It is required by law for the MTA to provide accessibility to disabled New Yorkers as a result of the Americans With Disabilities Act passed in 1990, yet according to Crain's New York, there are only 88 accessible subway stations in New York City's subway system.

When Crain's analyzed the MTA's data, they found that MTA's elevators are out of service for an average of 2.5 days a month.

When the elevators stop working, wheelchair bound New Yorkers are forced to rely on others to carry them.

"There's no outcry when the elevators go out, because nobody expects them to be working," said Sasha Blair-Goldensohn, a wheelchair user who got trapped in Penn Station the day after the snowstorm because the only working elevator took him to a train that wasn't running.

Since riding the subway is so turbulent and unreliable for wheelchair users, they tend to rely on the MTA's Access-A-Ride vans, which wind up costing the MTA $600 million year. 

They also cost Medicaid an additional $200 million a year.

Yes, a cab ride would be much less expensive.


Were you wondering why the Taxi and Limousine Commission started charging a 30-cent surcharge in 2014? It was to pay for half the cab fleet to get wheelchair lifts.

Half the city's official taxis, Nissan NV200s, were implanted with $15,000 wheelchair lifts. However, the cars are still too small to accommodate electric wheelchairs.

Another problem: only one passenger can fit in the cab while the wheelchair lift is being used.

What about Uber, you're wondering? Well, users can order a wheelchair taxi through the app, but Uber isn't legally required to make its fleet accessible. This is a problem for disabled New Yorkers because everyone knows Uber is eating up the Yellow Cab's business.

spazzyji Called Access a Ride to reserve a ride, the guy asks, "is there a reason why you're talking like that?" "I'm disabled." Dude, do you not know where you're working? Access a Ride is for the disabled and/or elderly, DUH!!! Should've said I was drunk. 😜 #accessaride #idiot

"They call it progress," said United Spinal Association President James Weisman. "But it's leaving wheelchair users by the curb."

The solution? Well, the Federal Transit Administration recommended that the MTA add more elevators, which could cost $1.7 billion.

MTA, we're looking at you here. You've got to get it together. The buses are great, but we can't be leaving disabled New Yorkers to fend for themselves in subway stations where the elevators aren't working. They've got to be able to get around.

So could we tip "fixing the elevators" plus "adding more elevators" to the top of the priority list? That'd be great.

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[Feature Image Courtesy Crain's New York] [Feature Image Courtesy SubwayNut]