During a board meeting back in February of this year, MTA chief accessibility officer Quemuel Arroyo announced the arrival of “wide-aisle” turnstiles that would be installed in NYC’s subway system beginning this year, and the first ones have officially been unveiled in Jamaica, Queens!
Yesterday, on December 4th, the new fare gates were installed at Sutphin Boulevard–Archer Avenue–JFK Airport (E, J, Z).
NYC Transit President Richard Davey stated:
NYC Transit’s North Star is improving the customer experience, and we are doing just that at Sutphin Blvd by introducing new, easier to access, fare gates and by opening our 14th Customer Service Center. Customers traveling to and from JFK with their luggage, commuters transferring from the LIRR at Jamaica, and local commuters can look forward to faster, more accessible journeys, and a more welcoming station environment.
The new fare gates replace the emergency exit gate at that end of the station, which was a major contributor to subway fare evasion.
Rather than straphangers having to push through a rolling turnstile entrance, the wider gates instead open from the middle out, making entry into the subway system not only easier for those in wheelchairs, but for those with bikes, strollers, and luggage as well.
The first wide-aisle turnstiles were introduced back in 2021, when MTA officials announced a $25 million budget to install the wider gates at 200+ stations over the course of the next few years.
This is the first full installation of the new gates following a pilot at Atlantic Av-Barclays Center subway station in March 2023.
With all the changes coming to the NYC subway–such as new customer service centers and new R211 cars being introduced–it’s about time NYC implemented wider turnstiles into the system. These types of turnstiles already exist in places including Washington DC, San Francisco, and London.
The turnstiles will be installed next at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center station.