New NYC Subway Stations with Elevators

1/26/10 - By Allison

Sometimes the MTA takes a while to update their website, so I was pretty excited to spy, recently, a new working elevator at one of my most traveled transit hubs.


While waiting for the uptown C train at the 59th Street/Columbus Circle station in Manhattan I spied an exciting discovery: there was an elevator on the platform, and it was working! This is cause for celebration for this local mom and surely for other stroller-pushers who frequent this corner of the city.  The street-level elevator at 58th Street and 8th Avenue in front of the Time Warner Center takes riders down to the turnstiles.  And now, there are other elevators operating down to the actual platforms.  That means stair-free access to the uptown and downtown A, B, C, D and 1 trains.

For some reason the station is still not included on the MTA's list of accessible stations, even though I found the elevators working on several recent visits.  If you aren't familiar with the MTA's list of subway stations with elevator access, check it out on the agency's newly revamped website. (Another recent elevator addition is at Chamber's Street!) Your lower back, and the kind strangers who help haul your stroller up the stairs, will thank you.  Your nose, however, may pay the price, as some elevators reek worse than your diaper bin.
While you're at the MTA website, its worth reading over the safety guidelines for stroller use on the subways. Of course there are the obvious rules, like don't jam your buggy between closing doors to catch a train.  Duh!   But there are also some really good reminders.  For instance, do you know why its so important to always use the brakes on your stroller while waiting for the subway?  The platforms are slanted towards the tracks for drainage, which could cause your stroller to roll down onto the tracks.
Here are some other tips listed:
- Watch for the gap between the edge of the platform and the train when you board or exit subway cars.
- If possible, board at the center of the train. That's usually where the conductor is, so it may be easier to get help in case of any problems.
- Keep strollers away from the platform edge and always make sure the brake is on. 
 - Never place a stroller between closing subway doors.
- Strap your child in the stroller snugly at all times.  When using stairs or escalators fold the strollers and carry your child.

And my personal tip: have a second easy to fold, lightweight stroller for subway days, rather than lugging a giant, heavy stroller down the stairs.