MTA Press Releases

Press Release
November 25, 2020
MTA Announces Completion of 191 St Elevator Replacement Two Months Ahead of Schedule

Early Completion Allows Early Start on Elevator Replacement at 181 St 1 Subway Station

Part of Elevator Replacement Project at Five Deep Stations in Upper Manhattan

See Photos of the 191 St Elevators

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the completion of the elevator replacement at the 191 St 1 Subway station two months ahead of schedule. The early completion is allowing the Authority to accelerate the elevator replacement at the 181 St 1 Subway station, which is scheduled to begin on Dec. 5, well ahead of its originally scheduled March 2021 start date.

The project completion comes at a time when the MTA forecasts a deficit of $16 billion through 2024 and is urgently asking Congress for $12 billion in emergency aid in its next COVID-19 relief package. In the absence of the needed federal funding, the Authority has suspended awarding new capital contracts except for those that are funded under previous programs or make use of use-it-or-lose-it federal dollars.

The replacement work at these stations are part of the broader elevator replacement work at five separate “deep” stations in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan—168 St, 181 St, 191 St on the 1 Subway line; 181 St and 190 St on the A Subway line. For many customers there, the elevators are utilized both for accessing the subway as well as more easily traversing the neighborhood’s unique, steep topography.

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working safely and getting projects done, and in many cases - like here at 191st Street - getting them done ahead of schedule,” said Janno Lieber, President of MTA Construction & Development. “We need the federal government to provide critical funding so the MTA can execute the historic 2020-2024 capital plan and continue to complete more of these projects faster and less expensively than ever before.”

The MTA announced the early completion of the 168 St elevator replacement in Dec. 2019. On the A Subway line, the 181 St elevator replacement was completed on schedule and reopened on Aug. 3. The final A Subway line station, 190 St, is in progress; the station remains open for passenger service and the elevators are scheduled to reopen in September 2021.

The work at 181 St 1 Subway will be the final station in this project and includes:

  • Full replacement of four elevators and machine room equipment
  • New real-time elevator status reporting technology to improve incident response time
  • Battery back-up system to allow customers to exit an elevator even during a power outage
  • Installation of CCTV and fire alarms (two cameras per elevator)
  • Adding direct access to the northbound platform from the new elevators

The 181 St station opened in 1906 and is listed on the U.S. Register of Historic Places. Elevators in the station reach a depth of 122 feet below ground.

Bus Service Options for 181 St Project

The 181 St Station will be closed during construction. To accommodate affected customers the MTA has outlined a robust alternative bus service travel plan. Customers wishing to travel to the 181 St station should use the M3 bus, which operates 24/7. NYC Transit will monitor customer volume and will provide additional bus service between 168 St and 191 St stations. Customers can also use the M101 if they are traveling on Amsterdam Av.

Northbound M3 buses will not stop at 181 St due to the construction site. Customers looking to get off at that stop should use the stops at 179 St or 184 St instead. Bx3 and Bx36 customers traveling towards the Bronx will get off at the Bx11-Bx13-Bx35 stop on the southwest corner of 181 St and St. Nicholas Ave.

Full schedules and additional information on the project are available here.