New York’s 168th Street Subway Station Is Elevator Only To The Street

168th Street Subway Station.

168th Street Subway Station.Photo: Brian Kachejian 2017

If your one of those people who have a fear of elevators, our advice to you is never get off the subway train at 168th Street in Manhattan. For passengers headed to ground level at 168th street, there is only one way to the street, and that is by elevators. No matter which sides of the tracks you exit the subway, regardless of which direction you’re heading, the only way out of the 168th Subway Station is to take a ride on one of the small very hot elevators.

The main attraction at the 168th subway stop is the Columbia University Medical Center. While the Columbia University Medical Center may be regarded as one of the best hospitals in the Metropolitan area, it’s not an easy hospital to get to. Yes, it is located close to the Cross Bronx Expressway exit and George Washington Bridge, but who wants to have to deal with traffic nightmares to get to the hospital?  Have you ever driven the Cross Bronx Expressway during weekday hours? So many people take the subway to Columbia University Medical Center and are often surprised to find the only way out of the underground is by elevator.

The 168th Subway station first opened in 1906. The Subway station is served by the A Train, 1 Train and sometimes the C train. There are two exits to the streets once you have exited the elevators. The exit lead passengers onto the east and west sides of Broadway about a block north of Columbia University Medical Center. The area is known as The Washington Heights section of New York City in the borough of Manhattan. There is a Starbucks and an excellent Bagel Store at the corners where the subway station exit hits the streets. There are also various newsstands and food trucks selling ethnic foods and fruit juices and shakes. There is a Wendy’s and a Dallas Barbecue restaurant within two blocks of the subway stop.

The elevators are manned by MTA workers that sit behind a barricade in the corner of the elevator. They have a small fan pointed in their direction. The elevators are extremely hot in the summertime and smell horrible. It’s unbelievable that people can be subjected to such horrible working conditions such as those MTA workers that are positioned in those elevators.

168th Street Subway Station.

168th Street Subway Station Elevator. Photo: Brian Kachejian 2017

It is very surprising that a subway line would not have access to staircases to exit the station. Both staircases have been closed off. The lines to exit and enter the station at rush hour can make commuters lose their minds. It is very curious that the city allows the station to stay open with only elevator access. If the power went out in that particular section of Manhattan, the last place you would want to be stuck in a subway station in which the only exit are elevators that need power. If there is an incident involving any sort criminal activity, evacuating the station would probably lead to total chaos if the elevators were the only way out. The city probably has emergency plans but just the thought of being stuck in the station with only the elevators to use as exits had deterred this writer from using the station again in the future.

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