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Accessibility of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Street elevator serving as an entrance to the underground 66th Street–Lincoln Center station

Physical accessibility on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is incomplete. Although accessibility on all buses is provided in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), much of the MTA's rail system, including its rapid transit (New York City Subway and Staten Island Railway) and commuter rail services (Long Island Rail Road [LIRR] and Metro-North Railroad), were built before wheelchair access was a requirement under the ADA. As a side effect, many stations were not designed to be accessible to people with disabilities.

A state law, the New York Human Rights Law, prevents discrimination on the basis of disability. Since 1990, elevators have been built in newly constructed stations to comply with the ADA, with most grade-level stations requiring little modification to meet ADA standards. In addition, the MTA identified 100 "key stations", high-traffic and/or geographically important stations, which must conform to the ADA when they are extensively renovated.[1][a] One of the key tenets of the Fast Forward Plan to rescue the subway system released in 2018 is to drastically increase the number of ADA-accessible subway stations, adding accessible facilities to 50 stations in 5 years.

ContextEdit

 
Accessible restroom at Church Avenue station on the IND Culver Line
 
Rear of the accessible ramp along the eastbound platform of the Bayside Long Island Rail Road station
 
Accessible ramp leading to the northbound platform at the Irvington Metro-North station

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has been gradually adding handicapped access to its key stations since the 1980s, as renovations take place. According to the MTA:

In improving services to individuals with disabilities, the MTA identified stations and facilities where compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) would benefit the most people, analyzing such factors as high ridership, transfer points, and service to major areas of activity. These stations were given priority in our station-renovation program. We are continuing to expand accessibility features to more and more locations.[2]

According to the MTA, fully accessible stations have:

  • elevators or ramps[2]
  • handrails on ramps and stairs[3]:307[2]
  • large-print and tactile-Braille signs[3]:307[2]
  • audio and visual information systems, including Help Points or Public Address Customer Information Screens[3]:307[2]
  • accessible station booth windows with sills located no more than 36 inches (91 cm) above the ground[2][4]:F.3
  • accessible MetroCard Vending Machines[2]
  • accessible service entry gates[2]
  • platform-edge warning strips[2]
  • platform gap modifications or bridge plates to reduce or eliminate the gap between trains and platforms where it is greater than 2 inches (5.1 cm) vertically or 4 inches (10 cm) horizontally[2][4]:F.3
  • telephones at an accessible height with volume control, and text telephones (TTYs)[2][4]:F.3
  • accessible restrooms at stations with restrooms, if a 24-hour public toilet is in operation[2][4]:F.3
    • Note: not all station buildings have restrooms.[2]

Major bus stops are also required to have bus stop announcements under the ADA. The MTA is required to maintain these components under the ADA law; for instance, buses with malfunctioning lifts will be taken out of service.[3]:307

The MTA created the New York City Transit ADA Compliance Coordination Committee (CCC) in June 1992. The committee works to coordinate the MTA's accessibility plan, as well as reaches out to disabled MTA riders.[3]:306 The MTA also provides training to disabled riders, the families of disabled riders, and mobility specialists. Between 1995 and 2018, it has trained 765 passengers.[3]:308

CriticismEdit

The MTA has been criticized for the lack of accessibility, particularly in the New York City Subway.[5][6] Only 119 of 472 (25%) of all of the subway system's stations are fully accessible to people with disabilities as of 2018, among the lowest percentages of any major transit system in the world.[7][8] There are some lines where two accessible stations are separated by ten or more non-accessible stops.[9] By contrast, Boston's MBTA Subway and the Chicago "L", which are as old or older as than the New York City Subway, have higher rates of accessible subway stations.[7][10] A report from the New York City Comptroller published in July 2018 found that, out of the 189 neighborhoods officially recognized by the city, 122 have at least one subway station. Of the 122 neighborhoods with subway stations, only half, or 62 neighborhoods, have any accessible stations.[10] Some places such as Woodlawn, South Brooklyn, Astoria, and Stapleton, as well as neighborhoods with large elderly or young populations, do not have any accessible stations.[8][10] The Comptroller's report found that approximately 640,000 young, elderly, or disabled residents in the city did not have access to any nearby accessible stations, while another 760,000 residents did have such access. As a result, the unemployment rate tends to be higher among disabled residents of New York City. Additionally, the 25% labor force participation rate among disabled residents is one-third that of non-disabled residents' labor force participation rate of 75%.[10]

Many transfer stations, such as the J and ​Z trains' platforms at Chambers Street; Broadway Junction on the A, ​C​, J​, L​, and Z trains; Delancey Street/Essex Street on the F, <F>​​, J, M, and Z​ trains; and 14th Street/Sixth Avenue on the 1, ​2, ​3​, F and <F>, ​L​, and M​ trains are not wheelchair-accessible, making it harder to travel between different parts of the city. The G and Rockaway Park Shuttle each have one accessible station, while the 42nd Street Shuttle is not accessible. Several stations also only contain elevators leading from street level to their respective mezzanines.[c] Additionally, some stations on the LIRR are not accessible, including four consecutive stations on the Babylon Branch, which is entirely above ground.[11]

As per the ADA, if a station is significantly modified, at least 20% of the renovation's cost must be spend on ADA improvements, but this is not always the case in the New York City Subway system.[6] For example, the Smith–Ninth Streets station was renovated for two years and reopened in 2013 without any elevators,[12] and none of the stations being renovated under the Enhanced Station Initiative, which began in 2017, are proposed to include elevators, except for the stations already equipped with them (e.g. Hunts Point Avenue).[6] There have also been several lawsuits over this issue. In 2011, the MTA added a single elevator at the Dyckman Street station (1 train) after a lawsuit by the United Spinal Association midway during the station's renovation.[13] In 2016, the MTA was sued by another disability rights group for not including an elevator at the Middletown Road station during the 2014 renovation of that subway station.[14] Similarly, in 2017, disability rights groups filed a class-action suit against the MTA because the subway in general was inaccessible, which violated both state and federal laws.[15][5] The federal government sued the MTA in March 2018 over a lack of elevators at Middletown Road and the Enhanced Station Initiative stops.[16][17] In March 2019, federal district judge Edgardo Ramos ruled that all subway station renovations that "affect the station's usability" must include upgrades to make the station fully accessible unless it is deemed unfeasible to do so.[18][19]

