What NJ Transit looks like for riders with disabilities

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ADA-friendly stations are few and far between

Last week we got to take a peek at a map of the ADA-accessible stations on the NYC subway.  The results were not pretty. Entire lines had be to stricken from the map because they had less than 2 accessible stops.

ADA-accessible stations have level platforms, and require no stairs to access the train.  This usually means elevators for underground stations.

In New Jersey, we have made a decent amount of progress towards an accessibile rail system, but we’re nowhere near the finish line.

Here’s what the NJ Transit system looks like with only accessible stations:


Here’s the original map of the full system, for comparison.

Some observations:

  • The Atlantic City Line is almost entirely ADA-accessibile (it was rebuilt in the 1980s), and the Northeast Corridor Line is pretty close to it.  Only Jersey Avenue has low-level platforms.
  • The Hoboken division lines (Morris & Essex, Montclair-Boonton, Pascack Valley, Main, and Bergen County Lines) have only intermittent accessible stops.  When NJT took over these lines over 30 years ago, all of their platforms were low-level.  A few stations have been upgraded since then.
  • New light rail systems are all accessible.  The HBLR and River Line use low floor cars that don’t require a step up from the platform.
  • The Newark City Subway, built in 1935, is only partially accessible, although the new extension to Broad Street Station is.  Likewise, the PATH is not accessible at Harrison or Grove St.
  • All of the major transfer points are accessible.

But fret not, my child.  Progress is on the way.  At of today, NJ Transit is slowly upgrading its stations to be more ADA-accessible.

We may never reach full accessibility.  It’s hard to justify spending a million dollars on new platforms at low-ridership stations, like Peapack, which averages about 40 riders a day.  When the LIRR upgraded to all high-level platforms in the 70s, they simply closed dozens of lesser-used stops.

On the raliroad side, high-level platforms are in the works at Perth Amboy, Lyndhurst, and a new infill station on the Bergen County line Wesmont. On the light rail side, NJT is working on accessibility improvements at Bloomfield Avenue and Davenport Avenue on the Newark Light Rail.  And the Port Authority is working on accessibility at Grove Street and Harrison.

Onward, to ADA-compliance!

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