New York City officials urge MTA to raise awareness about bathrooms in subway system

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Monday, April 22, 2024
NYC officials urge MTA to raise awareness about subway bathrooms
Darla Miles has more on the request for more awareness about subway bathrooms.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Manhattan borough president is asking the president of the MTA to make sure customers know about bathrooms throughout the transit system.

Before COVID, there were 133 bathrooms in the subway system and since renovations were done during the pandemic, 58 have reopened.

That includes 21 in Manhattan and Brooklyn, nine in Queens and seven in the Bronx.

Click here for a full list of subway bathrooms.

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine is concerned that customers don't know where they are or how to access them.

He sent a letter to New York City Transit President Richard Davey that said "access to public bathrooms remains an issue of equity, public health, sanitation, and transportation."

Levine praised the MTA for its work to open public restrooms that were closed during the pandemic, but now wants to make sure commuters know they can use them when in need.

Levine sent the request to Davey on Tuesday and recommended that the Transit Authority implement the following measures.

-Signage on subway platforms and/or at station entrances, along with wayfinding signage throughout the station to ensure that bathrooms are easy to find.

-Show which stations have bathrooms on display screens in the newest trains (R211A and R211Ts), alongside other station attributes like elevators and escalators that are already displayed.

-Add automated announcements when a train is arriving to a station with a bathroom, similar to and alongside the existing announcements for accessible stations and public safety. I also recommend that the MTA make available the following digital tools for customers:

-A subway station bathroom map, similar to resources the London Underground currently publish, including showing which bathrooms are ADA accessible.

-Add bathrooms to the station attributes in the new MTA app in both the Explore tab and when viewing routes and individual stations, like how ADA-accessible stations are currently displayed.

"We want them to be on subway maps, in subway car announcements and on the website, in the app," Levine said. "There should be all sorts of ways people know what stations have bathrooms and when they're open."

The MTA said it is reviewing the letter and the request.

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