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Everything you ever wanted to know about NYC’s elevators

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NYC is home to 63,000 passenger elevators

New York City’s elevators make a staggering estimated 35 million passenger trips each day. That’s one of the standout statistics in a comprehensive new elevator report put out by the city’s Department of Buildings.

This first ever elevator report covers all devices under the DOB’s jurisdiction that went up and down in the year 2017. That list includes passenger elevators, freight elevators, escalators, dumbwaiters, and wheelchair lifts among others.

The report is largely presented in the form of a series of maps, and each of these maps have a host of information on offer. For instance, one of the maps lets you see the type and amount of devices in each community district, and also gives you information on the number of devices in each building within a community district.

Another map lets you examine information about elevator violations and complaints across the city. Three Bronx Community Boards featured in the top four areas with the most number of elevator violations in the city—they cover the neighborhoods of Fordham, Morris Heights, Concourse, Mt. Hope, and High Bridge.

One of the coolest features of the report is the historical one, which takes readers through a trip that starts in 1850 when the city’s first freight elevator was installed up into the 1920s and 30s, when the city got the first private elevator entrance for a penthouse. On the flip side, the report also offers information on all the upcoming innovation in elevator technology such as the functioning of the outer shell of Hudson Yards’s The Shed.

In all, there are a total of 84,000 elevator devices under the DOB’s jurisdiction. Of that, 63,000 are passenger elevators, that’s more than the passenger elevators of Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Miami combined. Explore away!