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Subway Accessibility App A Wheel Solution, Developer Says

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TWC News: NYers' Subway Accessibility App The Wheel Deal
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A Manhattan woman is working on a project she hopes will help make it easier for people who depend on wheelchairs to get around the city. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

Jennifer Feinberg spends most mornings checking MTA updates on subway elevators and getting information on stations accessible to those with disabilities. She's creating Wheel New York, an app and website aimed at making it easier for wheelchair users to get around the city and the subway.

"It's that little gap between the train and the platform, it's knowing where the elevators are, which stations have elevators and that there's a station attendant there that can open that door for you," Feinberg said.

She's trying to raise $50,000 for the project online after seeing the mass transit obstacles faced by her brother, Andrew, who was born with spina bifida.

"It's definitely a challenge, from finding an accessible station, getting up the elevator, hopefully the elevator is functioning that day. That's one of my biggest obstacles," said Andrew Feinberg.

Users of the app and website would be able to locate accessible stations, get information on where elevators are located and whether they're working.

The MTA details its 99 accessible subway stations online, but Feinberg said Wheel New York aims to make the information easier to digest.

"The information is out there, but it's difficult to find on the MTA's website and it's scattered. So what we hope to do with Wheel New York is to put all that information in one place. So people can leave the house and make informed decisions when they're traveling through the city," Feinberg said.

It would also allow users to share tips about subway stations.

"Users can comment and sasy, 'It's Wednesday at 9 a.m. and the elevator at West Fourth Street is broken,'" noted Feinberg.

Her brother said he wants to know about trains with steep gaps onto the platform.

"Transitioning onto the train from the platform is difficult for me, getting over the gap and once I'm in the train, it's extremely cramped," said Andrew Feinberg.

But if Wheel New York is to become a reality, it's only got a few more days to do so. Fundraising for the project ends Saturday.

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