The NYC subway system is one of the largest in the world, but did you know that out of the city’s 472 subway stations, only 117 are fully accessible? That means less than 25 percent of NYC subway stations are wheelchair accessible!
Some would argue that this is because it was built long before 1990, when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) came into effect. As a result, those stations were not originally designed to be wheelchair accessible. However, other subway systems across the U.S. that are even older than the NYC subway are faring better. For instance, 100 percent of LA and DC’s stations are fully accessible. The LA system opened in 1990, on the heels of the ADA law. Washington DC’s was built throughout the 1970s and ’80s, yet is considered one of the most accessible stations on planet earth. On the other hand, Boston’s subway accessibility rate is 74 percent although it was built in 1897. Chicago’s is 67 percent, even though it began operating in 1892.
How does the NYC subway compare to the rest of the world? Click here to check out an outstanding article from the Guardian that highlights the differences. Below you’ll find a before and after visual from this article showing what the regular New York subway map looks like compared to the New York subway once non-accessible stations have been removed.
The good news for disabled New Yorkers is that NYC law mandates that existing stations must be made ADA-compliant whenever they are renovated. The city has also made a commitment to increase the number of fully accessible stations from 117 to 144 by 2020.
For more on this topic, check out some of the articles listed below.
>> Nearly 80 Percent of Subway Escalators and Elevators Don’t Receive Necessary Maintenance
>> New App Wheely Will Make the NYC Subway More Accessibility Friendly
>> 3 Things to Consider When Traveling with a Wheelchair
>> New York City’s Subway System Violates Local and Federal Laws, Disability Groups Say