The Sutphin Boulevard — Archer Avenue — JFK Airport subway...

The Sutphin Boulevard — Archer Avenue — JFK Airport subway station links to the Long Island Rail Road’s Jamaica station, and the AirTrain, above, that goes to Kennedy Airport. Credit: Corey Sipkin

The first “truly modern” fare gates in the New York City subway system are now in service in Jamaica, Queens, letting riders more easily access the LIRR or the JFK AirTrain while traveling with a wheelchair, stroller, or luggage, MTA officials said Monday.

The new “wide aisle fare gates” were among several improvements unveiled Monday at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Sutphin Boulevard/Archer Avenue/JFK Airport station, which links to the Long Island Rail Road’s Jamaica station and the AirTrain.

The devices, which replace traditional turnstiles, allow riders through gates that automatically open upon payment of the fare. The gates were originally tested in Atlantic Terminal in March, but are being fully deployed for the first time in Jamaica.

MTA chief accessibility officer Quemuel Arroyo said the upgrades demonstrate the agency’s commitment to accessibility, which he said was especially important at a station “that serves as the entry point for many people visiting New York for the first time.”

Arroyo said the MTA’s “vision of accessibility goes well beyond elevators and ramps. It is about people who use mobility devices, but also those riders that are traveling with children in strollers, bikes, and, of course, luggage.”

MTA officials said the devices will also help them combat the persistent problem of fare evasion, which costs the transit authority nearly $700 million a year. Because people with wheelchairs, strollers and luggage can use the new gates, there will be less use of traditional emergency gates — through which fare evaders frequently pass when they spot them open, officials said.

MTA officials said they will evaluate the performance of the new fare gates at Jamaica, and consider installing them at more stations in the coming months. Separately, the agency plans to solicit ideas from potential bidders on high-tech fare gates or turnstiles that can deter fare beaters and, one day, be rolled out through the entire subway system.

“I don’t think I’ve seen technology that’s perfect in any city, frankly. But this is obviously going a long way to improving our current turnstile system,” New York City Transit president Richard Davey said. “If someone is a determined fare evader, I think that’s tough to beat under any circumstances. But I think the vast majority of folks are not.”

Davey also took the opportunity Monday to fire back at Rep. Mike Lawler (R-Pearl River) and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Fort Lee), who held a news conference outside a Manhattan restaurant Wednesday to discuss how the MTA’s congestion pricing plan will hurt small businesses. Gottheimer said the plan, which could charge most vehicles $15 for driving below 60th Street, will “stick it not just to New Jersey . . . but to their very own New Yorkers.”

Davey called the assertion “absurd” and “flatly wrong,” especially as the majority of people visiting small businesses in Manhattan, he said, take public transportation.

Suffolk Ramadan security … Shootings down, larcenies down … Maple sugaring Credit: Newsday

Charges in Hempstead homicide ... NYC congestion pricing ... Wyandanch library custodian fired ... Yankees spring training 

Suffolk Ramadan security … Shootings down, larcenies down … Maple sugaring Credit: Newsday

Charges in Hempstead homicide ... NYC congestion pricing ... Wyandanch library custodian fired ... Yankees spring training 

Latest videos

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months
ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME