Riders looking to transfer from the N line to the D train at the New Utrecht Avenue/62nd Street subway station for many years faced a lengthy hike up several staircases that was similar to climbing up four flights.
The multi-level station in Borough Park now has four elevators to take passengers from the N train all the way up to the D train and vice versa.
The MTA unveiled the elevators last week as MTA New York City Transit President Andy Byford visited the station and announced a number of improvements designed to make the subway station more accessible to riders with physical disabilities and senior citizens with mobility issues.
In addition to installing elevators, the MTA renovated the platforms on the N train portion of the station and rehabilitated the station entrances and turnstile areas. The agency also built new stairways and handrails, repaired the canopy and columns, installed brighter lighting and gave the station a fresh coat of paint.
The New Utrecht Avenue/62nd Street station opened in 1915.
Together with the elevators, the new features mean that the station is now fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the MTA.
“The new elevators at New Utrecht Avenue move us in the right direction as we work to make the subway system increasingly accessible,” Byford said in a statement. “We are committed to improving accessibility at a faster rate than ever before, and just over the past year in Brooklyn alone we have several accessibility projects that are recently completed or currently underway.”
Alex Elegudin, NYC Transit’s senior accessibility adviser, called the new elevators “a huge win” for riders. “Making this important station complex accessible helps maximize our investment because it serves two subway lines as an express stop and benefits thousands of customers every day,” he said.
Victor Calise, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, said transportation accessibility “is critical to ensuring that people with disabilities can access everything that New York City has to offer.”
The MTA has spent nearly $5 billion to make subway stations accessible, including $1.4 billion in the 2015-19 capital program, according to the agency. The 2015-2019 capital program includes an additional $479 million to replace 42 existing elevators and 27 escalators in stations around the city.
Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, a Democrat whose district covers Sunset Park and Red Hook but also includes parts of Borough Park, said he was pleased to see the new elevators at the New Utrecht Avenue/62nd Street station.
“These upgrades will go a long way to making our subways accessible to everyone, and I commend the MTA on completing these upgrades before the end of the summer. Borough Park residents, and New Yorkers generally, will benefit greatly from these upgrades and I look forward to expanded access to all stations one day,” Menchaca said.