Skip to main content

Accessibility in NYC

Increasing Accessibility

The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) prohibits discrimination against individuals based on disability in all areas of public life, including access to commercial establishments and government services such as public transportation. In New York, a city dependent on public transportation, the ADA represents a promise of equal access to the city itself for hundreds of thousands of residents with disabilities. But the task of retrofitting a vast early 20th century system reliant upon thousands of staircases has long presented a difficult challenge.

Today only 23% of subway and Staten Island Railway stations are fully ADA accessible. While the MTA has committed to fund accessibility at 70 new stations in its next Capital Program to be released this fall, progress thus far has been slow and extremely expensive.

But there is a policy tool with untapped potential that could help accelerate implementation of ADA access and save hundreds of millions of public dollars – zoning. Zoning offers the potential to require or incentivize new private development to align design and construction with the goal of improved access, including incorporating elevators to subway stations.

Unfortunately, zoning tools to facilitate station improvements are currently available only in select areas of the city and often encumbered by an onerous review process. The recommendations in this report would comprehensively strengthen Zoning for Transit Accessibility in New York City and accelerate the implementation of ADA accessibility at dozens of stations across New York, helping us finally deliver on the promise of transit equity for our most vulnerable.

The data and maps below present the current state of accessibility in New York City in summer 2019 and will help inform the next phase of work on Zoning for Transit Accessibility as the City Council works with the Department of City Planning and the MTA to further study and refine these ideas with stakeholders to arrive at final recommendations with a goal to implement in 2020.

Subway Access in NYC

Fully Accessible
Subway Stations

Elevator Outages

MTA Elevator Complaints
1st: Improper Funct. & Repair (70%)
4th: Add More Elevators (5%)


Search by station name. Choose a subway line. Filter by accessibility status.

* Elevator availability is the percent (%) of time during a 24-Hr period that an elevator is running and available for customers

Subway Accessibility Status
MTA Subway & Staten Island Railway Stations

Full ADA Accessibility
Stations are ADA accessible on both the north and south bound platforms. There are 113 fully accessible stations, 23% of all stations in the NYC Transit subway and SI Railway systems.

Partial ADA Accessibility
Stations are ADA accessible on only one platform side; either only the north or south bound. There are 7 partially accessible stations, 1.4% of all stations in the NYC Transit subway and SI Railway systems. Of those 7 stations, 3 stations have been selected to become fully accessible.

Construction in Progress
Stations are currently under construction for ADA accessibility. There are 24 stations in construction, 4.9% of all stations in the NYC Transit subway and SI Railway systems.

Funding Committed for Next Capital Plan
Station platforms aren’t currently ADA accessible but have been selected by the MTA for inclusion in the 2020-2024 Capital Program, released in December 2019. These stations are part of the 70 stations the MTA announced will receive ADA upgrades during this next Capital Program, at a projected cost of $5.2 billion.

There are 66 non-ADA accessible stations that have been selected so far for ADA funding, 13% of all stations in the NYC Transit subway and SI Railway systems.

No Current Plans for Funding
Stations are not ADA accessible and there are no current plans for funding ADA accessibility work in the 2020-2024 Capital Program. There are 283 non-accessible stations with no current funding plans, 57% of all stations in the NYC Transit subway and SI Railway systems.

Two stations remain to be selected from this category for inclusion in the 2020-2024 Capital Program.

* An ADA Accessible station means a person in a wheelchair can get from the street to station platforms.

ADA Accessibility Status
Stations, 2019


Elevator Complaints

Elevators in ‘need of repair or not functioning’ made the majority of elevator complaints in 2018 (70%).
The fourth most common complaint type was ‘add more or not enough’ elevators (5%).

While there wasn’t information telling which station was the complaint addressed to, there was on the line. 70% of ‘add more or not enough’ complaints specified a line (2, 7, R, 1, 4, A, B, C, D, E, F, Q).

For current availability status of elevators at a desired station please visit MTA Elevator & Escalator Outage Report page or call 511 for service status.

Check Elevator Service Status

Search for updates on elevator service on the MTA outage report page
Check Elevator Service Status

Elevator Outages

As of May 2019, there have been 4,259 non-scheduled elevator outages. This represents 73% of all elevator outages including scheduled & non-scheduled outages.

The stations with the most non-scheduled outages have been:

  1. 181 St (203 outages)
  2. Lexington Av / 63 St (161 outages)
  3. Fulton St (149 outages)
  4. 191 St (127 Outages)
  5. 72 St / 2 Av (126 Outages)

Source: MTA Elevator & Escalator Performance Summary
(On the source page, hover over ‘More Options’ icon to export data.)


Report Elevator Outage

Notify the MTA of a non-functioning elevator or escalator.
Report Outage to the MTA

 For feedback, comments, and questions please email

Created by the NYC Council Data Team.