Last Friday, customers finally got to use the elevators, two from the street to the mezzanine and two from the mezzanine to the platform level. They are located at Columbus Triangle and Hoyt Playground, which are at opposite ends of the station.
The lifts are a prominent new addition to the Astoria Boulevard stop, which was closed from March to December last year for reconstruction.
The renovation project included rebuilding the mezzanine to make it more modern and shallower, reinforcing street columns supporting the station, replacing the platform roof and canopies, redoing the walkways and installing new platform edges.
The stair enclosures were replaced with glass and new artwork was added at the station.
“The long wait for subway elevators at Astoria Boulevard is finally over,” State Senator Michael Gianaris said. “While there is more to be done to have a truly accessible subway system, today’s achievement is a step forward for all transit passengers.”
In July 2018, Gianaris released a report that claimed New York City’s subway system is last when it comes to accessibility. According to the report, there were only 111 ADA-accessible stations out of 469 total stops, good for just 23 percent.
Twenty-four percent of N train stops were accessible, while just 17 percent of W train stations were accessible.
In the report, Gianaris noted that mass transit systems in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Miami and Los Angeles all have 100 percent accessible subway stations.
Colin Wright, a senior advocacy associate at Transit Center, said in a statement that it’s up to the governor and the MTA to make every subway station accessible.
“The elevators at Astoria Boulevard opening today will give neighborhood residents with disabilities, parents with strollers and older riders in Astoria more access to life in New York City,” he said.