The $28 million renovation of a Brooklyn train station has brought the Long Island Rail Road closer to the goal of making all its stations handicapped accessible, officials said Friday.
LIRR officials and Bedford Stuyvesant community leaders on Friday formally introduced the newly renovated Nostrand Avenue station. The station — one of three on the LIRR’s Brooklyn line — received several upgrades in the project, which began in 2017, including new platform canopies, staircases, digital information boards and an art installation composed of 85 colorful glass panels.
Among the most significant additions to the elevated station, which is used by about 1,300 riders each weekday, are two new elevators.
“That means this station will truly be accessible for the first time for all who live, who work and travel through this thriving neighborhood,” LIRR president Phillip Eng said.
With the improvements, 106 of the LIRR’s 124 stations are now accessible. Two others — Murray Hill and Floral Park — are also undergoing renovations that include the addition of elevators. Seven more are in line for accessibility upgrades as part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s 2020-24 Capital Program.
“These kinds of investment don’t just make our neighborhood accessible to customers with disabilities, but it makes them more family friendly and walkable,” said New York City Council member Robert Cornegy Jr., who uses the station to travel with his family to getaways on Fire Island. “You can imagine us dragging luggage and coolers up and down the stairs.”
Eng said the Nostrand Avenue enhancements also support efforts to boost “reverse commuting” to and from jobs on Long Island. Although reverse commuters make up just a small part of the LIRR’s 91 million annual riders, Eng said they are expected to grow as capacity improvement projects such as East Side Access and the Third Track between Floral Park and Hicksville take hold.
“Anything the railroad can do to get more people out to the Island, help businesses grow, help bring the future leaders out to the Island, is something we’re excited to be contributing toward,” Eng said.