New York MTA Releases Plan for Improved Accessibility

The MTA announced plans for new or improved elevators at almost two dozen stations as part of its pledge to make more of its stations fully accessible.

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December 7, 2022, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Man walking away past glass elevator in brightly lit New York City subway station corridor

Kristi Blokhin / New York City subway station

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced plans to improve accessibility by installing or replacing elevators at 23 stations, acting on its pledge earlier this year to make 95 percent of its stations fully accessible by 2055 in the wake of multiple lawsuits.

As Audrey Wachs reports in The Architect’s Newspaper, “Varied station designs across the aging system make upgrades challenging, but advocates have long contended that the MTA can and should be doing more to improve accessibility: The city has one of the lowest percentages of accessible stations of any major transit system worldwide.”

The agency is entering into a public-private partnership, known as P3, to fund the work on eight stations. “Under the P3 model, the developer will partially finance the project, with equity repaid only if the elevators and other improvements are built and maintained to the MTA’s standards.”

As advocates repeatedly point out, “Accessible transit doesn’t just benefit people who use mobility aids: they also benefits seniors, caregivers lugging strollers—there are 553,000 young children in the city—visitors with heavy suitcases, and people who are just plain tired.” Moreover, accessibility includes more than just elevators and ramps. One lawsuit filed against the MTA calls on the agency to close the vertical and horizontal gaps that can pose a danger to people with mobility or visual impairments.

Monday, December 5, 2022 in The Architect's Newspaper

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