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REMINDER: MTA to Begin Construction on Accessibility Project at Queensboro Plaza; Four Weekends of 7 Line Closures

New York City Transit
Updated February 2, 2023 4:00 p.m.
rendering of Queensboro Plaza ADA improvement project

Project will Add Two Elevators and Other Accessibility Enhancements

 Line Service to be Suspended Between 34 St-Hudson Yards and Queensboro Plaza for Four Weekends This Winter and Spring; Free Shuttle Buses Provided

 Line Service Outage Begins 4 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, through 10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26 

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today issued a reminder that it will begin construction this weekend to install two elevators to make the Queensboro Plaza a fully accessible station. This includes an elevator at the southern entrance of the station and an elevator between the mezzanine and the two platforms. The station is a busy transfer point in Queens that served approximately 88,500 this past fall – this estimate includes both customers who swipe in at this station and those who are transferring between the  and . The work will be completed in phases and will require weekends of service changes beginning with service outages on the  line at 4 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 and later, in May, on the  line. 

Queensboro Plaza is a station with high ridership and in the center of a rapidly growing neighborhood, rendering it a complex construction project, involving work to be done over the busy, 11–lane wide approach to the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, two of which are bike lanes. This project is also in coordination with the construction of a redundant accessible entrance on the north side of the station under a Zoning for Accessibility (ZFA) project. 

“The improvements coming to Queensboro Plaza will greatly benefit tens of thousands of riders,” said NYC Transit President Richard Davey. “Accessibility is such an integral part of mass transit, especially for a city like New York where mass transit is essential for many. When complete, the project will provide critical accessibility upgrades, security updates, and customer experience improvements throughout the station.” 

“Building in dense urban environments, with infrastructure that dates back more than 100 years, is complex and challenging,” said MTA Construction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer. “But making our system accessible is essential and so we are finding creative ways to meet that challenge. Queensboro Plaza is a perfect example, taking advantage of private investment to maximize the benefit for riders while minimizing cost to the MTA.” 

"So many of our customers will benefit from the new elevators, which will provide an accessible entrance to the station, as well as an accessible transfer at this crucial Queens connection," said MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo. “Riders with disabilities, caregivers with strollers, visitors with luggage, and many others rely on elevators. Beginning work on another new station brings us one step closer to a fully accessible system." 

On Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, Jamie Torres-Springer and Deputy Chief of Staff Cathy Li delivered a presentation on the costs and complexities of MTA infrastructure projects, including the challenges of building elevators in often constrained spaces. For remarks directly related to elevator accessibility projects, see here

About the Project 
The project being carried out by the MTA consists of building of two elevators, one connecting the street and mezzanine level and another connecting the mezzanine to both platforms. The project will also consist of: 

  • Expansion of the mezzanine by approx. 50 sq ft, improving customer flow within the station
  • New lighting for the expanded mezzanine
  • Updates to the pedestrian bridge
  • New boarding areas compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with new platform edges
  • Upgrades to existing street and station stairs to current ADA standards

The project for building an accessible entrance on the south side is budgeted for $74 million and is expected to be complete by the third quarter of 2024. The station’s accessibility upgrade will be complemented with security and communication enhancements with upgrades to the fire alarm system, installation of a new security camera system, a new public address system, and digital information screens, offering better communication with clearer announcements and greater access to information via screens. 

The Queensboro Plaza accessibility project is one of many improvements coming to the line, across Manhattan and Queens, as outlined in a December 2022 press release

Details on Service Changes 
For six weekends this Winter and early Spring, the   line will be shut down between Queensboro Plaza and 34 St-Hudson Yards in Manhattan. Customers can transfer to/from the  at 74 St-Broadway or to/from the   at Queensboro Plaza for service between Manhattan and Queens. 

Free shuttle buses will be provided between Queensboro Plaza and Vernon Blvd – Jackson Av, and between Times Square and 34 St-Hudson Yards. The Grand Central Shuttle will operate all night and  service will run Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. between Astoria-Ditmars Blvd and 34 St-Herald Square in addition to service. 

These service changes will be in effect from 4 a.m. Saturday, February 25 until 10 p.m. Sunday of the following weekends: 

  • Feb. 11 – Feb. 12
  • Feb. 25 – Feb. 26
  • Mar. 11 – Mar. 12
  • Mar. 25 – Mar. 26
  • Apr. 22 – Apr. 23

Additional weekend service changes are anticipated later this year and in 2024. Customers are advised to sign up the MTA Weekender, a weekly newsletter sent every Friday to inform customers of weekend service changes throughout the transit system. Customer service notifications will also be available on the MTA website, the MYmta app and social media. 

More on Queensboro Plaza’s Zoning for Accessibility-Funded Project 
In addition to building a fully accessible entrance on the south side at the Queensboro Plaza station, in August 2022, the MTA and New York City Department of City Planning announced the City Planning Commission authorization of an accessible entrance on the station's north side through the Zoning for Accessibility (ZFA) program, anticipated to be completed by 2025. The north side entrance will be financed, constructed, and maintained by the developer of 25-01 Queens Plaza North under the Zoning for Accessibility’s transit improvement bonus program, saving the MTA millions of dollars in construction and maintenance costs. 

The building of an accessible entrance on the Queensboro Plaza north side is the second transit improvement bonus approved by the City Planning Commission (CPC) under ZFA, which enables developers to improve access to public transit in the busiest areas of the city in exchange for an increase in their building’s density. To learn more about Zoning for Accessibility, visit https://new.mta.info/accessibility/zoning-for-accessibility.