Interactive Map of Closed NYC Subway Exits

This article from New York’s WNYC takes a look at the 119 station exits throughout the city’s subway system that have remained closed even as ridership has surged in recent years. Their inaccessibility is a remnant of a roughly three-decade period during which so few people rode the New York City subway that closing exits was a logical safety and cost-saving measure. Today though the lack of exits can exacerbate crowded platforms and even delay train operations.

Using data obtained through a Freedom of Information request, the WNYC data team created this interactive map that shows stations with closed exits alongside data about the number of people who pass through them each day. It’s pretty eye opening.

The full article is at, but it falls frustratingly short of pressing the MTA for an answer as to why so many exits remain closed. Reporter Kate Hinds says only:

The MTA knows the closed entrances are a problem. MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg said reopening them is ‘something we’re very actively looking at.’ But it will take time and money to figure out which of the 119 closed ones it’s worth reopening.

Sometimes I think that data reporters are so impressed with the admittedly valuable analytical work that they do that they forget to ask the truly pertinent questions. Mapping out all the problem areas is useful, but what would be more useful is a look into why exactly the situation persists.