Metro

MTA announces plans for new elevators at 26 subway stations

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Things could be looking up — or down — for a number of subway stations.

The MTA board will vote next week to move ahead on projects to bring new elevators to 26 subway stations, including 19 that currently lack accessible entry, transit officials said Friday.

Thirteen of the projects will be built through a public-private partnership, which the board must approve. Under the public-private model, the lead contractor would be responsible for maintaining the new tubes for at least 25 years in addition to design and construction. Officials said the blend of strategies means faster construction and lower costs.

“With ‘P3,’ we have the private sector helping us streaming finance and looking for opportunities to be more efficient in how we fund these packages,” said MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo. “It’s going to allow us to reach our accessibility goals a lot faster than we ever thought possible in the most efficient manner.”

elevator construction
Some of the new elevators will be built via public-private partnerships that the MTA board must approve.
AP

Officials have identified eight stations for new elevators under the private-public model: Church Avenue, Sheepshead Bay, Rockaway Boulevard, Kings Highway, Junius Street, Mosholu Parkway, Steinway Street and Woodhaven Boulevard at Queens Boulevard.

The partnership would also replace existing lifts at 125th Street in Central Harlem, 34th Street and Eighth avenue, Euclid Avenue, 161st Street-Yankee Stadium and 3rd Avenue-149th Street.

Board members will also vote next week to ward contracts for 14 others elevators, including at six locations that currently lack them: Westchester Square, 181st Street, Eight Avenue in Brooklyn, Court Square-Queensboro Plaza and Woodhaven Boulevard at Jamaica Avenue.

Disability rights protesters
Nineteen of the proposed locations do not currently have accessible entrances.
LightRocket via Getty Images
Subway elevator protesters
MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo says this is the biggest investment in accessibility in MTA history.
LightRocket via Getty Images

All projects but one come from the $5 billion worth of accessibility projects in the MTA’s historically massive $55 billion capital plan. The exception at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue was initially proposed in 2009 but delayed, in part by community opposition.

“This is the largest investment in accessibility ever in a capital plan,” Arroyo said. “We are acting on our commitments and moving full speed ahead.”

Barely a quarter of MTA subway stations are elevator-accessible.

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