Accessibility of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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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, with 50 new stations within 5 years.

Context[edit]

Accessible restroom at Church Avenue
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]:328[2]
  • large-print and tactile-Braille signs[3]:328[2]
  • audio and visual information systems, including Help Points or Public Address Customer Information Screens[3]:328[2]
  • accessible station booth windows[2]
  • 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[2]
  • telephones at an accessible height with volume control, and text telephones (TTYs)[2]
  • accessible restrooms at commuter rail stations with restrooms [2]
    • 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]:328

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]:325 The MTA also provides training to disabled riders, the families of disabled riders, and mobility specialists. Between 1995 and 2017, it has trained 748 passengers.[3]:329

Criticism[edit]

The MTA has been criticized for the lack of accessibility, particularly in the New York City Subway.[4][5] Only 119 of 472 (25%) of all of the subway system's stations are fully accessible to people with disabilities as of 2018. 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.[6][7] 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.[7] Notably, places such as Woodlawn, South Brooklyn, Astoria, and Stapleton do not have any accessible stations. 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%.[7]

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​, J, M, and Z​ trains; and 14th Street/Sixth Avenue on the 1, ​2, ​3​, 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.[8]

As per the ADA act, 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.[5] For example, the Smith–Ninth Streets station was renovated for two years and reopened in 2013 without any elevators,[9] 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).[5] 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.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12][4] The federal government sued the MTA in March 2018 over a lack of elevators at Middletown Road and the Enhanced Station Initiative stops.[13][14]

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 complaint, 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.[15] 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.[16]

At the request of Andy Byford, in 2018, an Executive Accessibility Advisor was hired, reporting directly to the President.[17]

Station count[edit]

System Accessible station count Overall station count Percentage
SubwayNYC Subway (individual) 0119 0472 025%
SubwayNYC Subway (combined) 095 0424 022%
Staten Island Railway 05 021 024%
Long Island Rail Road 0105 0124 085%
Metro-North Railroad 079 0124 064%
Overall system[d] 276 686 40%

Rapid transit[edit]

New York City Subway[edit]

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.[18] 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."[19] A settlement was reached in June 1984, in which Koch and Governor Mario Cuomo agreed to equip 50 stations with elevators[20] (later changed to 54).[21] 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.[21]

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, 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]:322

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]:322

As of September 2018, out of 472 total stations in the New York City Subway system, 118 (or 25%) are accessible to some extent;[e] many of them have AutoGate access.[22][23] If station complexes are counted as one, then 95 out of the system's 424 stations are accessible to some extent (or 22%). 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.[23] The MTA is primarily working to make 100 "key stations" accessible by 2020 to comply with the ADA law.[a][24][4] As of February 2018, 86 of these stations are accessible while 4 are under construction and 10 are under design.[3]:325 It has also retrofitted 34 "non-key stations" and is planning to retrofit 11 more non-key stations.[4][25]

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 train) stations.[26][27] 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.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30]: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.[31] As part of the plan to add fifty ADA-accessible stations, the MTA was planning to survey 150 of the 345 non-accessible stations for possible ADA-accessibility by the end of 2018, and survey the remaining 195 stations in 2019. The MTA would develop an accessibility plan for each of the non-accessible stations and approve the most feasible proposals.[32]:93–94

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.

Manhattan[edit]

As of September 2018, there are 56 ADA compliant stations in Manhattan out of 151 (37%),[f] or 40 (33%) if stations in complexes are counted as one. Stations built after 1990 are marked with an asterisk (*).

