I mentioned in a previous post how the gap between the platform and the subway car, and the height of the ledge (the metal piece that sticks out by the subway car doors that minimizes the gap) can vary. If you are walking, you may or may not notice this, but if you are in a wheelchair, it can make the difference between safety & danger, accessible and not accessible (even if a station is listed as wheelchair accessible.)
If you go onto NYCSubway.org, one can see that the MTA has purchased different models of subway cars through the years. You see it everyday. Some subways are more modern, while other subway cars are clearly older and less hi-tech. Right then and there, it shows that not all subway cars are the same.
Here is an example of where a subway car and a platform would be wheelchair accessible. You can tell, because the ledge of the subway car and the edge of the platform meet each other, thus making it very easy and smooth for a person in a wheelchair to just glide on in.
Here, is another example of a subway car at a platform. As you can see, the ledge/entrance to the subway car is higher up then the height of the platform. If this was a wheelchair accessible station, this would be quite dangerous if not impossible for a rider in a wheelchair to enter the subway car.
Not at this point, you may be saying to yourself “Ah, these are not wheelchair accessible stations” and that is true.
However, I posted these photos, because I have encountered these different types of subway car entrances at wheelchair accessible stations. Sometimes, the entrance is easy and smooth, while other times, the subway car is just not wheelchair accessible (even though the MTA website will say that it is.)
In fact, the second example, is the same type of entrance that I encountered when I tried to get home from the DeKalb station (Q) in Brooklyn on Tuesday the 12th (2012). I had used this same station, same line before to get home and I didn’t have a problem. The station is listed as wheelchair accessible. There was no reported construction that might have altered the route. Nothing. And yet, for some reason, at that point in time - it was not. Cut to me getting dangerously stuck and requiring the help of two burly looking passengers to get me into the subway car (because backing up was not an option, nor was I able to go forward without their assistance.)
The fact that these wheelchair accessible stations & platforms is simply not consistently wheelchair accessible is dangerous and inexcusable. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are no signs warning you. You are left to find this out on your own. And that is why this campaign exists.
Please sign our petition and pass it on. Thank you.