MTA to Add Elevators at Queensboro Plaza, Improve Accessibility 

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
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Work to install elevators at the Queensboro Plaza subway station will begin in early February.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will begin construction to install elevators at the Queensboro Plaza station in early February, the agency announced Jan. 3.

The planned work is scheduled to begin Feb. 4, and aims to improve accessibility at the station by adding an elevator at the station’s southern entrance and another one between the mezzanine and the two platforms. As of November 2022, the station, a busy transfer point in Queens, served about 70,000 commuters on a typical weekday, MTA said in a release. 

The installation work will be done in phases, requiring service adjustments over the course of six weekends beginning on 7 line at 12:15 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 and later, in May, on the N line. MTA said the project budget for an accessible entrance on the south side is $74 million and the work is expected to be complete by mid-2024.

Serving as a station with high ridership in a rapidly growing neighborhood, MTA said the Queensboro Plaza work is a complex construction project, involving work to be carried out over the 11-lane wide approach to the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. MTA will at the same time coordinate the construction of an accessible entrance on the north side of the station as part of a Zoning for Accessibility project.  

“The improvements coming to Queensboro Plaza will greatly benefit tens of thousands of riders,” said NYC Transit President Richard Davey. “Accessibility is such an integral part of mass transit, especially for a city like New York where mass transit is essential for many. When complete, the project will provide critical accessibility upgrades, security updates, and customer experience improvements throughout the station.”

Torres-Springer and Deputy Chief of Staff Cathy Li gave a presentation Dec. 21 on the expenses associated with MTA infrastructure projects and the difficulties of installing elevators in congested spaces.

The project work will also entail:   

  • Expansion of the mezzanine by approx. 50 sq. ft. 
  • New lighting for the expanded mezzanine   
  • Updates to the pedestrian bridge  
  • New boarding areas compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act with new platform edges  
  • Upgrades to existing street and station stairs to current ADA standards 

In addition to the station’s accessibility upgrade, security and communication improvements will be made, MTA said. Upgrades will be made to the fire alarm system, and new security camera systems and public address systems will be installed. MTA will also add digital information screens intended to provide clearer announcements for commuters.