New York Must Make Almost All Subway Stations Accessible by 2055, Judge Rules

Another recent ruling is forcing the agency to accelerate its efforts to make all New York subway stations accessible to people with disabilities and mobility issues.

1 minute read

April 11, 2023, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


In a long-overdue victory for people with disabilities, a federal judge ruled that New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) must equip 95 percent of its rail stations with elevators or ramps, reports Jose Martinez in The City. 

“The MTA announced the settlement last June — agreeing to install elevators or ramps by 2055 at the more than 300 stations that are currently inaccessible to wheelchair users and others with mobility impairments — but it wasn’t made official until Friday.” Today, roughly one quarter of the system’s 500 stations are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), notes Martinez. 

The settlement includes a requirement to meet certain milestones along the way to full compliance in 2055, such as a requirement that “15% of New York City Transit’s portion of future capital plan funding must now be set aside for accessibility upgrades.”

Since the passage of ADA in 1990, cities and agencies have lagged in bringing public transit facilities and the public right-of-way into compliance. Another federal lawsuit accuses the MTA of neglecting to properly maintain the elevators that do exist at stations. Last December, the agency released a plan detailing designs for elevators and other accessibility upgrades at some of its stations, funded in part by private developers.

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