MTA reopens refurbished elevators at Jamaica Center transit hub

Newly refurbished elevators have reopened in the Jamaica Center subway hub providing better accessibility to commuters. (Photo courtesy of MTA)

Commuters passing through the Jamaica Center subway hub will get a lift this holiday season following the reopening of two elevators that have been closed down since June.

The completely refurbished elevators at the Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer EJZ station include modernized equipment to increase reliability and a smoother ride; new security cameras and fire alarm systems; and structural repairs to the cabs and machine rooms, the MTA announced on Friday, Dec. 10.

“Accessibility is of critical importance to the ridership across the city and particularly in downtown Jamaica, where development is happening at a rapid pace,” state Senator Leroy Comrie said. “Our seniors, the mobility impaired and everyday commuters will benefit from the newly restored elevators, especially with the holidays fast approaching. I commend the MTA for taking the opportunity to use economies of scale to upgrade and modernize the Jamaica Center station infrastructure in a cost-efficient manner by bundling multiple projects.”

The work at Jamaica Center was part of a larger project to replace 11 hydraulic elevators in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

“It is only proper that one of the nation’s largest transportation hubs is appropriately fitted for accessibility, ensuring that all community members including seniors and persons with disabilities are able to access the Jamaica Center station,” Councilman I. Daneek Miller said. “This is another key upgrade to address transit issues in southeast Queens and support the renaissance of downtown Jamaica.”

The MTA also announced that work to install a new elevator at the Sutphin Blvd-Archer A/JFK Airport station has begun and is expected to be completed in June. The station will remain open, but there will be no elevator access to the platform, so riders are encouraged to use the newly reopened elevators at Jamaica Center.

“Although many challenges are still to be faced as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, a key piece of those needs continues to be infrastructure,” Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman said. “Working elevators are key to not only serve riders, but to help increase the effectiveness and reliable needs of access for both able and non-able-bodied riders. The restored elevators are just another great example of all the hard work the MTA is providing for the city of New York and specifically riders in Jamaica, Queens.”

MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemel Arroyo said that keeping elevators reliable is a key component of station accessibility.

“These newly refurbished elevators will improve the experience at this station for customers with mobility disabilities, and the many others who pass through this intermodal hub with luggage, strollers, bicycles and more,” Arroyo said.

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