A New York City subway train passes through a station. The train is in motion, blurring the image.

MTA New York City Transit Environmental Compliance Services


Our Client’s Challenge

As part of its plan to ensure that the New York City subway system is accessible to all, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is creating a stair-free path of travel at 95% of its currently inaccessible subway stations, including replacing 37 elevators and 21 escalators at 22 stations throughout the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

The replacements are critical for improving public safety and mobility, meeting modern building code requirements, and upgrading equipment for long-term reliability. Each station accessibility project must comply with state and federal agency regulations that assess its environmental impact and effect on the surrounding community.

Our Solution

Gannett Fleming provided environmental impact assessment services at the 22 stations, which included conducting National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) compliance reviews. We met aggressive schedule deadlines to contribute to the accessibility initiative’s timely completion.

Gannett Fleming completed categorical exclusion (CE) worksheets for each federally funded project and short environmental assessment forms for each state-funded project. Our work included compliance with other federal and state regulations under the NEPA or SEQRA umbrellas, such as Executive Order 12898 – Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice and the Clean Air Act.

Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act requires consideration for parks in developing transportation projects to minimize adverse effects on the property. In compliance with the act, we documented impact avoidance at parks within the boundaries of three stations.

Gannett Fleming conducted screenings to identify critical environmental issues and regulatory requirements, including coordinating coastal zone management with the New York State Department of State and the New York City Waterfront Revitalization Program. We also completed Federal Emergency Management Agency Policy 6.2 worksheets for locations within floodplain boundaries. Consideration was also given to adjacent land use and zoning, transportation and traffic, stormwater, community effects, and contaminated and hazardous materials.

Together with a historic preservation specialist, we achieved compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and Section 14.09 of the New York State Historic Preservation Act for stations classified as historic resources. We consulted with the State Historic Preservation Office to avoid or minimize potential adverse environmental effects.

Our team managed Federal Transit Administration (FTA) coordination, including facilitating project presentations and status meetings to obtain concurrence with our approach at project milestones. Using geographic information systems (GIS) to conduct analyses and prepare high-quality mapping and figures as supporting material facilitated a smooth federal review process. The FTA accepted the categorical exclusion documents without comments at the first review.

Key Features

  • Adherence to NEPA and SEQRA.
  • Environmental due diligence to identify and mitigate environmental risks.
  • Compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act and State Historic Preservation Act.
  • Assessment of coastal zone management, stormwater management, and hazardous materials.


  • Accessibility upgrades improved public mobility and safety.
  • Complying with floodplain management policies minimized harm to community parks.
  • Using GIS for detailed mapping and analysis supported a smooth federal review process.
  • Completing CE worksheets resulted in acceptance by the FTA without comments.

Awards & Recognition

  • Awards. This web part is hidden.


MTA New York City Transit


New York, N.Y.


Environmental Assessment

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