Station Services Accessible entrance and notes[23]
14th Street/Eighth Avenue "A" train"C" train"E" train"L" train
  • Elevator at northwest corner of 14th Street and Eighth Avenue.
14th Street–Union Square "N" train"Q" train"R" train"W" train "L" train
  • 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 "4" train"6" train "6" express train
  • 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.
34th Street–Herald Square "B" train"D" train"F" train"M" train
"N" train"Q" train"R" train"W" train
  • 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* "7" train "7" express train
  • Elevator near the southwest corner of Hudson Park & Boulevard and 34th Street.
34th Street–Penn Station "1" train"2" train"3" train
  • Elevator on south side of 34th Street west of Seventh Avenue at LIRR entrance to Penn Station.
34th Street–Penn Station "A" train"C" train"E" train
  • 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
"B" train"D" train"F" train"M" train
  • Elevator at northwest corner of 6th Avenue and 49th Street.
49th Street "N" train"Q" train"R" train"W" train
  • Elevator at northeast corner of 49th Street and Seventh Avenue.
    Note: accessible for northbound trains only.
50th Street "A" train"C" train"E" train
  • Elevator on northwest corner of 49th Street and Eighth Avenue.
    Note: accessible for southbound trains only.
Lexington Avenue/
51st Street
"4" train"6" train "6" express train "E" train"M" train
  • Elevator at northeast corner of 52nd Street and Lexington Avenue
59th Street–Columbus Circle "1" train"2" train "A" train"B" train"C" train"D" train
  • 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 "1" train"2" train
  • 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 "1" train"2" train"3" train
  • Elevators inside station house on north side of 72nd Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.
72nd Street* "N" train"Q" train"R" train
  • Elevators inside building at southeast corner of Second Avenue and 72nd Street.
86th Street* "N" train"Q" train"R" train
  • Elevator at southeast corner of 86th Street and Second Avenue.
96th Street "1" train"2" train"3" train
  • Elevators inside station house in median of Broadway; entrances on south side of 96th Street and north side of 95th Street.
96th Street* "N" train"Q" train"R" train
  • Elevator in plaza on west side of Second Avenue between 95th and 96th Streets.
125th Street "4" train"5" train"6" train "6" express train
  • Elevator at northeast corner of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue.
125th Street "A" train"B" train"C" train"D" train
  • Elevator at southwest corner of 125th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue.
135th Street "2" train"3" train
  • 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 "A" train"C" train
  • 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 "A" train
  • Elevator at northeast corner of 177th Street and Fort Washington Avenue.
Bowling Green "4" train"5" train
  • Elevator at northeast corner of Broadway and Battery Place. Westernmost accessible station in the system.
Broadway–Lafayette Street/Bleecker Street "4" train"6" train "6" express train
"B" train"D" train"F" train"M" train
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Lafayette and Houston Streets.
Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall "4" train"5" train"6" train "6" express train
  • Elevator on west side of Centre Street south of Chambers Street.
    Note: J and ​Z platforms are not ADA compliant.
Canal Street "4" train"6" train "6" express train
  • Elevator for northbound service at northeast corner of Canal Street and Lafayette Street. (Elevator to northbound platform is closed for renovations due to Sandy Recovery Work until May 2018.[33])
  • 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 "1" train"2" train"3" train
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Hudson and Chambers Streets.
Cortlandt Street/World Trade Center "N" train"R" train"W" train "E" train
  • 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 "1" train
  • Elevator at southwest corner of Hillside Avenue and St. Nicholas Avenue/Ft. George Hill.
    Note: accessible for southbound trains only.
Fulton Street "2" train"3" train"4" train"5" train"A" train"C" train"J" train"Z" train
  • 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 "4" train"5" train"6" train "6" express train "7" train "7" express train
  • 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 "A" train
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Broadway and 207th Street.
Lexington Avenue–63rd Street "F" train "N" train"Q" train"R" train
  • Elevator on north side of 63rd Street west of Lexington Avenue.
  • Elevator at northwest corner of 63rd Street and Third Avenue
Roosevelt Island "F" train
  • Elevators at station house.
South Ferry* "1" train
  • 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 "1" train"2" train"3" train "7" train "7" express train
"A" train"C" train"E" train "N" train"Q" train"R" train"W" train
  • 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
"A" train"C" train"E" train
"B" train"D" train"F" train"M" train
  • Elevator at northeast corner of 6th Avenue and 3rd Street.
WTC Cortlandt* "1" train
  • Elevator inside World Trade Center Transportation Hub at southeast corner of Fulton and Greenwich Streets.
  • Elevator at southwest corner of Greenwich and Vesey Streets.