Several stations that serve major sports venues in the metropolitan area also have little to no accessibility; the Mets–Willets Point subway station, located adjacent to Citi Field (home of the New York Mets), is only accessible through a ramp at a southern side platform, and is only open during special events. Similarly, the connecting Long Island Rail Road station of the same name is not ADA compliant, nor is the LIRR station serving Belmont Park. The Aqueduct Racetrack subway station, serving the eponymous racetrack in South Ozone Park, was formerly non-accessible until 2013, following a two-year renovation project at the behest of Resorts World Casino, which opened near the racetrack in 2011.[20] Although all New York City buses are accessible, transfers between bus routes, as well as the bus trips themselves, are usually cumbersome because buses run at a much lower frequency than the subway does.[21]

In 2018, as part of the MTA's Fast Forward program to improve subway and bus service, an Executive Accessibility Advisor was hired at Andy Byford's request, reporting directly to Byford.[22] However, the MTA's efforts were still seen as inadequate. After a woman died in January 2019 from falling down a staircase at Seventh Avenue, a station with no elevators, officials criticized the MTA for not adding enough elevators, and one advocacy group released an unofficial map of stations that should receive accessibility upgrades.[23][24][9]

Station countEdit

System Accessible station count Overall station count Percentage
SubwayNYC Subway (individual) 0121 0472 026%
SubwayNYC Subway (combined) 096 0424 023%
Staten Island Railway 05 021 024%
Long Island Rail Road 0105 0124 085%
Metro-North Railroad 079 0124 064%
Overall system[d] 277 686 40%

Rapid transitEdit

New York City SubwayEdit

 
Elevator at the elevated 231st Street station

In 1983, disability-rights groups filed a lawsuit that sought to block a subway modernization project from proceeding unless elevators were installed in stations, as per a state law that required that access for handicapped riders be provided. In response, a New York State Supreme Court judge officially signed an order that barred the project from proceeding until an agreement reached regarding accessibility in the New York City transit system.[25] Mayor Ed Koch opposed making stations accessible, writing, "I have concluded that it is simply wrong to spend $50 million in the next eight years—and ultimately more—in putting elevators in the subways."[26] A settlement was reached in June 1984, in which Koch and Governor Mario Cuomo agreed to equip 50 stations with elevators[27] (later changed to 54).[28] By 1991, a year after the ADA law was passed, ten of 54 key stations were wheelchair-accessible. At least one train car in each subway train had to be accessible by 1993, and major subway stations were supposed to be retrofitted with elevators or ramps by 1995.[28]

On February 25, 1994, the MTA Board approved the submission of a bill to the Governor to expand the Key station obligation from the 54 stations in the plan at the time and 37 additional stations to be completed through 2020. In May 1994, the MTA Board approved the addition of contracts to make seven of the 37 stations accessible during station renovation projects between 1994 and 1996 to the 1992–1996 Capital Program. These stations were 14th Street, Eighth Avenue, 207th Street, Church Avenue, 72nd Street, Lexington Avenue and 47th–50th Streets–Rockefeller Center. The first two were set to be awarded in 1994, the next two in 1995, and the final three in 1996. The contracts were added on the assumption that the bill would be signed so as to not delay the projects and to avoid having to return to the stations after their renovation projects were completed to add elevators. These projects required $60.9 million.[4]:F.1–F.10

In 1994, the list of 54 stations to be completed by 2010 was amended to a list of 100 stations to be completed by 2020. Of the 100 new stations, 91 were specified immediately. This was due to a modification to the New York Public Buildings Law and Transportation Law. However, this revision also stipulated that the subway and Staten Island Railway were exempt from making accessibility modifications that were, by law, required for other public buildings.[3]:322 Shortly after this modification, 66th Street–Lincoln Center (1 train) and Prospect Park–Brighton (B, ​Q, and ​S trains) were added to the list of 91 stations. There were also three options for modifying the list of 91 stations. They included adding Broadway–Lafayette Street (B, ​D, ​F, <F>, and ​M trains) and Bleecker Street (6 and <6>​ trains); replacing Broad Street with Chambers Street (both served by the J and ​Z trains) and Church Avenue with Kings Highway (both served by the B and ​Q trains); or modifying dates for several key stations. The public supported all of these options.[3]:300

The Federal Transit Administration approved the list of 95 key stations in June 2000. Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue (A train) and East 180th Street (2 and ​5 trains) were added to the 100-station list in 2000 and 2002, respectively. Subsequently, a new South Ferry station (1 train) and the existing Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum station (2, ​3, ​4, and ​5 trains) were respectively selected in 2003 and 2004. The hundredth station was the subject of some debate, but the MTA ultimately decided to choose Bedford Park Boulevard (B and ​D trains).[3]:300

As of July 2019, out of 472 total stations in the New York City Subway system, 120 (or 25%) are accessible to some extent;[29][e] many of them have AutoGate access.[30][31] If station complexes are counted as one, then 95 out of the system's 424 stations are accessible to some extent (or 23%). Additionally, there are 16 more non-ADA-accessible stations with cross-platform interchanges, as well as other same-platform transfers, designed to handle wheelchair transfers.[31] The MTA is primarily working to make 100 "key stations" accessible by 2020 to comply with the ADA law.[a][32][5] As of February 2019, 87 of these stations are accessible while 11 are under construction and 2 are under design.[3]:303 It has also retrofitted 34 "non-key stations" and is planning to retrofit 11 more non-key stations.[5][33]

