Seventh Station to Become Accessible in 2023, With Accessible MTA Projects Completed Across All Five Boroughs
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the completion of the elevator project at the 7 Avstation in Brooklyn making the station fully accessible. The project included the installation of three elevators – one elevator that takes customers from street level to the station mezzanine and two from the mezzanine to the platforms.
The installed elevators include a new fire alarm system, smoke and heat detectors and cameras inside the elevator cabs, all to enhance customer safety. Each elevator is also equipped with an emergency two-way communication system which gives riders the ability to communicate with dispatchers in the event of an emergency via standard voice communications or visually by answering on-screen questions, which greatly improves communication for riders with hearing or speech disabilities.
“This was a long time coming. Over the years the Park Slope community has pushed hard to make this station accessible, and we have delivered with three brand new elevators,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “The MTA is moving 100 miles an hour, knocking out ADA accessibility projects in all five boroughs faster, better, and cheaper than ever before – five times faster than ever before.”
“Newly accessible stations like 7 Av are the fruits of our efforts to execute projects more efficiently through innovative delivery methods like project bundling,” said MTA Construction & Development President Jamie Torres-Springer. “We are completing ADA upgrades in record time, which will greatly improve accessibility not just in Brooklyn but throughout our transit system.”
“Before this station became accessible, a subway rider who uses a wheelchair or caregiver with a child in a stroller would have to travel extra stops or plan a complicated route with buses or back-riding, instead of getting off at their destination,” said MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo. “This is what we mean when we talk about closing those gaps in the system with accessible stations. These elevators now close that gap, ensuring Park Slope residents, and everyone who works, goes to school, or shops in this neighborhood can take that same subway trip as every other rider.”
To support the installation of the three new elevators, a new platform ADA boarding area was installed, and tactile strips were placed along the entire length of both platforms. At the 7th Avenue entrance, the hallway floor connecting the fare arrays and the mezzanine elevators was regraded to meet ADA standards, and the corridor boasts beautiful new mosaic artwork commissioned by MTA Arts & Design, which also lines the mezzanine walls at the 8th Avenue entrance.
This project was funded by a grant provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and completed as part of a design-build package of eight stations throughout the subway system, the first such bundle undertaken by MTA Construction & Development (C&D) as part of an effort to deliver accessibility upgrades better, faster, and cheaper. The remaining stations from that bundle will open later this year.
Delivering Accessibility Projects Better, Faster, and Cheaper
The pace in which the MTA is awarding contracts for accessible projects is five times what it was before 2020. The MTA has awarded contracts for 13 stations in 2020, 10 stations in 2021, 13 stations in 2022, and previously announced its plan to award contracts for 16 stations by the end of the year. In addition to the accessible entrance opened today, there are accessibility upgrades funded by private developers in progress at the 57St station in Manhattan, and the Queensboro Plaza station in Queens.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when ridership significantly decreased, the MTA prioritized expanding accessibility improvements in the subway by completing 15 accessibility projects. Following today's announcement, there are 145 accessible stations and 27 stations in construction for accessibility upgrades, five of which are expected to be complete by the end of 2023.
The 2020-2024 MTA Capital Plan includes a historic investment of $5.2 billion to make 67 subway stations ADA accessible, more than any capital plan in the MTA’s history and more than the last three capital plans combined. In addition, the Authority is delivering accessibility projects at an unprecedented pace, completing 24 ADA stations since 2020, double the number of ADA stations completed in the previous six years.
“After years of pushing to install an elevator at the 7 Avand station as a Council Member and now as Comptroller, a fully accessible station is now a reality because of the tireless work of advocates and the MTA’s commitment to making stations 95 percent accessible by 2055,” said New York City Comptroller Brad Lander. “My office looks forward to working with advocates and the MTA to build out access to our city’s transportation infrastructure for everyone.”
“The new ADA elevators at the 7 Avstation are cause for celebration,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “ADA projects like this one are essential for enabling Brooklynites to move about our borough easily and comfortably. I’m excited that these elevators are finally up and running, and I look forward to continuing to work with the MTA to expand ADA access to more subway stations across the borough.”
“Increasing the accessibility of our subway system is crucial for all of its riders, from New Yorkers who use mobility aids to tourists with heavy luggage,” said New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes. “I applaud the work that the MTA has done to increase ADA accessibility with the installation of new elevators at the 7 Avstation, and I look forward to the expanded possibilities that these elevators will represent for Brooklynites and beyond.”
“After years of advocacy from local community riders, advocates, and elected officials, I am proud that the 7 Avstation is now accessible to all,” said New York State Assembly Member Robert Carroll. “I will continue to advocate strenuously at the State level for the MTA to fulfill its commitment to system-wide accessibility so that every community can utilize the subway regardless of their mobility status.”
“For years, many of our neighbors have struggled to access the 7 Av station because of its lack of accessibility. Today, I am proud to stand with the MTA and announce that the long-awaited upgrades to this station are finally here,” said New York City Council Member Shahana Hanif. “As a disabled New Yorker, I know how difficult it can be to navigate our city’s subway system and how critical ADA accessibility is for our public transit network. I was a staffer in my predecessor, former Council Member Brad Lander’s office, when District 39 communities mobilized to include this project on the Participatory Budgeting ballot. This elevator is a big win for our district, especially the elderly who live in Park Slope and makeup 10% of the population, families with young children, members of the Center for Successful Aging, and many of the 42,000 inpatients and 500,000 outpatients who use New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital each year.”