MTA announces historic investment in accessibility projects

Dec. 13, 2021
The projects build on MTA’s commitment to delivering fully accessibility projects efficiently, on budget and with the highest long-term maintenance standards.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Construction & Development is seeking board approval for plans to further accessibility improvements at 26 New York City Transit stations. 

This new round of investments is part of the authority’s ongoing commitment to accessibility, delivering billions of dollars in vital projects to help improve the commute of millions of New Yorkers. If approved, plans include making 19 stations newly accessible and the rehabilitation of existing elevators at seven stations. 

The authority is using its new modernized approach to delivering capital projects to achieve ADA improvements – dedicating more than $5 billion throughout 2020-2024 in capital spending to complete these projects.   

“The MTA’s historic investment in upgrading 26 stations and investing billions of dollars in the 2020-2024 Capital Plan for accessibility is indicative of our ongoing commitment to our riders,” said MTA Construction & Development President Jamie Torres-Springer. “We are using every tool available to innovate so we can speed up on-budget delivery of these assets and ensure they are well maintained.” 

At December’s board meeting, MTA Construction & Development will be seeking board approval for a Private Public Partnership (P3) to deliver 13 station projects, including making eight stations newly accessible and rehabilitating existing elevators at five stations through the Rapid Station Accessibility Upgrade Program.  

This approach, while new for the MTA, is also known as Design-Build-Finance-Maintain and has been used around the world to effectively deliver infrastructure projects efficiently. The authority will engage with a private partner who will be responsible for accessibility projects at a quicker timeframe and lower cost – including a contractual obligation to maintain the elevators for 15 years. Under this agreement, failure to do so would result in the private entity not receiving compensation.  

“Accessibility improvements are central to the MTA and are at the top of the list of our capital program initiatives,” said MTA Acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “Our transit system is the lynchpin of this region and has to be accessible for everyone. The time is now to deliver these projects to our riders who depend on us to get to work, school and wherever they need to go. Implementing this kind of first in the nation public private partnership for ADA improvements demonstrates the MTA’s firm commitment to expanding accessibility.” 

“[This] board meeting will be one of the most important meetings in the MTA’s history when it comes to discussing ADA projects and our commitment to accessibility,” added MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo. “Leveraging Design-Build-Finance-Maintain is going to help the MTA make a major leap forward in making our system more accessible at a fraction of the time and cost.” 

The MTA board will be requested to adopt a resolution to utilize a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) to procure a Public Private Partnership agreement for the design, construction, financing and maintenance of elevators and other ADA improvements at selected New York City Transit subway stations in the 2020-2024 Capital Plan.  

These projects include accessibility upgrades, including new elevators at eight stations:   

  • Church Av (B, Q)  
  • Sheepshead Bay (B, Q)  
  • Rockaway Blvd (A)  
  • Kings Highway (F) 
  • Woodhaven Blvd (M, R)  
  • Steinway St (M, R) 
  • Junius St (3)  
  • Mosholu Pkwy (4) 

This component also includes the replacement of existing elevators at five stations:  

  • 125 St (A, B, C, D) 
  • 34 St-Penn Station (A, C, E)  
  • Euclid Av (A, C) 
  • 161 St St-Yankee Stadium (4) 
  • 3 Av-149 St (2, 5) 

Additionally, the proposed ADA bundle of projects will include implementation of the Design-Build-Finance-Maintain method in which a private entity will be selected through a Private Public Partnership to be held responsible for the initial construction of the ADA improvements and elevator upgrades and will maintain ongoing maintenance for a period of 15 years, with two five-year options.  

The proposal would include a payment plan in which the P3 partner would receive a combination of progress and milestone payments during construction, completion payments following substantial competition and availability payments through the term to cover the remaining capital costs and ongoing maintenance.   

Following board approval, MTA Construction & Development intends to advertise and release the Request for Qualifications to select three to four respondents to receive the Request for Proposals. Construction & Development expects the proposals to be due in late 2022 and award to the preferred P3 Partner, subject to further approval of the board, in late 2022.   

MTA Construction & Development will also request board approval to award a publicly advertised and competitively solicited contract for the Design and Construction of accessibility upgrades at 68th Street-Hunter College Station to Forte-Citnalta JV in the amount of $101,750,000 and a duration of 1,080 calendar days. Approval will also be sought to award a long-term elevator Maintenance Contract to Mid-American Elevator Company, Inc in the amount of $3,027,395 and a duration of 15 years.   

MTA Construction & Development will also request board approval to award a publicly advertised and competitively solicited Public Works contract for the design and construction of accessibility upgrades at eight New York City Transit stations including new elevators at six stations and replacement of existing elevators at two stations to MLJ Contracting Corp./TC Electric JV in the amount of $242,400,000 and a duration of 1,068 calendar days.  

The contract will include the installation of 11 new elevators that will provide full accessibility at the following six elevated, open cut and below ground subway stations:   

  • Westchester Square (6)  
  • 8 Av (N)  
  • 181 St (A)  
  • Woodhaven Blvd (J, Z)  
  • Court Square (G)  
  • Queensboro Plaza (N, W, 7)  

This contract also includes the replacement of existing elevators at two stations on the Jamaica Line: Marcy Av (J, M, Z) and Flushing Av (J, M). 

In addition, MTA Construction & Development plans to award a contract to make three stations on the 1, 2, 3, F, M and L lines at 14 St-6 Av-7 Av fully accessible, an action approved by the board last month.  

This month, the first project under the recently passed Zoning for Accessibility initiative was also approved. This project, a partnership with the developer Sedesco, will bring two new elevators to the 57 St F station, making it fully accessible. Sedesco will also reimburse the MTA for the cost of maintaining the two new elevators. Work is expected to begin in 2022.   

There are 13 new accessible stations currently in construction. Of these, four are forecasted for completion in 2022 and nine in 2023.