MTA Seeks Subway Station Proposals

The MTA announced today that it is seeking proposals for work on 4 subway stations in Manhattan. Here is more via the press release I received:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has issued a Request for Proposals for four reimagined stations in Manhattan: 163 St C Train, Cathedral Parkway (110 St) B Train C Train; 86 St B Train C Train; and 72 St B Train C Train. The stations are part of an ambitious program to undertake extensive renovations at 33 stations on subway lines across the city.

“These four stations are part of an initiative that represents a fundamental transformation for how the MTA does business, and deals with its customers,” MTA Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim said.  “Rather than doing a few component repairs, and stretching the work out over nights and weekends, we are taking a new top to bottom approach, renovating stations to bring customers a dramatically enhanced experience, and providing them with the tools they need for a better commute.  This includes countdown clocks, Wi-Fi, USB ports, more intuitive way-finding, and better lighting.  We are also embracing more rapid time frames, using temporary station closures to enable our contractors to get in, get the work done fast, and get out as quickly as possible.”

Station enhancements will include: 

  • Improved signage for easier navigation, including digital, real-time train arrival information at subway entrances, before customers even enter the station;
  • Informational totems at street level and dashboards in the control areas and on platforms;
  • Inclusion of amenities, such as improved cellular connectivity, new art, as well as security cameras;
  • New LED light fixtures throughout the stations;
  • New terracotta tile at entrances;
  • LED handrails at entrances;
  • A new canopy at street level and granite flooring on the mezzanine at the 110 St Station;
  • USB ports and Wi-Fi;
  • New tactile warning strip at platform edges;
  • Glass barrier at fare array;
  • Removal of paint from ceilings at all stations;
  • Renovations will also consider the architectural legacy of each station, and remain sensitive to historical elements as the stations undergo redesign.

State of Good Repair

In addition to the new amenities and features, the top-to-bottom renovation will also involve state of good repair renewals of concrete, steel, waterproofing, paint and repair of existing entrance railings and refurbished stairs.

Get In, Get Done, Get Out

At the start of the projects, minor construction activities will be performed while the stations remain operational. However, in order to fast track the renovations, the stations will be temporarily closed, enabling the contractor to get in, get the work done, and get out in the shortest possible time frame. Contractors are incentivized to keep closures as short as possible. All major construction will be completed during the closures, and a contractor’s ability to limit the duration of closures will be a major factor in awarding contracts. Work at all four stations is slated for completion within 14 months of the date of award.

Other Stations in Initiative

The announcement follows the March 27th commencement of work on the first station in the initiative, 53 St in Brooklyn. Other stations in the program include Prospect Av, and Bay Ridge Av, on the R Train line in Brooklyn; and Broadway, 30 Av, 36 Av, and 39Av stations on Astoria N Train W Train  Line in Queens. The program will include a total of 33 stations on subway lines across the city.

Initial Announcement of Station Design Plan

Governor Cuomo unveiled the ambitious design plan for stations during a July 2016 event at the Transit Museum in Brooklyn, and the MTA issued a Request for Proposals for the first three stations in the program: Prospect Av, 53 St, and Bay Ridge Av. At the completion of the project, the station enhancements will be distributed across the five boroughs. Renderings of the station enhancements are available here.

Design Build Contracts

At the direction of the Governor, the MTA is using design-build contracts for all of the stations. Design-build contracts place construction in the hands of private construction firms with the expertise to assure successful construction that is completed within the shortest possible time frame. The contractor assumes the risk for cost overruns and maintaining time schedules. A single team is responsible for both the design and construction of an entire project in order to ensure that coordination is seamless.

Design Consultants

In developing the standards for the reimagined stations, the MTA worked with distinguished and world-renowned design consultants who possess extensive experience creating transit facilities. The lead designers, Grimshaw Architects, and Arup, both with offices in London and New York – spearheaded the stations’ initiative.

xoxo Transit Blogger


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