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Transportation

The Economic Toll of New York's Inaccessible Subway

If you can’t do stairs, half the city’s neighborhoods are transit deserts, according to a new report.
Less than a quarter of New York subway stations have elevators.
Less than a quarter of New York subway stations have elevators.Andrew Kelly/Reuters

When Monica Bartley got off the New York City subway at Union Square, she found the station didn’t have an elevator for her wheelchair. So she took the 4 train all the way uptown to Grand Central Station, 28 blocks away, where she knew there’d be an elevator.

It was broken. So Bartley was stuck underground for hours trying to head to work. Finally, she circled back to the station where she started, took the elevator up to the street, and took the bus instead.