MTA will expand accessibility to most subway stations by 2055

The MTA has reached a settlement with transit activists, agreeing to make 95% of non-compliant subway stations accessible to people with disabilities by 2055.


What do you want to know

  • MTA agreed to add elevators and ramps to 95% of non-compliant stations by 2055
  • The MTA will need to spend about 15% of the metro’s capital budget on improving accessibility
  • As part of the settlement, the MTA will make 80 to 90 additional subway stations accessible each decade before reaching its goal.

Among these activists is Jean Ryan, who began relying on wheels for getting around nearly 30 years ago. He was diagnosed with spinal stenosis and disc disease, which prevents him from walking long distances and going up and down stairs.

“When I became disabled it became increasingly difficult to climb stairs, so what I was doing was pulling myself up the railing or crawling down the stairs,” Ryan said.

In 1999, Ryan decided to become a disability rights activist, joining the organization Disabled in Action – or DIA – of which she is now president. DIA is a plaintiff in class actions against the MTA for lack of accessible subway stations.

“The MTA was fighting us so much and we’ve been working on it for five years,” Ryan said. “And really, we’ve been trying to achieve accessibility in subway stations for over five years.”

The MTA has agreed to add elevators and ramps to 95% of non-compliant stations by 2055. Currently, only 126 stations, or 27%, are handicap accessible.

“We really have to take the subway,” Ryan said. “Everyone does it. It’s the fastest, most convenient and most reliable way to get around New York.

As part of the settlement, the MTA will make 80 to 90 additional subway stations accessible each decade before reaching its goal. The MTA would be required to spend approximately 15% of the subway’s capital budget on improving accessibility.

“It’s incremental and there are timelines built into that and the funding,” Ryan said. “That’s what’s better than having a promise, that’s having a legally binding agreement and that’s what we were looking for.”

Ryan says she’s thrilled with the outcome of this settlement, but says there’s no time to dwell on this win.

“We need this whole city to be accessible to anyone who uses a wheelchair or has a mobility issue so that we’re not held back by accessibility,” Ryan said. “We have to do everything. We want to do everything.

Now, Ryan is focusing on taxi and rental vehicle accessibility and maintaining existing elevators at subway stations.

The MTA says the remaining 5% of stations that won’t be made accessible have engineering issues that would make adding elevators or ramps difficult and in some cases impossible.

“No New Yorker should have to worry about whether or not they can safely access public transportation,” Governor Kathy Hochul wrote in a statement. “This agreement between the MTA and accessibility advocates is a critical step toward expanding accessibility in our subways and meeting the needs of New Yorkers with disabilities. My administration will continue to ensure that New York State is accessible to all.

Since 2020, the MTA has completed accessibility projects at 15 subway stations across four boroughs.

The MTA has awarded contracts for 22 additional stations and has 13 more stations in the pipeline.

“We were able to prove to ourselves and to the world that it’s not just a right, a civil right, but it’s actually doable to dramatically accelerate the pace of ADA accessibility in our system,” MTA President and CEO Janno Lieber said on a Wednesday. press conference.

“Think of the thousands and thousands of people who could now get to where they want to go,” Lieber added.

The following stations are funded for upgrades:

  • 8 Ave (N)

  • Tremont Avenue (B, D)

  • 149 Hall St-Grand (2, 4, 5)

  • 6 Ave (L)

  • 14 Street (F, M, 1, 2, 3)

  • Woodhaven Boulevard (M, R)

  • Westchester Sq-East Tremont Av (6)

  • Queensboro Plaza (N, W, 7)

  • Court Square (G)

  • 68 St-Hunter College (6)

  • Bay Ridge-95 St (R)

  • Great St (L)

  • Beach 67 St (A)

  • 7 Avenue (F, G)

  • Dyckman Street (1)

  • Street E 149 (6)

  • New Dorp (SIR)

  • Lorimer Street (L)

  • Metropolitan Avenue (G)

  • 181 Street (A)

  • Church Avenue (B, Q)

  • Sheepshead Bay (B, Q)

  • Rockaway Boulevard (A)

  • Kings Road (N)

  • Woodhaven Boulevard (J, Z)

  • Steinway Street (M, R)

  • Junius Street (3)

  • Mosholu Pkwy (4)

  • North Boulevard (M, R)

  • 137 St. City College (1)

  • Parkchester (6)

  • Borough hall (4, 5)

  • Broadway junction (A, C, L, J, Z)

  • Broadway (N, W)

  • 36 Street (D, N, R)

  • 18 Ave (D)

  • Kings Road (F)

  • Norwood Avenue (J, Z)

  • Myrtle Avenue (J, M, Z)

  • Jefferson Street (L)

  • 96 Street (B, C)

  • 81 St-Museum of Natural History (B, C)

  • Hoyt-Schermerhorn (A, C, G)

  • Nostrandlaan (A, C)

  • 167 St (B, D)

  • Ave I (F)

  • Av Neptune (F)

  • Boulevard Parsons (F)

  • Briarwood (E, F)

  • 7 Avenue (B, D, E)

  • Avenue Classon (G)

  • Van Cortlandt Park-242 street (1)

  • New front lots (3)

  • Creek Avenue (6)

  • 3 Av-138 St (6)

  • Kingsbridge Road (4)

  • Burnside Avenue (4)

  • 110 Street (6)

  • 86 Street (4, 5, 6)

  • Rue Wakefield-241 (2)

  • Harlem-148 St (3)

  • 46 Rue St-Bliss (7)

  • 33 St-Rawson Street (7)

  • Clifton (SIR)

  • Huguenot (SIR)

  • 168 Street (1)

  • Court Square-23 St (E, M)

  • 42 St-Bryant Pk (B, D, F, M)

  • 5 Avenue (7)

  • Lexington Av/59 St (N, R, W)

  • 59 Street (4, 5, 6)

  • Delancey St-Essex St (F, J, M, Z)

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