As accessibility in the subway system is tragically highlighted last week with the death of a young mother attempting to maneuver a stroller down an elevator-less subway station’s stairs, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer today released a study of subway station accessibility in Manhattan conducted between October and November, 2018.
The results reflect the continuing challenges that New York City Transit faces in managing station accessibility…
- 54% of elevators require better cleaning to reduce litter and eliminate/reduce odors (most often from urine or vomit).
- 37% of stations need improved signage, either in-station or within the elevators themselves.
- 81% of elevators lack alternate travel information should that elevator be out of service.
- 16.7% of stations were missing properly-maintained stair nosings— the bright paint that delineates the top and bottom of staircases— for the blind and vision-impaired.
The Brewer report calls on the Transit Authority to…
- Set a detailed timeline for reaching 100% accessibility.
- Revamp elevator maintenance practices.
- Settle current litigation with accessibility advocates  and enter into a legally binding agreement on all accessibility issues.
“These numbers reflect the lack of attention to detail that the TA devotes to both structural and maintenance accessibility issues,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Disabled and senior riders deserve to be treated as equal members of our transit system. The Fast Forward program is a decent first step, but all too often accessibility topics fall by the wayside when budgets and timelines change. New Yorkers deserve a legally binding agreement.”
“We thank Borough President Brewer for her strong allyship with people with disabilities on the issue of subway elevator accessibility. We strongly agree that we New York needs a binding agreement to achieve full accessibility,” said Susan Dooha, Executive Director, Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY.
The complete report can be viewed online here .