Subway stations with elevators

Posted by Alina on Sunday Aug 30, 2009 Under useful tips

nyc-subway-map1Since many mamas like to/need to get around town by subway, and some fear it because of limited elevator access, I thought I would post a couple of useful links to help you all navigate the NYC subway system with greater confidence.

Here is a link to subway stations in the five boroughs that have elevators from the platform to the street:

In case you worry that the elevator may be out of service, which sometimes happens, here is a link to that information, which the MTA updates regularly:

When I  find myself at a station with no elevator or one that is out of order,  people passing by are usually quite helpful when I need a hand, especially in Manhattan. There are tons of nice New Yorkers out there, sometimes, you just have to ask.

Happy travels!

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Stroller Friendly Subway Stations

Posted by Alina on Friday Apr 10, 2009 Under useful tips

If you have ever traveled with a stroller on the NYC subway, you know that stations with elevator access are a rare find, especially with complete access from the street to the platform. Some stations which do have elevators, like Union Square, provide access from the street to the mezzanine, but not down to the platform, leaving you facing a full staircase with your stroller. Often people are helpful and will lend a hand, but many times they will pass right by. Thus, when there is a new station that opens up, with complete elevator access, moms like me (who take the subway with a stroller almost every day), get very excited!

As part of the $530 million project, the new South Ferry Terminal station has opened on March 16th, 2009.  It is located below the Peter Minuit Plaza in Lower Manhattan, adjacent to Battery Park and the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. The new station has elevator access from the street all the way down to the 1 train platform. There is also a free transfer between the 1 train and the R, W at Whitehall Street station. You can read more about this project on the MTA website.

Another thing that is handy to have in your diaper bag is a print out of the page that Time Out New York Kids has put together, showing subway stops with elevators. Here is a link.

Happy travels!

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Traveling with a baby

Posted by Alina on Wednesday Oct 1, 2008 Under baby safety, useful tips

By plane:
It is not necessary to buy a plane ticket for a child until they are two years old, however, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommends that parents of children younger than two years buy a ticket and use a car seat on the plane. Some airlines offer discounts for children younger than two, so make sure to notify them if you are buying such a ticket. If you don’t buy a ticket, you have to hold them on your lap or you may be able to get a bassinet, but you must ask for it well in advance. One piece of advice given to me was to purchase the aisle and window seats, because a single middle seat is the least attractive option for someone flying alone. Bring the baby in the car seat all the way to the gate, and when getting on the plane ask if there are any unfilled seats on the plane. If there is an empty seat, the flight attendant may be able to help you arrange to have a seat for your baby’s car seat. If all seats are filled, you can check your car seat at the gate.

By bus in NYC:
You must carry your baby and collapse the stroller while on the bus.
My personal experience with the bus was not extremely pleasant. It was heavy to have to drag the diaper bag, the stroller (in collapsed position) and my son in a carrier. Having to sit at the front of the bus with all the stuff, I felt like I was in the way of people getting on and off. Also, as the bus moved and swayed, I found it a bit difficult to hold on to the stroller while holding the baby and the bag so that nothing would fall. I think traveling without the stroller, with the baby in a carrier, would have made for a much better experience.

By car:
In NYC your baby must be in a rear facing car seat until 1 year of age and 20 lbs. After that he/she must still be in a car seat, but may face forward until he/ she is 40 lbs. Until the child is 65 lbs, he/ she must be in either an appropriate car seat or booster seat (facing forward).
**When traveling in a taxi in NYC, the car seat law does not apply, thus the baby does not have to be in one, although for his/her safety, it is wiser to use one.

By Subway:
In NYC, you can bring the stroller on the subway and do not have to collapse it. I would advise against traveling in rush hour with a stroller if possible, due to overcrowding. The greatest challenge is getting in and out of the subway, because many stations do not have elevators, and some that are marked on the subway map as “handicapped accessible” have elevators that will bring you to a platform of the train traveling in only one direction, not both. I have found  people on the subway to be very helpful with carrying a stroller for a mom who has a baby in her arms, you may just have to wait by the staircase for a few minutes.

By train (Amtrak/ LIRR):


According to; “Children under 2 years of age traveling free may occupy a vacant seat only if it is not yet needed for a paying passenger. If a child under 2 years of age does occupy a seat without paying a fare, the conductor has the right to request the child be removed for a fare- paying passenger, or the passenger has the option of purchasing a ticket to allow the child to continue to occupy the seat.”

A stroller may be checked in as a “special item” for a fee of $5.00.

My husband, 5 month old son and I recently traveled by Amtrak from NYC to Montreal, Canada. We brought the stroller onto the train with us both ways (did not check it) and occupied the handicapped area seats. These seats have extra space in front so the stroller can stand opened, directly in front of you and there will still be decent leg room. It was great to have the stroller with us during this ELEVEN HOUR TRIP, to be able to put our son down so he could play or nap. One thing to keep in mind is that there are “red caps” (guys wearing red caps), who work for Amtrak, and for a tip, can help you bring your stuff and escort you onto the train before everyone else, so that you can get those special seats. You should see the red caps if you look around where tickets are sold or near check in posts.


According to
“Children under 5 years old ride free at all times. Children ages 5-11 travel at half the adult fares. These tickets are sold as an option under “One Way” or “Round Trip” ticket buttons on Ticket Machines.”

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