MTA to Install Wide-Gate Turnstiles in Subway for Passengers who Use Wheelchairs
By Yehudit Garmaise
To provide easier entry to the subway for passengers who use wheelchairs, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will start to test “wide-aisle” fare gates at four subway stations this spring.
Currently, subway riders who use wheelchairs must enter through one of 200 “AutoGates,” but advocates say that the wider gates are a giant step toward allowing people with disabilities to use the system the same way as everyone else, amny.com reported.
The MTA’s new wide entry gates, which open from the middle and then fan out, not only allow for all subway riders to more easily get to the trains, but could possibly prevent the many scofflaws who jump the turnstiles to avoid paying their fares.
The first of the MTA’s 472 subway stations to receive the entry gate upgrades, which only can be paid via OMNY, will be the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center, the Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue in Queens, and Penn Station and the Bowling Green station in Manhattan.
The MTA chose the first four stations to receive the wide-gate entries due to their high volumes of passenger traffic, Quemuel Arroyo, the MTA’s chief accessibility officer, announced on Tuesday.
“We are finally installing those gates this year,” said Arroyo, who added that the MTA will go on to install 200 more this year, before updating the rest of the 268 stations in the next few years to come. “This is the first time that the MTA is changing their fare array and how our customers access our systems.