As part of the 2015–2019 Capital Program, $300 million was allocated to enhance station access and provide ADA-accessibility at fifteen stations chosen by the city. Four stations were chosen in January 2018: 170th Street (4 train), Broadway Junction (A and ​C trains' platforms), Livonia Avenue (L train), and Queensboro Plaza (7, <7>​​, N, and ​W trains). Four more stations are being evaluated. These stations are the J and ​Z trains' platforms at Broadway Junction, as well as Union Street (R train), Vernon Boulevard–Jackson Avenue (7 and <7>​ trains), and East Broadway (F and <F>​ trains) stations.[34][35] In April 2018, the MTA added an ADA-accessibility project at Westchester Square–East Tremont Avenue (6 and <6>​ trains) as part of the 2015–2019 Capital Program.[36] As of May 2018, ADA-accessibility projects are expected to be started or completed at fifty stations as part of the 2020–2024 Capital Program.[37] This would allow one of every two to four stations on every line to be accessible, so that all non-accessible stops would be a maximum of two stops from an accessible station.[38]:37 In June 2018, it was announced that the Sixth Avenue station on the L train would receive elevators following the 14th Street Tunnel shutdown in 2019–2020.[39] As part of the plan to add fifty ADA-accessible stations, the MTA surveyed the 345 non-accessible stations for possible ADA-accessibility.[40]:93–94 After the accessibility report was released in February 2019, the MTA indicated that it might possibly only retrofit 36 of 50 stations because of a lack of funding.[41] However, in the draft 2020–2024 Capital Program released in September 2019, it was indicated that 66 stations might receive ADA improvements.[42]

Because of how they were designed, many existing subway stations were built with narrow platforms, as such making it difficult to install wheelchairs in such stations. Many local stations have only been made accessible via transfers to adjacent express platforms on separate levels; these stations include 74th Street–Broadway and Bleecker Street. Nine station complexes in the system have a mix of accessible platforms and non-accessible platforms.[b] The last subway station to be built without ADA-access was 57th Street on the IND Sixth Avenue Line, opened in 1968. All stations built since then are fully ADA accessible. Due to the state accessibility law, the stations on the Archer Avenue and 63rd Street lines were made fully accessible upon their openings in 1988 and 1989, respectively, prior to the ADA law in 1990.

ManhattanEdit

As of July 2019, there are 58 ADA compliant stations in Manhattan out of 151 (38%),[f] or 42 (35%) if stations in complexes are counted as one. Stations built after 1990 are marked with an asterisk (*).

Station Services Accessible entrance and notes[31]
14th Street/Eighth Avenue     
  • Elevator at northwest corner of 14th Street and Eighth Avenue.
14th Street–Union Square      
  • Elevator at northeast corner of 14th Street and Park Avenue South (Union Square East).
    Note: 4, ​5, ​6, and <6> platforms are not ADA compliant.
23rd Street    
  • Elevator for northbound service at northeast corner of 23rd Street and Park Avenue South.
  • Elevator for southbound service at northwest corner of 23rd Street and Park Avenue South.
28th Street    
  • Elevator at southwest corner of 28th Street and Park Avenue South.
    Note: accessible for southbound trains only.
34th Street–Herald Square      
    
  • MTA elevator at Herald Center building on west side of Broadway south of 34th Street.
  • PATH elevator on west side of Sixth Avenue north of 32nd Street.
34th Street–Hudson Yards*   
  • Elevator near the southwest corner of Hudson Park & Boulevard and 34th Street.
34th Street–Penn Station    
  • Elevator on south side of 34th Street west of Seventh Avenue at LIRR entrance to Penn Station.
34th Street–Penn Station    
  • Wheelchair ramp from the LIRR Concourse inside Penn Station (accessible via elevators at northwest corner of 31st Street and Seventh Avenue, and south side of 34th Street west of Seventh Avenue at LIRR entrance).
  • Elevator at southeast corner of 34th Street and Eighth Avenue to uptown A, ​C, and ​E side platform level.
    • Other elevators inside fare control to the lower mezzanine provide access to other two platforms
47th–50th Streets
Rockefeller Center
     
  • Elevator at northwest corner of 6th Avenue and 49th Street.
49th Street     
  • Elevator at northeast corner of 49th Street and Seventh Avenue.
    Note: accessible for northbound trains only.
50th Street    
  • Elevator on northwest corner of 49th Street and Eighth Avenue.
    Note: accessible for southbound trains only.
Lexington Avenue/
51st Street
     
  • Elevator at northeast corner of 52nd Street and Lexington Avenue
59th Street–Columbus Circle       
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Columbus Circle and Central Park West.
  • Elevator at southwest corner of 8th Avenue and Columbus Circle.
66th Street–Lincoln Center   
  • Elevator for northbound service at southeast corner of 66th Street and Broadway.
  • Elevator for southbound service at southwest corner of 66th Street and Broadway.
  • Wheelchair ramp for southbound service from the lower level of Avery Fisher Hall at southwest corner of Columbus Avenue and 64th Street.
72nd Street    
  • Elevators inside station house on north side of 72nd Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.
72nd Street*     
  • Elevators inside building at southeast corner of Second Avenue and 72nd Street.
86th Street    
  • Elevator on northeast corner of 86th Street and Lexington Avenue.
    Note: accessible for northbound local trains only.[43][44]
86th Street*     
  • Elevator at southeast corner of 86th Street and Second Avenue.
96th Street    
  • Elevators inside station house in median of Broadway; entrances on south side of 96th Street and north side of 95th Street.
96th Street*     
  • Elevator in plaza on west side of Second Avenue between 95th and 96th Streets.
125th Street     
  • Elevator at northeast corner of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue.
125th Street     
  • Elevator at southwest corner of 125th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue.
135th Street   
  • Elevator for northbound service at northeast corner of 135th Street and Lenox Avenue.
  • Elevator for southbound service at southwest corner of 135th Street and Lenox Avenue.
168th Street   
  • Elevator at southeast corner of 168th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue for A and ​C only.
    Note: elevators to 1 platforms are not ADA compliant.
175th Street  
  • Elevator at northeast corner of 177th Street and Fort Washington Avenue.
Bowling Green   
  • Elevator at northeast corner of Broadway and Battery Place. Westernmost accessible station in the system.
Broadway–Lafayette Street/Bleecker Street    
     
