New York MTA commits $5.2B to subway accessibility - Smart Cities Dive

Dive Brief:

  • As part of its newly announced $51.5 billion 2020-2024 Capital Improvement Plan, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) committed $5.2 billion to making subway stations accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

  • The project involves making 70 stations ADA accessible by placing new elevators and ramps at up to 66 stations and accelerating work at four stations where MTA already committed to accessibility improvements.

  • Once the upgrades are in place, riders will be no more than two stops away from an accessible station. Stations that serve over 60% of the subway system's total ridership will be accessible upon project completion.

Dive Insight:

"It's a significant investment and it's one that's been a really long time coming. It's huge and a lot of the credit goes to the folks who have pushing for this... for a long time," Nick Sifuentes, executive director of Tri-State Transportation Campaign, told Smart Cities Dive.

Still, questions remain until MTA releases the full details of the plan, which an agency spokesperson says will happen next week in time for the MTA board meeting on Wednesday.

"One question is what's the timeline for getting the 70 stations done. And the second is what is the funding strategy here? Where is the funding going to come from and is money guaranteed? Is it going to keep the MTA from having to borrow and go into additional significant debt, and what can be done to limit the amount of debt?" Sifuentes said.

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