March 2, 2021 By Allie Griffin
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has completed accessibility upgrades at the Manhattan-bound side of the Court Square- 23rd Street subway station, the agency announced Tuesday.
The entrance to the E/M line platform — on the Manhattan-bound side — has been outfitted with a new elevator, ramp, wheelchair access gate, turnstiles and a widened staircase. The MTA plans to make the Queens-bound side of the E/M platform ADA-accessible in the future — as part of its 2020-2024 Capital Plan.
The newly completed accessible entrance was built by the developers of the adjacent Skyline Tower, a new residential skyscraper at 23-15 44th Dr., as part of a MTA external partner program.
“This is a great example of how the MTA is harnessing the private sector to assist in the rollout of full systemwide accessibility,” said Quemuel Arroyo, MTA Chief Accessibility Officer. “I like this a lot. I want to see more projects like this.”
The developers — United Construction & Development Group, FSA Capital and Risland US Holdings LLC — financed and built the accessibility upgrades at the station, with oversight and guidance from the MTA.
“Skyline Tower’s ownership group is excited to see the expansion of the Court Sq-23 St subway station open to Long Island City locals and visitors alike,” said Louis Yu, Project General Manager at Risland US Holdings LLC.
“The Court Square neighborhood will greatly benefit from the newly-accessible subway station, and future Skyline Tower residents will enjoy even easier access to and from Manhattan,” Yu added.
The Court Square complex is comprised of three stations — one that services the E/M line; another for the 7 train; as well as one for the G train.
In 2011, the station complex was expanded with a transfer area linking the E/M, 7 and G lines.
The transfer area has three ADA-accessible elevators, as well as two escalators and several stairways.
A future developer will partner with the MTA to build an elevator connecting the Manhattan-bound E/M platform to the rest of the station complex.
The MTA said it remains committed to increasing its number of fully ADA-compliant stations — including the Manhattan-bound Court Square-23rd Street station — despite the financial challenge imposed by the pandemic.
The agency has received $8 billion in federal aid, but needs further funds to allow its entire 2020-2024 capital plan to be completed.