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Lafayette and Houston Streets.
Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall     
  • Elevator on west side of Centre Street south of Chambers Street.
    Note: J and ​Z platforms are not ADA compliant.
Canal Street    
  • Elevator for northbound service at northeast corner of Canal Street and Lafayette Street.
  • Elevator for southbound service at northwest corner of Canal Street and Lafayette Street.
    Note: N, ​Q, ​R, ​W, J and ​Z platforms are not ADA compliant.
Chambers Street    
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Hudson and Chambers Streets.
Cortlandt Street/World Trade Center     
  • Elevators at southwest corner of Dey Street/Broadway and northeast corner on John Street/Broadway, shared by 4 and ​5 trains.
  • Elevator inside World Trade Center Transportation Hub at northwest corner of Church and Dey Streets.
  • Elevator inside 4 World Trade Center on west side of Church Street between Cortlandt and Fulton Streets.
  • Elevator at southeast corner of Church Street and Park Place.
    Note: 2, ​3, A, and ​C platforms are not ADA compliant.
Dyckman Street  
  • Elevator at southwest corner of Hillside Avenue and St. Nicholas Avenue/Ft. George Hill.
    Note: accessible for southbound trains only.
Fulton Street         
  • Elevators at southwest corner of Dey Street/Broadway and northeast corner on John St/Broadway for 4 and ​5 trains, connection to N, ​R, and ​W trains.
  • Elevator at northeast corner of Fulton and Nassau Streets for A, ​C, J and ​Z trains
  • Elevator at southwest corner of Fulton and William Streets for A, ​C, 2 and ​3 trains.
Grand Central–42nd Street       
  • Elevator to mezzanine inside main entrance, immediately to the right of Grand Central Terminal entrance (East 42nd Street between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue).
  • Note: 42nd Street Shuttle platform at Times Square is not ADA compliant.
Inwood–207th Street  
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Broadway and 207th Street.
Lexington Avenue–63rd Street       
  • Elevator on north side of 63rd Street west of Lexington Avenue.
  • Elevator at northwest corner of 63rd Street and Third Avenue
Roosevelt Island   
  • Elevators at station house.
South Ferry*  
  • Elevator at SW corner of Whitehall and State Streets.
    Note: N, ​R, and ​W platforms are not ADA compliant.
Times Square–42nd Street / Port Authority Bus Terminal      
       
  • Elevator at southeast corner of 7th Avenue and 42nd Street for 1, ​2, ​3​, 7, <7>​​, N, ​Q, ​R, and ​W service.
  • Elevator inside north wing of bus terminal at 8th Avenue between 41st Street and 42nd Street, near airport bus ticket office, for A, ​C, and ​E service.
  • South wing entrance for A, ​C, and ​E service is also accessible via elevator and passageway from the north wing of the terminal.
  • Elevator and manually operated lift at southwest corner of 8th Avenue and 44th Street, for A, ​C, and ​E service only.
  • Notes:
    • 42nd Street Shuttle platforms are not ADA compliant.
    • The passageway ramp used to transfer to and from A, ​C, and ​E and 1, ​2, ​3​, 7, <7>​​, N, ​Q, ​R, and ​W trains is not ADA compliant.
West 4th Street–
Washington Square
   
     
  • Elevator at northeast corner of 6th Avenue and 3rd Street.
WTC Cortlandt*  
  • Elevators inside World Trade Center Transportation Hub at southeast corner of Fulton and Greenwich Streets. Leads directly to northbound platform; southbound service accessible via crossunder inside fare control.
  • Elevator at southwest corner of Greenwich and Vesey Streets. Leads directly to southbound platform; northbound service accessible via crossunder inside fare control.
    • Note: Elevator out of service for Port Authority construction until September 2021.

The BronxEdit

As of December 2015, there are 13 ADA compliant stations in the Bronx out of 70 (19%), or 12 (18%) if stations in complexes are counted as one.

Station Services Accessible entrance and notes[31]
Third Avenue–149th Street   
  • Uptown elevator at southwest corner of 149th Street and 3rd Avenue.
  • Downtown elevator at northwest corner of 149th Street and Melrose Avenue.
161st Street–Yankee Stadium    
  • Elevator at northeast corner of 161st Street and River Avenue.
231st Street  
  • Uptown elevator at southeast corner of 231 Street and Broadway.
  • Downtown elevator at southwest corner of 231 Street and Broadway.
233rd Street   
  • Elevator at northwest corner of White Plains Road and 233rd Street. Northernmost accessible station in the system.
East 180th Street   
  • Elevators inside station house at northwest corner of East 180th Street and Morris Park Avenue (accessible via wheelchair ramp at street level).
Fordham Road  
  • Elevator at southeast corner of Jerome Avenue and Fordham Road.
Gun Hill Road   
  • Elevators inside main entrance in White Plains Road median between Gun Hill Road and 211th Street.
Hunts Point Avenue   
  • Elevator on the Monsignor Del Valle Square at the northwest corner of Hunts Point Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard.
Kingsbridge Road   
  • Elevator at northeast corner of Grand Concourse and E Kingsbridge Road.
Pelham Bay Park   
  • Elevator at back of station beyond escalators, near corner of Westchester Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard
  • Wheelchair ramp overpass crossing over the Bruckner Expressway at the far east side of Bruckner Boulevard.
Pelham Parkway   
  • Elevator at southwest corner of Pelham Parkway and White Plains Road.
Simpson Street   
  • Uptown elevator at southwest corner of Simpson Street and Westchester Avenue.
  • Downtown elevator at northeast corner of Simpson Street and Westchester Avenue.

BrooklynEdit

As of July 2019, there are 29 ADA compliant stations in Brooklyn out of 170 (17%), or 23 (15%) if stations in complexes are counted as one.

