New York Governor Kathy Hochul and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority celebrated the accelerated pace of completion of accessibility projects across the New York City subway system with the opening of another fully accessible station, Grand St. l station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – the fourth across the transit system in 2023.
The opening followed a summer in which progress was made on accessibility improvements.
New York MTA's Initiatives
In July, the MTA celebrated Disability Pride Month with events and announcements including the opening of three fully accessible stations: Court Square G station in Queens, Dyckman St 1 station in Upper Manhattan, and 8 Av N station in Brooklyn.
“The Grand Ststation is the most recent example of our hard work to ensure that no New Yorker has to worry about whether they can safely access public transportation,” Governor Hochul said. “The MTA shares our commitment to delivering accessibility improvements across New York City and will continue to strive to make transit accessible to all.”
The pace at which the MTA is awarding contracts for accessible projects is five times what it was before 2020. The MTA has awarded contracts for 13 stations in 2020, 10 stations in 2021, and 13 stations in 2022, and previously announced its plan to award contracts for 17 stations by the end of the year.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when ridership decreased, the MTA prioritized expanding accessibility improvements in the subway by completing 15 accessibility projects.
There are 142 accessible stations and 30 stations in construction for accessibility upgrades, eight of which are expected to be complete by the end of 2023.
The Grand St. L station accessibility project was funded by a grant provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and completed as part of a design-build package of eight stations throughout the subway system, the first such bundle undertaken by MTA Construction & Development (C&D) to deliver accessibility upgrades. The remaining stations from that bundle are projected to open later this year.
In June, as part of the station’s accessibility design-build package, MTA Arts & Design announced new mosaic artwork commissioned by artist Glendalys Medina, Gratitudes Off Grand. The resulting work is comprised of vividly colored geometric forms–circles, diamonds, squares, and rectangles reflecting the artist’s practice inspired by Taíno, hip-hop, and Latino cultures and music.
The 2020-2024 MTA Capital Plan includes an investment of $5.2 billion to make 67 subway stations ADA accessible.
In addition, the Authority has completed 21 ADA stations since 2020, double the number of ADA stations completed in the previous six years.
In July, the MTA also began rolling out innovative new wayfinding features across 11 subway stations and 24 stops along the M60 bus route in Manhattan.
“When it comes to accessibility, the MTA is delivering on an unprecedented commitment – both in terms of dollars or number of stations – and we are going to keep going at the same pace and level of investment until we achieve full accessibility," said MTA CEO Janno Lieber.