The Bronx[edit]

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[23]
Third Avenue–149th Street "2" train"5" train
  • 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 "4" train "B" train"D" train
  • Elevator at northeast corner of 161st Street and River Avenue.
231st Street "1" train
  • Uptown elevator at southeast corner of 231 Street and Broadway.
  • Downtown elevator at southwest corner of 231 Street and Broadway.
233rd Street "2" train"5" train
  • Elevator at northwest corner of White Plains Road and 233rd Street. Northernmost accessible station in the system.
East 180th Street "2" train"5" train
  • Elevators inside station house at northwest corner of East 180th Street and Morris Park Avenue (accessible via wheelchair ramp at street level).
Fordham Road "4" train
  • Elevator at southeast corner of Jerome Avenue and Fordham Road.
Gun Hill Road "2" train"5" train
  • Elevators inside main entrance in White Plains Road median between Gun Hill Road and 211th Street.
Hunts Point Avenue "6" train "6" express train
  • Elevator on the Monsignor Del Valle Square at the northwest corner of Hunts Point Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard.
Kingsbridge Road "B" train"D" train
  • Elevator at northeast corner of Grand Concourse and E Kingsbridge Road.
Pelham Bay Park "6" train "6" express train
  • 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 "2" train"5" train
  • Elevator at southwest corner of Pelham Parkway and White Plains Road.
Simpson Street "2" train"5" train
  • Uptown elevator at southwest corner of Simpson Street and Westchester Avenue.
  • Downtown elevator at northeast corner of Simpson Street and Westchester Avenue.

Brooklyn[edit]

As of December 2016, there are 27 ADA compliant stations in Brooklyn out of 170 (16%), or 22 (14%) if stations in complexes are counted as one.

Station Services Accessible entrance and notes[23]
Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center "2" train"3" train"4" train"5" train
"D" train"N" train"R" train"W" train
"B" train"Q" train
  • 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 "Q" train
  • Ramp on north side of Avenue H and East 15th Street.
    Note: accessible for southbound trains only.
Bay Parkway "D" train
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Bay Parkway and 86th Street.
Borough Hall "2" train"3" train "4" train"5" train
  • 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 "L" train
  • Station at street level.
Church Avenue "2" train"5" train
  • 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 "F" train"G" train
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Church Avenue and McDonald Avenue.
Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue "D" train"F" train"N" train"Q" train
  • 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 "2" train"3" train"4" train"5" train
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Utica Avenue and Eastern Parkway, in Eastern Parkway median.
DeKalb Avenue "B" train"D" train"N" train"Q" train"R" train"W" train
  • Elevator at southeast corner of DeKalb Avenue and Flatbush Avenue Extension.
Euclid Avenue "A" train"C" train
  • Elevator at northeast corner of Euclid and Pitkin Avenues.
Flatbush Avenue–Brooklyn College "2" train"5" train
  • Elevator at southeast corner of Flatbush Avenue and Nostrand Avenue.
Flushing Avenue "J" train"M" train
  • Elevator at southwest corner of Flushing Avenue and Broadway. Elevator to each platform from station house.
Franklin Avenue–Fulton Street "A" train"C" train Franklin Avenue Shuttle
  • Elevator at southwest corner of Franklin Avenue and Fulton Street.
Jay Street–MetroTech "A" train"C" train "F" train "N" train "R" train"W" train
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Jay and Willoughby Streets, for all train services.
Kings Highway "B" train"Q" train
  • Elevators to platforms inside station house on south side of Kings Highway between 15th and 16th Streets.
Marcy Avenue "J" train "M" train "Z" train
  • 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 "L" train "M" train
  • Elevators to platforms inside station house at the triangle formed by Gates, Myrtle, and Wyckoff Avenues.
Park Place Franklin Avenue Shuttle
  • Ramp from Prospect Place west of Franklin Avenue; service in both directions on single track.
Prospect Park "B" train"Q" train Franklin Avenue Shuttle
  • Entrance ramp on Lincoln Road between Flatbush Avenue and Ocean Avenue; elevators after fare control.
Utica Avenue "A" train"C" train
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Fulton Street and Malcolm X Boulevard.
Wilson Avenue "L" train
  • Wheelchair ramp at dead-end of Wilson Avenue east of Moffat Street.
    Note: accessible for northbound trains only.

