New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) unveiled the first-of-its-kind Jay Street-MetroTech A C F R Accessible Station Lab in downtown Brooklyn.
The new MTA living lab will test dozens of new features — new smartphone apps for wayfinding, floor treatments, braille and tactile maps, digital signage, and in-station navigation — that make subway stations more accessible for riders of all abilities. The project will allow customers to test these products and services in a live station environment and provide direct feedback to New York City Transit (NYCT), while allowing NYCT to evaluate the durability and performance of such features. The pilot will run through Dec. 31, 2019.
“Many of these products or features are being tested individually in other transit systems, but we are the first to bring everything together in one station in this 'living laboratory' approach," said Alex Elegudin, NYCT sr. advisor, systemwide accessibility.
The Jay St.-MetroTech Accessible Station Lab will demonstrate features that can further increase accessibility for customers with mobility-related disabilities, who are blind or low-vision, deaf or hard-of-hearing, or have cognitive disabilities.
The Accessible Station Lab pilot is a milestone toward delivering on the Fast Forward goal to accelerate the rollout of accessibility features across the subway system. Those features that are deemed successful during the pilot-based both on customer feedback and operational performance will be considered for inclusion in future ADA station projects, which are funded through the Capital Plan. We will also seek opportunities to integrate these features into our existing stock of accessible stations through innovative partnerships such as work with the Transit Tech Lab.
As this proof of concept demonstrates, accelerating accessibility is a top priority for NYC Transit. The 2020-2024 Capital Plan, recently approved by the MTA Board, includes a historic commitment of more than $5 billion to make an additional 70 subway stations ADA accessible, ensuring customers will be no farther than two stops from an accessible station anywhere in the system. The MTA has also made it a priority to improve communication with customers on the real-time status of elevators and escalators, improve audio and visual access to information throughout the system, and explore new approaches to priority and courtesy seating on buses.
The Accessible Station Lab will be on display until the end of 2019.