TIMES SQUARE, New York City (WABC) -- The MTA on Monday unveiled a new accessible subway entrance in Times Square.
The entrance includes a new elevator to increase ADA accessibility, a top priority for the NYC Transit Authority.
The entrance right off Broadway Plaza has a 15-foot wide staircase, and once inside, a 4,600-square-foot mosaic, new signage, lighting and more artwork as you head toward the Shuttle train. The original artwork was done by Nick Cave.
The accessible elevator is the first of its kind in the subway, equipped with two-way communication.
"That means riders who are deaf have a means to communicate with us, and riders who don't have the ability to speak can also engage with us," MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo said.
It is all part of the 42nd Street Connection Project, which also focused on improving parts of Grand Central and Sixth Avenue.
Officials say the work, done during the pandemic, is critical to the recovery and revival of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and theaters in the area.
"It's not only going to help our businesses, but all the people who work throughout the five boroughs in our businesses making sure they are getting to work and coming home though a beautiful station," NYC Hospitality Alliance Executive Director Andrew Rigie said.
Freshening up a station with impressive artwork is one thing, but people are still concerned with their safety. And with ridership still down roughly 40%, some question if this is what's needed now.
"All of us are seeing the mayor's commitment to putting cops on platforms and trains," MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber said. "Suddenly there's a significant number of people who do bad things who are being collared."
And helping with that effort is 18 new security cameras.
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