The following maps were developed by Mike Amodeo for CIDNY to illustrate the numbers of accessible subway stations in New York City in relation to both poverty and population density for people with disabilities. These maps show that New York City has left out its largest minority from access to the subway system that carries most New Yorkers to work, school, medical appointments, social, recreational, and civic events.

The first map shows that accessible subway stations are most available where poverty rates are the lowest; that is, people with higher incomes who have more transportation options, like using cab or car services, also have the most accessible subway service. Areas with the fewest accessible stations are where the poverty rate is over 40 percent.

Poverty matters: “The poverty rate for people with disabilities in New York City (36.5%) is double the poverty rate of people without disabilities (16.6%). People with disabilities in New York City are more likely to be living in poverty than they are at the State level (32.5%) or the national level (30.5%)… In New York City, there is an employment rate gap of 41.2 percent between people with and without disabilities. The gap is wider for people with some disabilities. People with disabilities are largely segregated into very low-wage occupations. The employment gap is wider in New York City than at the State or national level.” (ADA at 25: Many Bridges to Cross, CIDNY 2015). Adding a barrier to the City’s least expensive and most time efficient transportation effectively leaves many people with disabilities out of viable options for getting to work, school, doctors’ appointments, and social and civic events.

The second map shows that where populations of people with disabilities rise above 20 percent, accessible stations are fewer and farther between, leaving them without timely travel options.  

Accessibility matters: “Only 30.5 percent of people with mobility disabilities use the subway, compared to 41.8% of people without disabilities. For those with disabilities who can work, lack of accessible streets and transportation affects their employment prospects.” (ADA at 26 in NYC, CIDNY and DRA, 2016). For people with disabilities in New York City who are looking for work, post-high school education and/or training, and social and civic participation, lack of access to the subways often means far longer trips than for those who can access the subways.

Both maps illustrate that in the poorest areas of NYC with the highest population density of people with disability, there are often 3 or more stops in a row that are not accessible. This means that reaching an alternate station with elevator access or traveling further to reach an accessible station is simply out of reach for people with disabilities.

Click on the >> in the upper left hand corner to open the legend for the maps.

CIDNY Subway Accessibility and Disabled Population in Poverty

CIDNY Subway Accessibility and Populations with Disability