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Subway and escalator/stairs

Oklahoma
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Subway and escalator/stairs

Thanks to everyone who posts here. I have learned so much.

Do the subway stations have escalators? I saw a mention of stairs yesterday which prompted the question. My only recent subway experiences have been in DC, and I was assuming the NYC to be similar, but maybe not?

This is a critical factor in my planning, so glad to know to ask at this point.

Hope it's not a "dumb question!" Thank you.

NJ
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1. Re: Subway and escalator/stairs

No. Some stations primarily the major ones have elevators.

Queens, New York
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2. Re: Subway and escalator/stairs

No, subway stations have stairs to go below ground. We don't have escalators leading to the steret like in D.C.

However, there are currently 39 subway stations that have elevators from street level to mezzanine to platform. On the subway map, you'll see a little "wheelchair" symbol for stations that have them.

You can click on each subway line on the MTA subway map and

scroll down to see which stations are accessible. For example, this is the #5 line:

http://mta.info/nyct/service/fiveline.htm

Ever since the MTA started upgrading and adding more elevators about 6 years ago, I have had very good experiences with them. However, many folks report breakdowns, or smelly and unsanitary conditions.

All buses are "kneeling", meaning they can get lower to the ground for easier stepping up or wheelchair loading.

If you search "wheelchair", "subway stairs" or "mobility" in the search box, you'll find previosus posts about concerns about subway stairs. Here are a few, but there are more.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k311738-… _Help_Crippled_in_New_York_City-

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k305454-… _Need_itinerary_help_with_wheelchair_bound-

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k150431-… _Unfamiliar_with_NYC_Bus_System-

Nyc (Upper West...
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3. Re: Subway and escalator/stairs

There are also a few stations that are far below the street that do have escalators. Most New York City subway stations are not far under the ground level, so that the stairs are not arduous.

Queens, New York
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4. Re: Subway and escalator/stairs

nyc10025 - correct, but there are no escalators directly to street level. You must take stairs or elevator to mezzanine level, and then escalators to platforms. But, you're right, escalators from mezz to platform is farily common.

I htink that there is one lone escalator-to-street at Rockefeller Center across the street from Radio City Music Hall.

QQ2
New York City, New...
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5. Re: Subway and escalator/stairs

Sofibella: Unfortunately, construction of the NYC subway system started over 100 years ago. That was the pre-escalator age. And although elevators existed, they couldn't or just didn't put them in the subway system (until recently). The DC system, on the other hand, is maybe 20 or 25 years old and has all sorts of modern contraptions built into it.

You need to read those earlier posts carefully and do your research. Although some stations now have elevators, most don't, and when they do exist they're not always easy to find, so you should find out as much as you can ahead of time. People who are able to use the stairs generally use them, including many people with baby strollers and suitcases.

As a previous poster noted, all lthe buses kneel and are wheelchair accessible, possibly making them a more reliable, if slower, method of transport for anyone who's mobility challenged. I don't believe I've ever seen someone in a wheelchair on the subway, while I see wheelchairs on buses all the time.

Oklahoma
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6. Re: Subway and escalator/stairs

Thank you, everyone, for your kindness in replying!

I am going to have to start anew in planning. An eye to buses rather than subway, it seems.

Both my traveling companion and I have problem knees - not that we're old, mind you! :<))

Thanks again!

New York City
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7. Re: Subway and escalator/stairs

Sofibella, most of the stations in Manhattan were built through a method called "cut and cover", with the subway running just below the surface of the street. If you can walk up the equivalent of two ordinary flights of stairs, there are few subway stations in Manhattan that would be a problem for you. Those that are deeper than that (such as 53rd and Fifth) almost always have escalators or elevators.

waterlooville uk
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8. Re: Subway and escalator/stairs

Hi Sofibella

Your post echoes the concerns hubby and I had before our recent trip. We both have bad knees too. Thanks to the expertise of this forum's members, we had no problem at all.

We stayed at the Beacon in the Upper West Side, and made good use of the subway from 72nd which has an elevator. We meticulously planned our journeys so in the majority of cases we did not have to use stairs. We also found the bus service easy to use as all bus stops have route maps. Naturally it takes longer but this is something we soon got used to.

I feel sure that with a little planning you will have a great trip. We did.

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9. Re: Subway and escalator/stairs

I do not think people with knee problems understand how difficult the subway steps are. I've been to NYC with my mother and a large group of people over 50 twice and many people could not use the subway because of the steep, hard surface steps. You actually get a better view of where you are going on the bus, and the cabs are really not too expensive. This group goes yearly and stay in the Times Square area purposefully because of the easy walking to theaters, shopping on 5th Ave., etc. There is no reason to ruin your knees and be miserable for the rest of the trip! :)

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Subway and escalator/stairs

be aware that most of those subway elevators are deeesgusting! Avoid puddles...it isnt rain water