Station Services Accessible entrance and notes[31]
62nd Street/New Utrecht Avenue    
  • Elevators in station headhouse at southeast corner of 62nd Street and New Utrecht Avenue.[45][46][40]:92
Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center     
    
  
  • Elevator at southeast corner of Pacific Street and Fourth Avenue.
  • Elevators at Hanson Place and Flatbush Avenue in Atlantic Terminal mall; shared with LIRR station.
  • Elevator at southeast corner of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, adjacent to the Barclays Center.
Avenue H  
  • Ramp on north side of Avenue H and East 15th Street.
    Note: accessible for southbound trains only.
Bay Parkway  
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Bay Parkway and 86th Street.
Borough Hall     
  • Elevator in front of Supreme Court Building at Court Street and Montague Street for 2 and ​3 and northbound 4 and ​5.
  • Notes:
    • 4 and ​5 southbound platform is not ADA compliant.
    • The elevators to the N, R, and ​W platform are not ADA-compliant.
Canarsie–Rockaway Parkway  
  • Station at street level.
Church Avenue   
  • Elevator for northbound service at southeast corner of Church Avenue and Nostrand Avenue.
  • Elevator for southbound service at southwest corner of Church Avenue and Nostrand Avenue.
Church Avenue    
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Church Avenue and McDonald Avenue.
Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue    ​​  
  • Elevator and ramps in station house at northeast corner of Surf Avenue and Stillwell Avenue. Southernmost accessible station in the system.
Crown Heights–Utica Avenue     
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Utica Avenue and Eastern Parkway, in Eastern Parkway median.
DeKalb Avenue       
  • Elevator at southeast corner of DeKalb Avenue and Flatbush Avenue Extension.
Euclid Avenue   
  • Elevator at northeast corner of Euclid and Pitkin Avenues.
Flatbush Avenue–Brooklyn College   
  • Elevator at southeast corner of Flatbush Avenue and Nostrand Avenue.
Flushing Avenue   
  • Elevator at southwest corner of Flushing Avenue and Broadway. Elevator to each platform from station house.
Franklin Avenue–Fulton Street    
  • Elevator at southwest corner of Franklin Avenue and Fulton Street.
Jay Street–MetroTech     ​​   
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Jay and Willoughby Streets, for all train services.
Kings Highway   
  • Elevators to platforms inside station house on south side of Kings Highway between 15th and 16th Streets.
Marcy Avenue    
  • Elevator for Queens bound service at southwest corner of Marcy Avenue and Broadway.
  • Elevator for Manhattan bound service at northwest corner of Marcy Avenue and Broadway.
Myrtle–Wyckoff Avenues   
  • Elevators to platforms inside station house at the triangle formed by Gates, Myrtle, and Wyckoff Avenues.
Park Place  
  • Ramp from Prospect Place west of Franklin Avenue; service in both directions on single track.
Prospect Park    
  • Entrance ramp on Lincoln Road between Flatbush Avenue and Ocean Avenue; elevators after fare control.
Utica Avenue   
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Fulton Street and Malcolm X Boulevard.
Wilson Avenue  
  • Wheelchair ramp at dead-end of Wilson Avenue east of Moffat Street.
    Note: accessible for northbound trains only.

QueensEdit

As of January 2018, there are 23 ADA compliant stations in Queens out of 81 (28%), or 20 (26%) if stations in complexes are counted as one.

Station Services Accessible entrance and notes[31]
21st Street–Queensbridge   
  • Elevator at northwest corner of 21st Street and 41st Avenue.
61st Street–Woodside   
  • Elevator at northeast corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 61st Street; shared with LIRR station.
Aqueduct Racetrack  
  • Elevator next to south staircase down to Resorts World Casino Parking Lot.
    The Sky Bridge entrance to the Casino is also accessible.
Court Square   
  • Elevator at northeast corner of 23rd Street and Jackson Avenue;
    Note: E, ​M, and G platforms are not ADA compliant.
Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue  
  • Elevators to platform level inside station house at northeast corner of Mott Avenue and Beach 22nd Street. Easternmost accessible station in the system.
Flushing–Main Street   
  • Elevator on Roosevelt Avenue east of Main Street, north side.
Forest Hills–71st Avenue      
  • Elevator on south side of Queens Boulevard between 70th Road and 71st Avenue.
Howard Beach–JFK Airport  
  • Elevators at Coleman Square and 159th Avenue.
Jackson Heights–
Roosevelt Avenue/
74th Street
      
  • Elevator after fare control in station house on Roosevelt Avenue between 74th and 75th Streets,
    or enter on Broadway between 74th and 75th Streets.
Jamaica–179th Street    
  • Elevator at southeast corner of 179th Place and Hillside Avenue.
Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer  ​​  
  • Elevator on south side of Archer Avenue at Parsons Boulevard.
Jamaica–Van Wyck  
  • Elevator at corner of 89th Avenue and Van Wyck Expressway south service road, adjacent to Jamaica Hospital.
Junction Boulevard   
  • Elevator at northeast corner of Junction Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue.
Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike    
  • Elevator at southeast corner of Union Turnpike and Kew Gardens Road.
Mets–Willets Point   
  • Ramp to overpass on south side of Roosevelt Avenue.
    Note: Only the northbound side-platform is accessible; service at this platform is available only to Main Street-Flushing on Mets baseball game, USTA game, or special events.
Middle Village–
Metropolitan Avenue
 
  • Station at street level.
Ozone Park–Lefferts Boulevard  
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard.
Queens Plaza    
  • Elevator at southwest corner of Queens Plaza South and Jackson Avenue.
Rockaway Park–Beach 116th Street   
  • Station at street level.
Sutphin Boulevard–Archer Avenue–JFK Airport  ​​  
  • Elevator off southeast corner of Sutphin Boulevard at Archer Avenue near elevated LIRR tracks; shared with LIRR station.

Staten Island RailwayEdit

As of January 2017, there are five ADA-accessible stations on the Staten Island Railway out of 21 (24%). Stations built after 1990 are marked with an asterisk (*).

Station Accessible entrance and notes[31]
St. George
  • North side elevator (Elevator PE-W) for bus, taxi, ferry or railway levels.
  • South side elevator (Elevator PE-S) for passenger drop-off, or ferry levels.
Dongan Hills
  • Ramps on both sides of the station.
Great Kills
  • Ramps on both sides of the station.
Arthur Kill*
  • Ramps on both sides of the station.
Tottenville
  • Ramp at south end of the station.

