MTA promises to improve accessibility and technology

NEW YORK — More elevators and upgraded signals will create a better ride and improved access to the system.

Now MTA officials have to make it happen.

On Friday, MTA leaders and Governor Cuomo hosted a technology conference. They say the agency is open for business and the ideas from the previous century will not propel the system into the next century.

MTA NYC Transit also announced that 70 stations will become accessible in the next capital plan for improvements from 2020 through 2024.

View a list of the first 48 stations here.

“These 48 stations are a terrific first step and help get us closer than ever to achieving systemwide accessibility that all New Yorkers deserve. We look forward to hearing from our customers and the community as we work to identify the additional 22 stations,” said MTA NYC Transit President Andy Byford.

A media release from the MTA explains that most of the subway stations in NYC were built nearly a century ago and they predate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"Technical and geographic issues included evaluations of the area immediately surrounding each station under consideration, such as any need to move utilities, access provided by third parties, acquisition or real estate needs, sidewalk clearances, sidewalk curb depths, clearance within each station on platforms and for machinery or equipment required for the accessibility," the statement says.

Some advocates say they will believe it when they see it. In the past and even currently, it has taken legal pressure to compel the agency to add more elevators.

At the conference which was billed as "A New Day for the MTA" challenges business and technology firms to work with the state to bring new ideas to the agency.

Radio frequencies and computer-assisted systems could help upgrade signals and allow more trains to run on the lines.

The capital plan promises signal upgrades on sections of six lines in the system.

MTA Board members will discuss the proposal, as will a review board. State and city leaders will debate the funding. The total is more than $51 billion.

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