists and pedestrians on MTA bridges, stations, buses, and trains will help us meet the growing demand of New Yorkers who are choosing sustainable forms of transportation,” said State Senator Alessandra Biaggi. “The MTA’s Strategic Action Plan will allow the agency to take a comprehensive approach to improving bike and pedestrian access, and advance the goals of equity and sustainability in our transportation system. I am grateful to the MTA for their work and encourage all New Yorkers to make their voices heard in this process."
“Last year I was proud to have worked with Senator Biaggi and advocates to successfully pass the MTA Bike Access bill,” said Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas. “We understood then, as we do now, that increasing access of cyclists to MTA bridges is a matter of environmental justice, public health, and labor justice. I’m excited to see the launch of this website as an intentional step forward to bring the voices of cyclists and pedestrians to the table and thank the MTA for its work on this. If there is one thing we have learned in the last two years it's that we can only go forward together.”
“Increasing bike, pedestrian, and micromobility access to MTA stations, bridges, and bus stops will make it easier for people to get around the region sustainably and efficiently,” said Danny Harris, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “The creation of a strategic action plan to meet the needs of all riders is an important step toward creating a system that makes multimodal transportation seamless and easy — whether it’s biking across an MTA bridge or bringing an e-scooter on the train. We look forward to working with the MTA throughout this planning process.”
“The creation of a strategic action plan that will enhance bicycle, pedestrian, and micromobility access to MTA facilities is a major step forward toward enabling people to move around much more efficiently and sustainably,” said Ken Podziba, President and CEO of Bike New York. “The expectation is that these improvements will substantially decrease the region’s dependence on cars and thereby reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and we look forward to continuing to work with the MTA on the planning and implementation of this transformative plan.”
The MTA has hired Sam Schwartz Engineering, a leading engineering, planning, and consulting firm to support the development of the plan. The scope of work for the consultant includes evaluating existing conditions and trends in bicycle, pedestrian, and micromobility as related to MTA services and facilities, aligning the plan to global best practices, and supporting MTA-led stakeholder engagement. The work will culminate in producing the final plan later in 2022.
The MTA has already taken steps to increase bicycle, pedestrian, and micromobility access, including enhanced bicycle access to commuter rail, bus bicycle racks, and improved bicycle and pedestrian access on bridges.
• The MTA has recently eliminated the requirement to obtain a permit to bring a bicycle aboard LIRR or Metro-North trains
• Bicycle lockers have been installed at six Metro-North stations and eighteen LIRR stations
• More than 60% of Metro-North and LIRR stations outside of New York City include bicycle parking
• The MTA has installed permanent bicycle racks on buses operating on four routes: the S53, S93, Q50, and Bx23. These bicycle racks allow riders to travel longer distances with their bicycle and help riders who need to travel between boroughs via the Bronx-Whitestone and Verrazzano-Narrows Bridges
• MTA Bridges and Tunnels has invested in numerous bicycle and pedestrian access improvements including adding the new Morris Street Pedestrian Bridge over the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel Manhattan Plaza, widening a pedestrian approach and renovating the entire walkway of the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial bridge, and improving bicycle lanes and pedestrian crossings at Lily Pond Avenue on Staten Island near the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge
In February, the MTA announced the launch of a secure bike storage pilot at Grand Central Terminal. The pilot program was made possible through a partnership between Metro-North Railroad and Oonee, a Brooklyn-based startup that creates pop-up secure bike parking facilities, and includes a mini-pod with six parking spaces.
Further improvements are planned, including a partnership with the NYC Department of Transportation to site bicycle parking near subway stations. The MTA is also planning to work with stakeholders in the commuter rail territory to implement ten pilot programs, including bicycle, pedestrian and micromobility station access improvements. This effort also includes the launch of a new toolkit for MTA stakeholders to assess station access and design pilot programs in the future to improve mobility to Metro-North and LIRR stations. The action plan will outline goals, processes, and policies for creating an integrated transportation network and will consider local, national, and international best practices.
The MTA is encouraging members of the public to provide comments during the development of the strategic action plan. Public comments can be submitted via the MTA web page: https://new.mta.info/bike-micromobility-strategic-action-plan