Queens[edit]

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[23]
21st Street–Queensbridge "F" train
  • Elevator at northwest corner of 21st Street and 41st Avenue.
61st Street–Woodside "7" train "7" express train
  • Elevator at northeast corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 61st Street; shared with LIRR station.
Aqueduct Racetrack "A" train
  • Elevator next to south staircase down to Resorts World Casino Parking Lot.
    The Sky Bridge entrance to the Casino is also accessible.
Court Square "7" train "7" express train
  • Elevator at northeast corner of 23rd Street and Jackson Avenue;
    Note: E, ​M, and G platforms are not ADA compliant.
Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue "A" train
  • 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 "7" train "7" express train
  • Elevator on Roosevelt Avenue east of Main Street, north side.
Forest Hills–71st Avenue "E" train"F" train"M" train"R" train
  • Elevator on south side of Queens Boulevard between 70th Road and 71st Avenue.
Howard Beach–JFK Airport "A" train
  • Elevators at Coleman Square and 159th Avenue.
Jackson Heights–
Roosevelt Avenue/
74th Street
"7" train"E" train"F" train"M" train"R" train
  • 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 "E" train"F" train
  • Elevator at southeast corner of 179th Place and Hillside Avenue.
Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer "E" train​ ​"J" train"Z" train
  • Elevator on south side of Archer Avenue at Parsons Boulevard.
Jamaica–Van Wyck "E" train
  • Elevator at corner of 89th Avenue and Van Wyck Expressway south service road, adjacent to Jamaica Hospital.
Junction Boulevard "7" train "7" express train
  • Elevator at northeast corner of Junction Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue.
Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike "E" train"F" train
  • Elevator at southeast corner of Union Turnpike and Kew Gardens Road.
Mets–Willets Point "7" train "7" express train
  • 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
"M" train
  • Station at street level.
Ozone Park–Lefferts Boulevard "A" train
  • Elevator at northwest corner of Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard.
Queens Plaza "E" train"M" train"R" train
  • Elevator at southwest corner of Queens Plaza South and Jackson Avenue.
Rockaway Park–Beach 116th Street "A" trainRockaway Park Shuttle
  • Station at street level.
Sutphin Boulevard–Archer Avenue–JFK Airport "E" train​ ​"J" train"Z" train
  • Elevator off southeast corner of Sutphin Boulevard at Archer Avenue near elevated LIRR tracks; shared with LIRR station.

Staten Island Railway[edit]

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[23]
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 rail[edit]

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.[34] 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 all but one non-accessible station along its line, St. Albans.

Long Island Rail Road[edit]

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).[35]

Metro-North Railroad[edit]

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).[35] Stations built after 1990 are marked with an asterisk (*).

Buses[edit]

All MTA buses and routes are wheelchair accessible, since all fleet were built after the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990;[3]:322 the oldest buses currently in service were built in 1998. Much of the current bus fleet consists of low-floor buses with wheelchair ramps, while older high-floor local buses and all express buses have 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.[36] 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.[37] As part of a disability-lawsuit agreement in June 1984, Governor Mario Cuomo agreed to equip 65% of MTA buses with wheelchair lifts.[20]

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.[21] The last non-accessible bus in MTA New York City Bus's fleet was retired in 1993.[37] 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 2017, the MTA recorded over 1.5 million bus customers who used wheelchair ramps or lifts.[3]:325 All MTA Bus operators are required to have ADA training. The newest buses have hands-free intercom systems for drivers.[3]:328

Access-A-Ride[edit]

AccessARide logo.png
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.[38] In addition, AAR has dedicated pickup locations around the city.[39]

The paratransit system began as a $5 million pilot program following the passage of the ADA law.[21] The services are contracted to private companies.[40] 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.[41] 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.[40]

The paratransit system has come under scrutiny by the media for being unwieldy: rides must be booked 24 to 48 hours in advance;[42] it is costly to operate;[42] and vehicles often show up late or fail to show up at all.[43] 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.[42] 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."[44] 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.[45] 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.[30]:42

Future accessible stations[edit]

