MTA is knocking out seven stations which were about 30 years overdue to meet the Americans with Disability Act making the slow crawl toward making all 472 subway stops compliant.
After an episode of grilling from elected officials, lawsuits from accessibility advocates, and $5 billion in funding from a capital plan shelved in 2020 for 70 stations to receive elevator installations, the MTA is persisting in its effort to modernize despite an uncertain financial future.
“Modernizing our system is critically important — but our North Star must always be making sure our transit system is accessible for absolutely everyone,” Sarah Feinberg, Interim President of New York City Transit president, said. “Ensuring every New Yorker has equal access to the system is not just a top priority, it is a necessity. This is a major step towards that goal.”
In 2019, it was found that only half of NYC Transit’s 472 stations had elevator access for those with disabilities, something the agency had hoped to remedy in the five-year capital plan passed in January of 2020. It was the largest in the history of the MTA at $54 billion.
With the financial fallout over COVID-19, the MTA has gone into deficit spending mode with “doomsday” service cuts of 40% on subways, a 4% fare hike and a laying off 9,000 workers.
Nine other stations received elevators in 2020 despite the crisis as the funds were likely already committed through contract, with these stations already funded with federal grant money.
In Brooklyn, 7th Avenue on the F and G trains will soon have three elevators, Grand Street on the L will have two, Metropolitan Avenue on the G and L trains will get five. In the Bronx, East 149th Street on the 6 train will get two elevators.