The Real Deal New York

8 amazing facts about the elevators that move NYC

Did you know that there are more miles of elevator than subway in NYC?
May 08, 2016 12:00PM


Elevators are a part of everyday life in New York. So much so that it can be easy to forget just how significant they are to our lifestyle and to the very possibility of our super-tall skyline.

So let’s pause and take a minute to think about what they do. Here are 8 facts about New York City elevators via Fivethirtyeight.


1. As of 2015, there were roughly 76,000 elevator devices in New York — that means basically anything that moves people up and down.


2. The average listed capacity of the city’s elevators is about 2,750 pounds. That means that approximately 18 percent of the city’s adult population could be safely suspended in an elevators.


3. There are about 1,570 miles of elevator shafts (assuming a reasonable average floor height, etc.) compared to 840 miles of subway tracks.


4. Barclays Center has two freight elevators that each have a capacity of 80,000 pounds (13 or so elephants, according to Fivethirtyeight).


5. Most New York elevators top out at the sixth floor, as the six-story building is the staple of New York housing stock (six stories is the highest a building can go before needing a water pump).


6. The 57 percent of the city’s elevators are in Manhattan. Brooklyn has 18 percent of them. Queens has 13 percent. And the Bronx has 10 percent.


7. The zip code 10021 on the Upper East Side has 3,132 elevators, making it the elevator king of the city.

8. Across the city, New Yorkers take elevators on roughly 4 million rides on the average day. [Fivethrityeight]Christopher Cameron