Helping to bring world-class subway stations to a world-class city.
THE STATION ALLIANCE is a non-profit, privately funded organization established to improve the environment of New York City’s subway stations. Our goal is to identify ways to upgrade the condition of the stations and strategies to provide long term funding for those changes through a variety of sources—local partnerships, retail operations, sponsorships, donations and improved technology.
THE STATION ALLIANCE will engage design, engineering and corporate communities and the public to find innovative ways to make stations more inviting for New Yorkers and visitors.
In 2014, the New York City Subway system will turn 110 years old. Along with the metro lines in London and Paris, it is one of the oldest systems in the world.
One of the great engineering marvels of its time it has more track (659 miles) and more stations (468) than any system in the world.
It is a lifeline for millions of New Yorkers to commute to work, shop and play. And to tens of millions of visitors from around the world. Few things define the daily experience of New Yorkers more than their ride on the subway.
Keeping this extraordinary transportation network up to date is a staggering task. The MTA has spent billions on improvements: track replacement, signal system overhauls, new cars, wi-fi service, countdown clocks, and more. But stations have lagged behind and are in dire need of attention, ideas, and investment that will make them not only safe and accessible, but beautiful, welcoming, delighting, and inspiring.
The Station Alliance is an endeavor by engaged and concerned New York City residents to improve the physical environments of the City’s 468 subway stations for the citizens of New York. The Station Alliance is established with the mission of exploring and implementing creative and cost-effective ideas for station cleaning, capital improvements, and rider engagement, as well as establishing ongoing revenue sources to achieve this mission. The Alliance will work with New York City Transit to achieve the goals of establishing a new quality standard for station environments, mapping a course to success, and ensuring the program’s long-term financial sustainability.
New York has a successful tradition of private organizations strengthening public institutions: The Friends of the High Line, Central Park Conservancy, and dozens of Business Improvement Districts. The Station Alliance goal is to locate and provide the external support New York Needs to help its subway stations catch up to those in other major cities in the US and around the world. The MTA is on board with their support and cooperation.
Engaging the Creativity of New York
The opportunities for improvement are endless: Upgraded maintenance, renovations, 21st century design, services and up-to-the minute information and more are all possible.
In order to achieve this, The Station Alliance will initially focus on well-designed rider amenities and technology that will make stations responsive to everyday needs and also generate revenue to finance physical improvements.
Recent changes show that there is an appetite for innovative elements in the stations: The countdown clocks that indicate when the next train is coming are the most popular recent innovation. And the attractive new On-the-Go interactive informational kiosks are rating very high with riders as well. Small things can make a big difference.
As a first step, the Station Alliance will launch a pilot project that will introduce some new ideas in select stations, see how riders like them and ask for feedback. This is still in the planning stage and decisions have not been made on specific interventions, but we are exploring a number of areas: digital maps, phone charging stations, information and shopping technology, lighting and more. We will invite feedback from riders to find out what they like and don’t like. It’s the opening conversation in what we hope will be a long and productive undertaking.