MTA installing LED lights in every NYC subway station

February 21, 2024

Image courtesy of Marc A. Hermann / MTA on Flickr

Bright LED lights will be installed in every New York City subway station in a new effort to make the system safer for commuters, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced this week. The project includes replacing all 150,000 fluorescent lights across the city’s subway system with LED lighting by the middle of 2026. Officials say the lights will enhance safety on the subway by brightening every platform and mezzanine and improving the visibility of the 15,000 security cameras found throughout the transit system.

Image courtesy of Marc A. Hermann / MTA on Flickr

LED lights have been installed at the Bergen Street, Carroll Street, and Lafayette Street stations. The MTA is set to install lights at the Clinton-Washington Avenues station on the A-line this week. Replacing all of the bulbs will cost the MTA roughly $21 million, but save the transit agency an estimated $5.9 million a year in energy and material cost savings, according to Gothamist.

“Riders are going to see a difference, it will be brighter. Your platforms, mezzanines, and staircases will now be lighter and brighter and that will give the sense of comfort that the system is more safe,” Demetrius Crichlow, senior vice president of subways at NYC Transit, said in a press conference on Tuesday. “Not only will it feel safer, it will be safer.”

Upgrades to the subway system’s lighting are part of the MTA’s Re-NEW-Vation project, an initiative that uses planned 55-hour weekend service outages at train stations to conduct deep cleanings, repairs, and enhancements. 63 stations have already received upgrades since the program began last year, and 13 more stations are already scheduled for upgrades, repairs, or deep cleanings in the first quarter of 2024.

“By upgrading the lighting at each of our 472 subway stations, we are not only making our stations brighter and safer for customers but also reducing our costs and emissions,” NYC Transit President Richard Davey said. 

“It’s simple: a brighter station is a safer station. Transit crews have already upgraded the lighting at every station where we’ve completed a Re-NEW-Vation, and customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Soon, these benefits to the customer experience will be felt systemwide as we supercharge LED deployments in 2024.”

In September 2022, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that two security cameras would be installed in every subway car by 2025. The enhanced security measure is an expansion of a pilot program that launched in the summer of 2022 following a mass shooting on the subway. As of February, roughly 1,000 cars have been equipped with new cameras, according to Crain’s.

The installation of the new lights follows an uptick in crime in the subway system. Crime in the subway system is up 22 percent since the start of 2024 compared to this time last year, according to NYPD statistics.


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