ADA Transit Deserts: Report finds elderly, disabled New Yorkers stranded by lack of subway access

NEW YORK, New York (WABC) -- A lack of accessible subway stations is having a dramatic affect on seniors and disabled New Yorkers, particularly in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, according to a report released Tuesday by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

According to the report, while the New York City subway system remains the most expansive in the country, 62 out of 122 of the neighborhoods served by the system are "ADA Transit Deserts" that lack a single station compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act

That reportedly leaves approximately 640,000 seniors, small children and mobility-impaired residents who live along the subway lines without an accessible station.

"Too many New Yorkers are left stranded by the MTA," Stringer said. "Decades of under-investment and neglect have real-life consequences. For every inaccessible station, there is a New Yorker who can't get to work, pick up their children from daycare, or visit their doctors."

Valerie Joseph knows all too well the struggles of commuting while in a wheelchair.

"I have to take a bus to an accessible staton," she said. "Even when you get to an accessible station, the elevator's not working."

For New Yorkers inhibited by the inaccessibility of the stations, the affordable housing crisis is magnified by "ADA Transit Deserts," which limit housing options and force disabled New Yorkers to pay higher rents.

The study found that only 24 percent of the subway's 472 stations are accessible, by far the lowest share among the country's metropolitan rail systems.

While systems in Boston and Chicago are nearly as old or older than the New York City subway system, they are far more accessible.

Additional transit funding has not been approved since 2005, when a $3.5 billion bond act was passed by voters, with proceeds divided between upstate and downstate needs.

CLICK HERE for the full report.

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