NEW YORK – More than half of the 122 neighborhoods served by New York City’s subway system do not have a single accessible station, a new report by City Comptroller Scott Stringer found. And out of the 62 neighborhoods dubbed “ADA transit deserts,” 55 are in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. In his report, “Service Denied,” Stringer details the gaps in accessibility for seniors and mobility-impaired New Yorkers and calls on the state legislature to create a new funding source dedicated to upgrades compliant with the American with Disabilities Act.
Only about 24 percent of the MTA’s 472 subway stations are considered ADA compliant, the lowest amount among the country’s rail systems in metropolitan areas. In the 62 neighborhoods that only have inaccessible stations, more than 199,000 mobility-impaired residents, 341,000 seniors and 203,000 children under the age of five live there.
According to the research, median rents in neighborhoods with at least one accessible station are over $100 higher than in neighborhoods with only inaccessible stations ($1,310/month versus $1,205/month). Given that the disabled, injured, elderly, and families with young children already bear heavy expenses for medical care and other services, these higher rents can be prohibitive.