MTA unveils ‘stunning’ $30M staircase at Times Square subway station

Transit officials on Monday unveiled a new staircase and entryway at the Times Square subway station that they said cost the transit authority a cool $30 million to build.

MTA CEO Janno Lieber said the “stunning… first class” 15-foot wide staircase at the “center” of Broadway Plaza at 43rd Street Street would provide tourists and others with a clear path in and out of the “Crossroads of the World.”

The new staircase is 450 square feet bigger than its predecessor, which was also not as centrally located, Lieber said.

“It was so inconvenient. You saw so many tourists coming down there and being disoriented. Not anymore,” he said of the previous, narrower stairway. “The new entrance provides direct access to Times Square.”

The project also included a new $10 million elevator from the street to the mezzanine, which was paid for by Jameston, which owns 1 Times Square. Elevator users can access the platforms via a different elevator from the mezzanine that opened last year, officials said.

Taxpayers and riders are on the hook for the $30 million cost of the staircase, street-level canopy, expanded turnstile area, 18 new close-caption surveillance cameras and a mosaic by the artist Nick Cave, officials said.

A view of the new entrance at Times Sq-42 St.
Metropolitan Transportation Authorities
MTA staircase
The new staircase is 450 square feet bigger than the previous stairs.
Metropolitan Transportation Authorities

The 4,600-square foot artwork is the largest mosaic in the subway system, officials said.

New York’s transit projects are among the most expensive in the world, according to international experts.

But MTA President of Construction and Development Jamie Torres-Springer on Monday touted the new Times Square entrance at “$8 million under-budget and on time.”

“The project is a great example of how MTA has been making the most of lower ridership during COVID to transform the system and expedite the projects that make a real difference in daily commutes,” Torres-Springer said.

“All of this work gets done while running the busiest station complex in the system, under the busiest public gathering space in the world.”