Funds Secured by New York’s Senate Delegation Are Part of Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
MTA’s Historic 2020-2024 Capital Plan Includes $5.2 Billion to Make Additional Subway Stations Accessible
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced it earned a $254 million federal grant as part of the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) new All Stations Accessibility Program, which makes competitive funding available to improve accessibility for people with disabilities at some of the nation’s oldest and busiest rail transit systems. The funding, part of President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, was spearheaded by both U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
The MTA is deploying every innovative tool at its disposal in creative ways to achieve ADA improvements. Since 2020, 16 additional subway stations have been made ADA-accessible, and the MTA’s historic 2020-2024 Capital Plan includes $5.2 billion to make additional stations accessible. In June 2022, the MTA committed to bringing ADA-accessibility to at least 95% of subway stations by 2055. In addition, the MTA partnered with the City of New York on Zoning for Accessibility in 2021, which created a framework for developers to make accessibility upgrades to stations without requiring MTA capital dollars. Four stations are already slated for upgrades through this program.
The MTA will use the funds to advance the design process that will make the Myrtle Avenue, Norwood Avenue and Avenue I subway stations in Brooklyn and the Burnside Avenue subway station in the Bronx fully accessible. Plans include installing elevators, updating platforms to reduce gaps, adding tactile platform edge warning strips, modifying fare gates and stairs and improving handrails. These four stations were chosen with a focus on equity concerns and filling some of the largest remaining geographic gaps between accessible stations in the system.
“I’m proud to support and deliver this critical funding that is key to modernizing the subway and PATH systems so they are more accessible for the riding public, including New York’s disabled community, which has long suffered from poor access to our region’s mass transit system,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “I worked hard to secure funds in the bipartisan infrastructure bill for the All Stations Accessibility Program so New York transit agencies can take on more projects to help keep New Yorkers moving and keep our economy going strong. These much-needed accessibility upgrades will drive the local economy forward, create opportunities for good paying jobs, and increase access to critical services.”
“Upgrading New York City’s infrastructure has been a key focus of mine. These funds will improve New Yorkers’ quality of life and provide greater public transportation access, especially for those using wheelchairs or pushing strollers,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “Our public transportation system is the backbone of New York City, and all New Yorkers, no matter their age, ability, or attributes, deserve an accessible, inclusive transportation network. I’m proud to have worked to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which is providing the funds for these critical grants and continues to pay dividends for our state.”
“Upgrading accessibility across the nation’s largest subway system is no small undertaking, but thanks to support like this, we’re making progress at an unprecedented rate,” said MTA Construction & Development President Jamie Torres-Springer. “Federal grants are essential to us maintaining this pace as we fulfill our commitment to make 95% of remaining stations accessible by 2055. Thank you to the FTA and all our federal partners for their support.”
“So many people will benefit from a more accessible subway system. Riders with disabilities, parents who travel with children in strollers, travelers with luggage and seniors who use the subway on a regular basis,” said MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo. "The MTA continues to build on its commitment to full accessibility which helps the communities that rely on mass transit continue to thrive.”
"I would like to thank the Biden-Harris administration for granting the Metropolitan Transportation Authority funding to make more subway stations accessible, including Burnside Avenue in my district,” said New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “I have long advocated that it is imperative to accelerate progress to make public transportation inclusive and accessible for every New Yorker."
“Every New Yorker has the right to use public transportation, regardless of age or disability, and now thousands more will have access to the subway system,” said Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein. “I am thrilled that the Avenue I station on the F line will soon be made accessible and want to thank the FTA for helping make this project a reality and the MTA for prioritizing our local stations.”
Last month, the MTA Board approved Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades at several subway stations across four boroughs and announced multiple elevators would be replaced across eight station complexes in Manhattan and Queens including some of the system’s busiest stations.