Commuter railEdit

As of September 2018, 184 out of the 248 stations (74%) in the entire MTA commuter rail system are accessible by wheelchair. Many of them are ground or grade-level stations, thus requiring little modification to accessibility. A few stations, including the entire Babylon Branch, are above ground, but some have been renovated or retrofitted with elevators to meet ADA standards. 57% of the accessible stations in the MTA's railroad system are Long Island Rail Road stations; during the late 1990s, the LIRR began converting much of its low-floor, at-grade stations into high-floor platforms. Rather than renovate to meet ADA standards, ten low-floor stations, including the surviving five on the Lower Montauk Branch were closed on March 13, 1998, due to low patronage, and incompatibility with then-new C3 bi-level coach cars that can only use high platforms.[47] Five of the LIRR's branches are entirely accessible from east of Jamaica: the Long Beach Branch, Montauk Branch, Oyster Bay Branch, Port Jefferson Branch, and Ronkonkoma Branch. The West Hempstead Branch has only one non-accessible station along its line, St. Albans.

Long Island Rail RoadEdit

As of September 2018, 105 of the 124 LIRR stations (85%) are accessible by wheelchair ramp and/or elevator. Stations that meet full ADA requirements are highlighted in bold. (Other stations are wheelchair accessible but may be missing some ADA features).[48]

Metro-North RailroadEdit

As of January 2018, 79 of the 124 Metro-North stations (64%) are accessible by wheelchair ramp and/or elevator. Stations that meet full ADA requirements are highlighted in bold. (Other stations are wheelchair accessible but may be missing some ADA features).[48] Stations built after 1990 are marked with an asterisk (*).

BusesEdit

All MTA buses and routes are wheelchair accessible, since all current fleet were built and entered service in the 2000s or later, after the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.[3]:300 As of May 2019, all fleet of non-express buses consists of semi-low floors with wheelchair ramps, while all express buses have high floors and contained lifts. Many retired fleet are high-level buses, and many of the fleet built before 1990 do not comply with ADA standards.

The federal government started requiring that half of all MTA buses be accessible in 1981. However, the wheelchair lifts on the earliest wheelchair-accessible buses were unreliable.[49] By 1983, less than a third of the 3,600-vehicle MTA fleet were accessible, and it was impossible to tell which routes had accessible buses because they were dispatched randomly. Drivers sometimes refused to pick up handicapped passengers, or they did not carry keys for lift-equipped buses, or the lifts were operated improperly.[50] As part of a disability-lawsuit agreement in June 1984, Governor Mario Cuomo agreed to equip 65% of MTA buses with wheelchair lifts.[27]

The number of handicapped riders on MTA buses rose eleven-fold between 1986 and 1991. By 1991, a year after the ADA law was passed, the bus system saw 120,000 disabled passengers per year. 90% of the fleet was wheelchair-accessible, compared to other cities' transit systems, which had much lower percentages of accessible buses in their fleets.[28] The last non-accessible bus in MTA New York City Bus's fleet was retired in 1993.[50] However, private operators retained non-accessible buses. The last non-accessible bus on any New York City public transit, Motor Coach Industries' Classic (SC40-102A), ran on these private routes (which later became part of MTA Bus Company) until it was retired in 2007.

In the calendar year of 2018, the MTA recorded over 1.4 million bus customers who used wheelchair ramps or lifts.[3]:306 All MTA Bus operators are required to have ADA training. The newest buses have hands-free intercom systems for drivers.[3]:307

Access-A-RideEdit

 
An MV-1 Access-A-Ride cab

The New York City Transit Authority also operates paratransit services branded as Access-A-Ride (AAR) for disabled customers who cannot use regular bus or subway service in New York City, and nearby areas in Nassau and Westchester counties, within MTA's three-quarter mile service area. AAR is available at all times.[51] In addition, AAR has dedicated pickup locations around the city.[52] Passengers are charged the same $2.75 fare on AAR as on regular transit.[53]

The paratransit system began as a $5 million pilot program following the passage of the ADA law.[28] The services are contracted to private companies.[54] In 1993, because many disabled riders were being refused service in violation of the ADA, the MTA announced an expansion of the program. The service was carrying 300,000 yearly riders back then.[55] In 1998, in response to a discrimination lawsuit, the Access-A-Ride program underwent another expansion. At the time, despite having 1 million annual customers the program only had 300 vehicles and Access-A-Ride journeys often took several hours, while only twenty-six subway stations were ADA-accessible.[54]

The paratransit system has come under scrutiny by the media for being unwieldy: rides must be booked 24 to 48 hours in advance;[56] it is costly to operate;[56] and vehicles often show up late or fail to show up at all.[57] AAR vehicles were defined as being "on time" when they arrived within 30 minutes of the scheduled time, and in 2017, two pilot programs were implemented to speed up AAR service.[53] Nonetheless, its operating cost was $461 million per year as of 2015, which is relatively high considering that only 150,000 people use it every year.[56] Howard Roberts, a former high-ranking MTA official, was quoted as saying that "it probably has turned out to be … a hundred times more expensive to go with buses and paratransit than it would have been to bite the bullet and simply rehabilitate the stations and put elevators in."[58] The Access-A-Ride service competes with options such as accessible taxis, although accessible taxis only make up a small percentage of the city's entire taxi fleet.[59] As part of the 2018 MTA Action Plan, the MTA would improve the Access-A-Ride interface to make the ride-hailing, vehicle scheduling, and traveling processes easier.[38]:42

Future accessible stationsEdit

 
Elevator entrance to 57th Street–7th Avenue, one of the stations being renovated to become ADA-accessible. The elevator shown is not ADA-accessible and will not be part of the new ADA entrance.

The following is a table of stations that may or will become ADA-accessible in the future.

  • Renovation in progress: Station is currently undergoing renovations to put it in compliance with ADA standards
  • Under construction: Station is currently being built; all new stations must be compliant with ADA standards
  • Proposed station: Station to be built on existing lines
  • Final contract award pending: Station will undergo renovations to put it in compliance with ADA standards once a contract for these renovations has been awarded
  • In design: Station is currently being planned to receive ADA improvements, and a design process for an elevator installation is underway
  • In planning (funded): Station is currently being planned to receive ADA improvements, but a design process for an elevator installation is not yet underway. However, funding is available for the design and potential construction of such improvements in the next five-year capital program (as of 2019, this would be the 2020–2024 program).
  • In planning: Station is currently being planned to receive ADA improvements, but a design process for an elevator installation is not yet underway
  • Pending funds: Station is currently being planned to receive ADA improvements, but does not have enough funding for improvements
  • Possible future addition: Station is currently under consideration for ADA improvements, but the MTA has not definitively decided on these improvements yet[60]

As of July 2019, there are 3 commuter rail and 13 subway stations where ADA renovations are underway; 1 station under construction; 7 proposed stations; and 1 pending funds across the MTA's commuter rail and rapid transit systems. Four of the stations listed below are already partially accessible. In addition, there are 33 subway stations where final contracts, design or planning is underway (26 if station complexes are counted as one station), as well as 3 commuter rail stations where design is underway.

