MTA Announces Enhanced Bay Ridge Ave R Subway Station Opens and Additional Bay Ridge Stations to be Made ADA-Accessible

Enhanced Bay Ridge Av station in Brooklyn
Enhanced Bay Ridge Av station in Brooklyn

Better stations are coming to Brooklyn. 

MTA New York City Transit has opened an enhanced Bay Ridge Ave R Subway station in Brooklyn, and more improvements are on the way. The MTA further announced that its Capital Plan now includes $40 million for ADA-accessibility projects at the 77 St and Bay Ridge-95 St stations on the R Subway line. The Capital Plan, which was amended this summer, features a quartet of projects in Bay Ridge at 59th Street, 77th Street, 86th Street and Bay Ridge-95th Street, respectively.

The enhanced Bay Ridge station opening today has countdown clocks at each of its three entrances, enhanced LED lighting, WiFi connectivity, new digital displays throughout the station, USB ports, and an upgraded security system in the 102-year-old station. In the fare control area, glass barriers have replaced metal bars, enhancing sightlines and allowing more light to enter the station. One of the station’s entrances features a new canopy. Other upgrades include wayfinding floor tiles for the visually-impaired, new handrails, stair treads, wall tiles, and granite flooring. Pictures of the new Bay Ridge R Subway station can be found here, and pictures of the old Bay Ridge R Subway station can be seen here.

Completed in less than six months, the Bay Ridge station opening comes just a month after the re-opening of the 53 St station on the R Subway line, making it the second of 33 stations to undergo extensive, accelerated renovations to create new and improved design standards for subway stations and undertake extensive renovations across the city. The Bay Ridge station was first opened on September 13, 1915.

As part of the MTA's recent Capital Plan amendment passed this summer, the Authority will now make the 77 St R Subway and Bay Ridge-95 St R Subway stations ADA-accessible. The Capital Plan amendment includes $40 million in new funding for these projects. The Capital Plan also includes funding to make the 86 St R Subway and 59 St stations ADA-accessible. In all, the 2015-2019 Capital Plan includes over $125 million for accessibility on the R Subway line. The first contract for these accessibility projects will be awarded later this year by the MTA.

“This station opening is a huge benefit for Bay Ridge, delivering subway customers new tools to manage their commute, including countdown clocks, Wi-Fi connectivity and USB ports, as well as an enhanced station with better lighting, improved signage and new art,” said MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota. “We are also proud to announce that our newly amended Capital Plan now includes new funding for four fully accessible, ADA-compliant stations in Bay Ridge - which will deliver a level of accessibility to this neighborhood that has never existed before."?

The Enhanced Station Initiative (ESI) program builds upon a larger campaign aimed at improving the New York City Transit system. The MTA is undertaking component and renewal work at more than 170 other stations. This station was completed under a design-build contract which designates a single team to be responsible for the design and construction of an entire project. Design-build ensures seamless coordination between all contractors on a project so that work is completed in the shortest possible time frame. The MTA is utilizing design-build for all 33 stations that are a part of this initiative.

The station also includes new mosaic artwork, commissioned by MTA Arts & Design. Artist Katy Fischer has created abstract shapes that convey an expansive sense of time. Strata references local history using imagined artifacts inspired by objects that could have been unearthed during the Bay Ridge Avenue’s station’s excavation in the early 20th century. The hand-glazed ceramic forms evoke items such as bone fish hooks used by the Lenape, Delft pottery shards of early Dutch settlers, and Colonial era tools and shoe buckles. Tiffany vases and railroad spikes mark the transition from farmland to residential community with the arrival of the subway. To aid in wayfinding, the contrasting background colors refer to the cyclical rhythms of the daily commute.

Senator Marty Golden, Senate Representative on the MTA Capital Program Review Board: “The Enhanced Station Initiative is proving to be an effective strategy to improve subway stations and modernize our transit system. I am confident that commuters will greatly benefit from the enhanced lighting, countdown clocks, improved signage, Wi-Fi connectivity and security cameras. Additionally, after many discussions with the MTA I am proud to announce that their new capital plan includes funding for ADA compliance of local subway stations. When work is completed, it will be easier and safer for commuters with disabilities to utilize the 53rd, 77th, 86th and 95th Street Stations. Our community deserves a transit system that is reliable, safe and accessible for all New Yorkers. I want to thank MTA chairman Joe Lhota and his team for responding to the concerns of our community and taking action to improve and modify our transit system.”

Borough President Eric Adams: "I'm pleased to see the Bay Ridge Avenue R station reopen for the straphangers of Bay Ridge. Greater investment in our mass transit infrastructure is critically needed across our borough to advance the safety and reliability of service, and this design enhancement campaign is a step toward that larger imperative. Moreover, it is particularly appreciated that today’s announcement also comes with much-needed and long-overdue capital investment for accessibility projects at the 59th Street, 77th Street, 86th Street, and Bay Ridge - 95th Street stations along the R line. Improving transit access for seniors and people with disabilities across our borough has been a top priority of my administration, making this welcome news for me and for riders across southwest Brooklyn.”

Congressman Daniel M. Donovan, Jr.: "Today’s grand opening is great news for South Brooklyn commuters. The MTA did great work on this station redesign to improve the commuting experience, and I thank my friend, MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, for his leadership. In addition to the Bay Ridge station upgrades, the MTA is also improving accessibility for other South Brooklyn subway stops, ensuring all of our friends and neighbors can use mass transit.” Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz: "Today's station reopening at Bay Ridge Avenue marks another step in the redevelopment of our mass transit system, I am also very happy to report that the MTA approved an investment in their MTA capital budget for ADA Accessibility in the following stations along the R Line Stops, 59th, 77th, 86th, and 95th Street. We still have a long way to go to improve our subways, and I look forward to working with MTA Chairman Joe Lhota on those improvements.”

Council Member Vincent J. Gentile: "Today, after six months of work by the MTA, we can announce the re-opening of the newly renovated Bay Ridge Avenue subway station. And, while we celebrate the redesign and new amenities, we remain committed to working with the MTA to fix ongoing issues"

Assemblymember Pamela Harris: “The Bay Ridge Avenue station is a critical connection point that connects residents to the rest of the city. The renovations to this station were overdue and will ensure the people of Bay Ridge have a safe and comfortable transportation option. I applaud everyone involved with this project, including MTA Chair Joe Lhota for delivering for the people of Bay Ridge."