The MTA is a public benefit corporation responsible for public transportation in New York City.  -  Photo: MTA

The MTA is a public benefit corporation responsible for public transportation in New York City.

Photo: MTA

Mayor Bill de Blasio, the New York City Council, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced the approval of Elevate Transit: Zoning for Accessibility.

Zoning for Accessibility is a collaboration between the MTA, city council, the Department of City Planning (DCP), and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) to improve New York City’s push to make its transit system fully accessible. 

“Building a recovery for all of us means making public transportation accessible to everyone who rides it – especially seniors, young families, and New Yorkers with mobility disabilities,” said de Blasio. “I’m proud to work across government to drive greater investment in these accessibility improvements, and I look forward to collaborating on more creative ideas to make our city fairer and more equitable.”

The initiative will allow the MTA to leverage planned private development to achieve a fully accessible transit system faster. It will also save taxpayer dollars as the MTA faces financial challenges caused by the ongoing pandemic.

“Zoning for Accessibility builds on the MTA’s historic $5.2 billion investment in making our transit system more accessible, by using private development to accelerate ADA upgrades,” said Janno Lieber, MTA acting chair and CEO. “This initiative reflects Governor Hochul and the MTA’s shared commitment to all New Yorkers — particularly riders with mobility disabilities, seniors, and parents of young children — to modernize the entire transit system as quickly and efficiently as possible."

The innovative proposal allows developers to help deliver transit station accessibility in the city through easement certification and transit improvement bonus.

"Whether it's a senior commuting to get their meals, a person with a disability getting to work, or a family traveling to and from a medical appointment, transit in NYC is an economic and health necessity for so many New Yorkers. Advancing transit accessibility through these zoning rules will help better reflect the needs of New Yorkers and ensure that our city is set up to serve all. This is an example of how agencies across the City and State can partner and deliver for our communities," said Francisco Moya council member, chair of the subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises.