Two UWS Subway Stations Slated to Get Elevators Under MTA Capital Plan

Photo by Jim Henderson.

The MTA is planning to add more elevators to 70 subway stations under its 2020-2024 capital plan, and two local stations are on the list.

The B-C stations at 96th Street and 81st Street would both receive elevators under the plan, which was approved by the MTA board in September.

The New York subway system is among the least accessible transit systems in the country, with elevators in about one-quarter of subway stations. Activists have called for a rapid expansion of elevator service, which would improve the lives of everybody struggling to navigate the system, from people using wheelchairs to parents with strollers. The MTA’s prior station enhancement projects on the Upper West Side have failed to add elevator service.

It’s not clear when the elevator projects will start, or if they’ll be completed by 2024 — though that’s the MTA’s goal.

NEWS | 25 comments | permalink
    1. Juan says:

      Great news. Though I have no idea how they will get an elevator to the lower, downtown level of these stations.

      • Sol Mann says:

        They won’t. They’ll have you take the 96th to 168th, and transfer to the downtown line there.

      • Dr JayJay says:

        why does that seem like such a feat to you? they’ll be 1 stop at -1 and another stop at -2. it’s actually ideally set up for lift service. the tunnel will just bore down through both levels.

    2. Glen says:

      G-d have mercy, can’t they at least add another stairway exit at the north end of the Uptown #1 train at 86th Street!

    3. Rob G. says:

      Awesome news about the 96th Street stop, especially since the Children’s Museum is moving to that block. This will be great for moms with strollers.

    4. B.B. says:

      Have said previously B/C station at 81st is best candidate for elevator. It is huge station with front access at planetarium which one assumes is where proposed elevator will go.

      It cannot happen at north end of station as the Beresford already has surrendered all the real estate it intends for subway egress.

    5. Christine E says:

      Remember that during the previous recent renovation, MTA said it was physically impossible to add elevators? And now it’s not?? I think they are not really doing this either. It is just blowing smoke to placate those holding them to ADA requirements. I hope they prove me wrong.

      • Gus says:

        I was thinking the EXACT same thing but wondered if my memory was failing. It simply couldn’t be done for the millions and millions they spent on 4(?) stations

    6. Eln says:

      Been praying for an elevator at the 81 & CPW station foryears. Lugging luggage 2 levels gets harder each year. I use this station to go to the Port Authority a lot.

    7. Robert Sheridan says:

      They just spent some insane amount – $12Mil or some such – at CPW, 72nd. Hard to see where that much went. You would think for a big renovation and closed for 6 months or so they would have put in elevators.

      What they did do was reduce # of downtown benches from 2 to 1. And move away from 72nd St. entrance. Hard to see how that is an ‘improvement” when seniors & others who could sit before have half the seating now.

      Only a Cumo government could visit such on the citizens.
      (Yes, I know its MTA – agency, not NYS – but they are all Cumo puppets simply insulating him from the facts of his incompetence. That’s a standard sleazy old Cumo trick.)


      • Linda says:

        Hurry…have been hoping for elevator/escalator
        Access at CPW/81st much needed ..busy station..

      • EricaC says:

        I agree with the frustration – but really, only Cuomo? Not one other politician has mismanaged such things? You see no waste or useless destruction by any other politician, now or ever?

    8. Adam Wolf says:

      They put illuminated billboard advertising at Barclay station in 3 weeks
      An elevator will take years

    9. CHRIS says:

      How about the #1 line?
      Like to see an elevator added to the #1 on W. 86th Street.
      New York is an aging city- for many of us, the elevators
      are a lot more important than bikes will ever be!

      And while we are talking about transportation… am I
      the only one who wonders where that huge tariff from
      our taxi rides ends up?

      • Carlos says:

        The 86th St. stop on the 1 is my primary station and I would definitely appreciate an elevator – I have spent many hours carrying strollers and large bags out of that station. That being said, it is a relatively low priority item. There are elevators at 72nd and 96th Street. I understand that that is still quite a long way to go for many people, but worst case, there is an elevator a half mile from everyone on that line, with most people being even closer.

        On the B/C line there is not an elevator for miles – for many people, the best bet is to go over the the elevators on the 1/2/3. In a world of very limited resources, elevators are much more needed at the proposed stations than on the 1.

        I do agree with you that more resources should be spent on the subways than on bikes.

    10. Judy says:

      A 96 Street elevator would change my life.

    11. Dr JayJay says:

      I’d rather see BETTER SERVICE than money wasted on a couple of lifts. NYC has got one of the worst tiring annoying underground systems on planet Earth! anyway,the vast majority of stations will STILL be without lift service by 2025. how about spending money to decrease tardiness? by my personal experience, up to 75pc of the metro train I’ve taken over the past 6 months were late. late nights, i often wait up to 25 minutes for a train. I’ve gotten used to walking many extra blocks just to avoid transfers to another late infrequent train. why is it so difficult for NYC to run its underground service well?? 150 years not enough experience to get the job done correctly??

      • Jay says:

        You wouldn’t be saying this if you were disabled.

        Adding lifts is the law and the MTA has ignored it for far too long.

        • Bob Lamm says:

          Thank you, Jay. I’m lucky enough not to be disabled, but any of us who aren’t could be tomorrow. The comment by Dr. Jay Jay is awful. You’re right: it’s time for the MTA to obey the law.

    12. Valencia says:

      Why isn’t 149st- Grand Concourse one of the first stations to get an elevator? The shaft is already there, it’s just been walled off. People have been complaining for far too many years about having to climb steps from the 2,5 line all the way outside.

    13. Irena says:

      In addition to adding elevators, which is greatly needed, the MTA needs to keep the ones they have in service. I receive a daily real-time feed when elevators are down and it is almost constant throughout the day and night. For those of us who rely on this to get around, it is a constant struggle to find a station with properly working elevators.

      For a city like NYC to have such little real commitment to helping those who are temporarily and permanently disabled get around when the subway (or a very very expensive cab or car-service ride is the only alternative) is the only way to get somewhere in under a couple of hours, it’s unreal and a true disgrace.

      Traveling in Europe, there is easier access in cities that are thousands of years older than NYC. It is a sign of the lack of interest in helping those most in need to get around: To get to work.

      People complain about disabled seeking some form of assistance but do nothing to help people keep jobs by being able to get there in a timely fashion.

      And for those who think it unnecessary, it takes only a small accident to render you in a wheelchair…sometimes, for the rest of your life. Think about it and try to show some compassion for fellow citizens who struggle daily to get to work and to get to doctors and other necessary appointments.

    14. Wow happy to hear such a news. Elevator becoming the essential part of every subway stations. People should aware of utilising the elevator.