MTA unveils new $30 million entrance at Times Square subway station

Times Square Subway Expansion
The 15-foot-wide staircase at the 42nd Street-Times Square station is part of a $30 million new entrance to the station.
Marc A. Hermann / MTA

The MTA unveiled a new $30 million entrance for the 42nd Street-Times Square subway station Monday, May 16.

The three-year public-private project added a 15-foot-wide staircase and an elevator at the base of the One Times Square building, and is part of a larger scheme to overhaul the 42nd Street Shuttle corridor.

“The new entrance provides direct access to Times Square, which so many people call the center of the world,” said MTA Chairperson and CEO Janno Lieber at a press conference in the station. “Now we really have a first-class entrance from the center of Broadway Plaza.”

The MTA paid $30 million for the new set of stairs, the turnstile area, 18 surveillance cameras, and a lower mezzanine. The funding also paid for utility work to hook up the cameras and LED information screens. 

Real estate developer Jamestown, which owns the building above, shelled out an additional $10 million to construct the elevator, which also has two surveillance cameras.

The entrance leads to the N, Q, R, W, 1, 2, 3, and 7 lines, as well as the 42nd Street Shuttle.

Times Square is the busiest of the MTA’s 472 subway stations, and served 640,000 riders each weekday pre-pandemic. 

A 4,600-square foot mosaic by Chicago-based sculptor Nick Cave adorns the walls, the largest mosaic in the MTA’s system.

A 4,600-square-foot mosaic by Chicago-based artist Nick Cave adorns the walls.Marc A. Hermann / MTA

According to Lieber, a new canopy above the stairs on the ground level is supposed to evoke the Waterford Crystal of the famous Time Square Ball that drops on top of the building on New Year’s Day.

The 26-story tower built in 1907 is currently undergoing a $500 million redevelopment of its own to add a new viewing deck, and is currently stripped of its signature digital billboards.

“The project is a great example of how the MTA has been making the most of lower ridership during COVID to transform the system and expedite the projects that make a real difference in daily commutes,” said MTA Construction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer.

Property developer Jamestown paid $10 million to build a new elevator.Marc A. Hermann / MTA

The elevator has a two-way communication via text and audio, allowing riders who are deaf or have a speech disability to more easier get help in an emergency, noted MTA’s Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo.

“This isn’t your standard elevator, it’s a new model for New York,” said Arroyo.

The new entrance is the second phase of the so-called 42 St Connection Project, which aims to improve the busy stations along the 42nd Street Shuttle connecting Times Square to Grand Central and make the two-stop fully accessible according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

MTA debuted a new passageway between Times Square and Bryant Park subway stations along with revamped platforms in September costing roughly $300 million to build.

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