Station Service Location Status Notes
1st Avenue   Manhattan Renovation in progress [61][36][40]:92
8th Avenue    Brooklyn Renovation in progress [46][40]:92
57th Street–7th Avenue[g]      Manhattan Renovation in progress [62][40]:90
59th Street (4th Avenue)     Brooklyn Renovation in progress [63][36][40]:90
86th Street   Brooklyn Renovation in progress [63][64][65][40]:90
Astoria Boulevard    Queens Renovation in progress [63][65][36][40]:90
Bedford Avenue   Brooklyn Renovation in progress [63][66][36][40]:90
Bedford Park Boulevard    The Bronx Renovation in progress [63][65][36][40]:90
Chambers Street    Manhattan Renovation in progress [63][65][36][40]:90
Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum     Brooklyn Renovation in progress [63][66][36][40]:90
Greenpoint Avenue   Brooklyn Renovation in progress [63][67][36][40]:90
Gun Hill Road (Seymour Avenue)   The Bronx Renovation in progress [63][65][36][40]:90
Murray Hill LIRR: Port Washington Branch Queens Renovation in progress [68]
Nostrand Avenue LIRR: Atlantic Branch Brooklyn Renovation in progress [69]
Port Jervis MNRR: Port Jervis Line Orange County Renovation in progress [70]
Times Square   Manhattan Renovation in progress 42nd Street Shuttle platforms only; rest of station complex accessible[63][65][66][36][40]:90
Grand Central Terminal LIRR: 63rd Street Branch Manhattan Under construction Being built as part of the East Side Access project[71]
Co-op City MNRR: New Haven Line The Bronx Proposed station Planned as part of the Penn Station Access project[72]
Elmhurst LIRR: Port Washington Branch Queens Proposed station [73]
Elmont LIRR: Hempstead Branch Queens/Nassau County Proposed station [74]
Hunts Point MNRR: New Haven Line The Bronx Proposed station Planned as part of the Penn Station Access project[72]
Morris Park MNRR: New Haven Line The Bronx Proposed station Planned as part of the Penn Station Access project[72]
Parkchester MNRR: New Haven Line The Bronx Proposed station Planned as part of the Penn Station Access project[72]
Republic LIRR: Ronkonkoma Branch Suffolk County Proposed station [75]
Sunnyside LIRR: Main Line Queens Proposed station Planned as part of the East Side Access project[76]
68th Street–Hunter College     Manhattan Final contract award pending [62][40]:91
Canarsie–Rockaway Parkway   Brooklyn Final contract award pending Station already accessible, improvements only[63][66][36][40]:90
149th Street–Grand Concourse     The Bronx In design [63][66][36][40]:91
170th Street   The Bronx In design MTA "City Station" candidate[34][40]:91[77](24:32 to 46:16)
Court Square   Queens In design Stair installation complete; elevators in design[63][65][66][36][40]:91
Floral Park LIRR: Main Line Nassau County In design Renovations planned as part of the Main Line third track project[78]
Livonia Avenue   Brooklyn In design To be made into a station complex with Junius Street; MTA "City Station" candidate[63][40]:91
Mets–Willets Point LIRR: Port Washington Branch Queens In design [79][80]
Queensboro Plaza   ​​   Queens In design MTA "City Station" candidate[34][40]:91[77](24:32 to 46:16)
Westchester Square–East Tremont Avenue    The Bronx In design [36]
Woodhaven Boulevard    Queens In design [63][65][36][40]:91
Broadway Junction    Brooklyn In planning (fully funded) MTA "City Station" candidate[34][40]:91[77](24:32 to 46:16)
14th Street/Sixth Avenue         Manhattan In planning (design stage funded) [39][81][40]:91[82]
Broadway Junction     Brooklyn In planning (design stage funded) MTA "City Station" candidate[34][40]:91[77](24:32 to 46:16)
77th Street   Brooklyn In planning (design stage funded) [83][40]:91
Avenue H   Brooklyn In planning (design stage funded) Northbound platform only; southbound platform already accessible[77](24:32 to 46:16)
Avenue I    Brooklyn In planning (design stage funded) [84]
Kings Highway    Brooklyn In planning (design stage funded) [85]
Neptune Avenue    Brooklyn In planning (design stage funded) [86]
Tremont Avenue    The Bronx In planning (design stage funded) [87]:21
36th Street      Brooklyn In planning [77](24:32 to 46:16)[60]
Bay Ridge–95th Street   Brooklyn In planning [83][36][40]:91
Beach 67th Street   Queens In planning [77](24:32 to 46:16)[60]
Borough Hall    Brooklyn In planning Southbound platform only; northbound platform already accessible[77](24:32 to 46:16)
Broad Street    Manhattan In planning [88][89]
Church Avenue    Brooklyn In planning [77](24:32 to 46:16)[60]
Delancey Street/Essex Street   ​​    Manhattan In planning [77](24:32 to 46:16)[60]
Dyckman Street   Manhattan In planning Northbound platform only; southbound platform already accessible[77](24:32 to 46:16)
East Broadway    Manhattan In planning Will be developed along with the 247 Cherry, 269 South Street, and 259 Clinton Street skyscrapers[34][90]
Junius Street      Brooklyn In planning To be made into a station complex with Livonia Avenue[77](24:32 to 46:16)[60]
Metropolitan Avenue/Lorimer Street    Brooklyn In planning [77](24:32 to 46:16)[60]
Rector Street   Manhattan In planning Downtown platform only[91]
Union Street   Brooklyn In planning [34][60]
Vernon Boulevard–Jackson Avenue    Queens In planning [34][36]
Seventh Avenue     Brooklyn Pending funds [92][60]
42nd Street–Bryant Park/Fifth Avenue[g]   ​​      Manhattan Possible future addition [60]
81st Street–Museum of Natural History     Manhattan Possible future addition [60]
Briarwood[g]     Queens Possible future addition [60]
Broadway    Queens Possible future addition [60]
Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets[g]     Brooklyn Possible future addition [60]
Van Cortlandt Park–242nd Street   The Bronx Possible future addition [60]

