Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers require elevators to access the subway every day: people with disabilities, parents pushing strollers, travelers carrying luggage, and residents suffering from an injury.
These elevators break down often, rendering even fewer stations accessible to those with mobility impairments. The
paucity of accessible stations combined with this high degree of unreliability makes journeys unpredictable, vastly extending travel times, rerouting riders, and making trip planning impossible. These elevators are also notoriously dirty and malodorous, a persistent problem that is symptomatic of overall neglect. In a city full of elevators and elevator experts, subway elevators that travel only a few “floors” each are constantly going out of service, and no one is held accountable.
Nearly 10% of New Yorkers have a disability, and 13% of New Yorkers are 65 or older. This latter population is projected to increase to 15.5% – nearly 1.4 million New Yorkers– by 2030. Both groups will require more accessible subway stations to reach social engagements, jobs, housing, schools, and health care. But they are not the only groups affected – hundreds of thousands of other New Yorkers require elevators to access the subway every day: parents pushing strollers, travelers carrying luggage, or residents who are suffering from an injury.