MTA Press Releases

Press Release
November 9, 2020
MTA Unveils New Fully Accessible Station in Brooklyn

59 St nr Station in Sunset Park Features Three New Elevators, Improved Security and Fire Systems

Work Finished Early as Part of Efforts to Accelerate Key Projects During Lower Pandemic Ridership
See Photos of Elevators and New Station Elements 
See Video of Press Conference 

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) was joined by local officials today to announce the completion of vital work to bring three fully ADA accessible elevators to the 59 St nr station in Brooklyn. In addition to the elevators, crews expanded the mezzanine and built new stairs at the Sunset Park subway station. The project also includes a new public address speaker system and new fire alarms among other upgrades. Associated street-level and station finishes will be completed by the end of this year. 


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. With Federal uncertainty looming, 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. 


“This is yet another crucial project that makes the subway system more accessible to more people at more places,” said Janno Lieber, President of MTA Construction & Development. “The federal government stepping up to deliver funds to the MTA will enable us to make the largest investment in accessibility in the history of the system. Before the pandemic, we had planned to begin accessibility upgrades at 39 stations this year as part of the 70-station plan we set forth in our 2020-2024 Capital Plan. Right now, how quickly we can fulfill that plan depends on the federal government taking swift action and we are hopeful a new administration will do just that.” 


“This is another momentous day for New York City Transit. We are still in the throes of a devastating pandemic, but we have to continue thinking about what this system will look like when we get to the other side of this crisis,” said New York City Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg. “At the heart of that future is making the system as accessible as possible so that all New Yorkers can benefit from mass transit.” 


“I am incredibly pleased to see the MTA’s continued commitment to elevator openings and other accessibility improvements,” said Victor Calise, MTA Board Member and Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. “The 59 St station can now serve all riders, including those with disabilities, and I look forward to continuing to work with the MTA to increase access throughout the entire transit system.” 


“The new 59 St station elevators and expanded mezzanine will help many older New Yorkers in Sunset Park fully access their community’s services and help them age in place,” said Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, MTA Board Member and Commissioner of the New York City Department for the Aging. “Having accessibility helps many people in the community, including older adults, people with disabilities and families with children in strollers. For older adults, it is key to help them age in place and continuing living in their community, to visit family, and enjoy all the cultural institutions our City has to offer. I would like to thank the MTA New York City Transit, our elected officials, and the Sunset Park community for their work and support in making this happen.”  


“The opening of these ADA compliant elevators at the 59 St nr station is a major step towards improving our city’s transit network,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. “This station is a central hub that links important parts of our city, including Sunset Park’s Ferry, as well as local hospitals. During this pandemic, it is critical that we improve readily available and safe public transit. Even during these difficult times, through changes to our infrastructure, we can open up countless paths through the city to the millions of commuters who need safe travel.” 


"These are not just upgrades to this station, but upgrades to the quality of transit for all our riders,” said State Senator Zellnor Myrie. “The improved ADA accessibility now offered at 59 St is another step towards a fairer and more inclusive New York. I am grateful to the MTA for prioritizing these improvements in Sunset Park." 


 “Sunset Park residents welcome the opening of our new ADA compliant elevators at the 59 Street nr train station,” said Assembly Member and Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz. “Elevator service is long overdue. It's critical that riders on the nr lines have access to ride our mass transit system and new elevators will help make a major difference. These lines connect our communities to downtown Brooklyn and all other parts of the city. I am pleased that we were able to fund MTA ADA compliant elevators through state funding approved by the legislature.” 


The work is part of a broader push aimed at taking advantage of low ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerating the timeline for completing key projects. It includes one mezzanine-to-street elevator and a pair or mezzanine-to-platform elevators and also expands the station’s northside mezzanine. By the end of next month, workers are expected to complete the construction of street curb cuts and station finishes.