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: 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
Station Service Location Status Notes
1st Avenue "L" train Manhattan Renovation in progress [46][28][32]:92
8th Avenue "N" train"W" train Brooklyn Renovation in progress [47][32]:92
57th Street–7th Avenue "N" train"Q" train"R" train"W" train Manhattan Renovation in progress [48][32]:90
62nd Street/New Utrecht Avenue "D" train"N" train"W" train Brooklyn Renovation in progress [47][32]:92
86th Street "4" train"6" train "6" express train Manhattan Renovation in progress Northbound local platform only[49][50]
86th Street "R" train Brooklyn Renovation in progress [51][52][53][32]:90
Astoria Boulevard "N" train"W" train Queens Renovation in progress [51][53][28][32]:90
Bedford Avenue "L" train Brooklyn Renovation in progress [51][54][28][32]:90
Bedford Park Boulevard "B" train"D" train The Bronx Renovation in progress [51][53][28][32]:90
Chambers Street "J" train"Z" train Manhattan Renovation in progress [51][53][28][32]:90
Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum "2" train"3" train"4" train Brooklyn Renovation in progress [51][54][28][32]:90
Greenpoint Avenue "G" train Brooklyn Renovation in progress [51][55][28][32]:90
Gun Hill Road (Seymour Avenue) "5" train The Bronx Renovation in progress [51][53][28][32]:90
Murray Hill LIRR: Port Washington Branch Queens Renovation in progress [56]
Nostrand Avenue LIRR: Atlantic Branch Brooklyn Renovation in progress [57]
Port Jervis MNRR: Port Jervis Line Orange County Renovation in progress [58]
Grand Central Terminal LIRR: 63rd Street Branch Manhattan Under construction Being built as part of the East Side Access project[59]
Co-op City MNRR: New Haven Line The Bronx Proposed station Planned as part of the Penn Station Access project[60]
Elmhurst LIRR: Port Washington Branch Queens Proposed station [61]
Hunts Point MNRR: New Haven Line The Bronx Proposed station Planned as part of the Penn Station Access project[60]
Morris Park MNRR: New Haven Line The Bronx Proposed station Planned as part of the Penn Station Access project[60]
Parkchester MNRR: New Haven Line The Bronx Proposed station Planned as part of the Penn Station Access project[60]
Republic LIRR: Ronkonkoma Branch Suffolk County Proposed station [62]
Sunnyside LIRR: Main Line Queens Proposed station Planned as part of the East Side Access project[63]
59th Street (4th Avenue) "N" train"R" train"W" train Brooklyn Final contract award pending [51][28][32]:90
68th Street–Hunter College "4" train"6" train "6" express train Manhattan Final contract award pending [48][32]:91
Canarsie–Rockaway Parkway "L" train Brooklyn Final contract award pending Station already accessible, improvements only[51][54][28][32]:90
Times Square 42nd Street Shuttle Manhattan Final contract award pending 42nd Street Shuttle platforms only; rest of station complex accessible[51][53][54][28][32]:90
149th Street–Grand Concourse "2" train"4" train"5" train The Bronx In design [51][54][28][32]:91
170th Street "4" train The Bronx In design MTA "City Station" candidate[26][32]:91
Court Square "G" train Queens In design Stair installation complete; elevators in design[51][53][54][28][32]:91
Floral Park LIRR: Main Line Nassau County In design Renovations planned as part of the Main Line third track project[64]
Livonia Avenue "L" train Brooklyn In design To be made into a station complex with Junius Street; MTA "City Station" candidate[51][32]:91
Mets–Willets Point LIRR: Port Washington Branch Queens In design [65][66]
Queensboro Plaza "7" train "7" express train​​ "N" train"W" train Queens In design MTA "City Station" candidate[26][32]:91
Westchester Square–East Tremont Avenue "6" train "6" express train The Bronx In design [28]
Woodhaven Boulevard "J" train"Z" train Queens In design [51][53][28][32]:91
5th Avenue–59th Street "N" train"R" train"W" train Manhattan In planning [48]
14th Street/Sixth Avenue "1" train"2" train"3" train"F" train"L" train"M" train Manhattan In planning [31][67][32]:91[68]
77th Street "R" train Brooklyn In planning [69][32]:91
Bay Ridge–95th Street "R" train Brooklyn In planning [69][28][32]:91
Broad Street "J" train"Z" train Manhattan In planning [70][71]
Broadway Junction "A" train"C" train Brooklyn In planning MTA "City Station" candidate[26][32]:91
East Broadway "F" train Manhattan In planning [26]
Junius Street "2" train"3" train"4" train"5" train Brooklyn In planning To be made into a station complex with Livonia Avenue
Union Street "R" train Brooklyn In planning [26]
Vernon Boulevard–Jackson Avenue "7" train "7" express train Queens In planning [26][28]
Seventh Avenue "F" train"G" train Brooklyn Pending funds [72]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  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]:323–325
  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:[23]
  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.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]