Station groupingsEdit

In addition, there are several "station groupings" that were proposed by the MTA in February 2019. At least one station in each grouping is slated to receive ADA improvements. In total, 24 groupings were proposed: three each in Queens and Staten Island, four each in the Bronx and Manhattan, and 10 in Brooklyn.[77][93] An internal MTA list in July 2019 narrowed down these choices.[60]

Grouping name Stations being considered Finalist station choices Service Location Notes
Mott Haven 4 (East 149th Street to Brook Avenue) Brook Avenue and East 149th Street   The Bronx [77](48:50 to 1:12:13)
Parkchester/Soundview 3 (Parkchester to Morrison Avenue–Soundview) Parkchester   The Bronx [77](48:50 to 1:12:13)
Tremont 4 (182nd–183rd Streets to 170th Street) Tremont Avenue[h]    The Bronx [77](48:50 to 1:12:13)
Woodlawn 3 (Woodlawn to Bedford Park Boulevard–Lehman College) Mosholu Parkway   The Bronx [77](48:50 to 1:12:13)
Brighton Beach 4 (Neck Road to Ocean Parkway) Sheepshead Bay    Brooklyn [77](1:30:39 to 2:18:12)
Bensonhurst (1) 4 (20th Avenue to Avenue U) Kings Highway   Brooklyn [77](1:30:39 to 2:18:12)
Bensonhurst (2) 4 (Kings Highway to Neptune Avenue) Kings Highway and Neptune Avenue    Brooklyn [77](1:30:39 to 2:18:12)
Borough Park 4 (18th Avenue to Avenue N) Avenue I    Brooklyn [77](1:30:39 to 2:18:12)
Bedford–Stuyvesant 2 (Bedford–Nostrand Avenues and Classon Avenue) Classon Avenue   Brooklyn [77](1:30:39 to 2:18:12)
Bushwick 5 (Myrtle Avenue to Chauncey Street) Myrtle Avenue     Brooklyn [77](1:30:39 to 2:18:12)
Carroll Gardens/Park Slope 3 (Smith–Ninth Streets to Seventh Avenue) Seventh Avenue[i]     Brooklyn [77](1:30:39 to 2:18:12)
East New York (1) 2 (Norwood Avenue and Crescent Street) Norwood Avenue    Brooklyn [77](1:30:39 to 2:18:12)
East New York (2) 3 (Pennsylvania Avenue to New Lots Avenue) New Lots Avenue   Brooklyn [77](1:30:39 to 2:18:12)
Maspeth 4 (Grand Street to Jefferson Street) Grand Street   Brooklyn [77](1:30:39 to 2:18:12)
Harlem 3 (116th Street–Columbia University to 137th Street–City College) 137th Street–City College   Manhattan [77](2:18:13 to 2:34:26)
Upper West Side 3 (86th Street to 103rd Street) 96th Street[60]    Manhattan [77](2:18:13 to 2:34:26)
Upper East Side 4 (86th Street to 110th Street) 86th Street[60]      Manhattan [77](2:18:13 to 2:34:26)
Washington Heights/Inwood 5 (145th Street to 191st Street) 168th Street[g]   Manhattan [77](2:18:13 to 2:34:26)
Jackson Heights 5 (36th Street to 65th Street) Steinway Street    Queens [77](1:12:14 to 1:30:38)
Ozone Park 4 (80th Street to 104th Street) Rockaway Boulevard   Queens [77](1:12:14 to 1:30:38)
Rego Park 5 (Elmhurst Avenue to 67th Avenue) Woodhaven Boulevard    Queens [77](1:12:14 to 1:30:38)
Fox Hills/Rosebank 5 (Tompkinsville to Old Town) Clifton[60] Staten Island Railway Staten Island [77](2:34:27 to 2:39:14)
New Dorp Beach/Richmondtown 5 (Jefferson Avenue to Bay Terrace) New Dorp Staten Island Railway Staten Island [77](2:34:27 to 2:39:14)
Woodrow 4 (Annadale to Pleasant Plains) Huguenot Staten Island Railway Staten Island [77](2:34:27 to 2:39:14)

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b The 100 key stations include 97 subway stations and three Staten Island Railway stations. They also count several station complexes as separate stations: for example, Times Square–42nd Street/Port Authority Bus Terminal is counted five times.[3]:301–303
  2. ^ a b This excludes the Grand Central shuttle platforms which are wheelchair accessible, and are located on the same mezzanine where street and platform elevators are located; the 42nd Street Shuttle is inaccessible at its Times Square platform. The nine station complexes, along with its inaccessible services are:[31]
  3. ^ These stations include:
  4. ^ When conforming to international standards, there are six commuter rail stations that have a direct connection to subway services (i.e., a connection could be made without exiting the structure, or traveling along the street). This count was conducted by condensing all subway and rail stations with connecting infrastructures within one another as one complex. This excludes stations that are close in proximity, but have no share mezzanine or connecting passageway (E.g. The subway and rail stations along Main Street in Flushing, Queens requires a walk on street level, and has no connecting infrastructure or passageway between the separate stations, and thus does not count as a connecting complex). The six rail stations that currently share connecting infrastructures with subway stations are as follows:
  5. ^ This includes station complexes but excludes some non-accessible platforms at such complexes.
  6. ^ There are actually 154 stations if one is to use MTA counting standards, but the MTA only lists 151 stations in Manhattan. It is to be assumed that two complexes, with two stations each, were both counted as one station during the official count. Several station complexes are counted as one station by both MTA and international standards.
  7. ^ a b c d e This station already has elevator(s) between ground and mezzanine level, but none to the platforms
  8. ^ Already in planning
  9. ^ Previously under consideration

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