New York City Transit Riders Council Says Subway Stations In Disrepair

NYC Transit President Howard Roberts Jr. must have read or known what would be in the New York City Transit Riders Council report ahead of time. As I blogged about yesterday, Mr. Roberts acknowledged in an interview with the New York Post, that less than 25% of stations are in acceptable condition. He also acknowledged that the agency was an “unbelievably long distance” from bringing the rest up to par. The NYCTRC report clearly echos his sentiments about the conditions straphangers currently have to deal with.

Before I get into details from the report, let me share a sample of the press release that preceded the report:

The New York City Transit Riders Council (NYCTRC) today released the results of its survey of the conditions of fifty subway stations from the riders’ perspective. The survey was undertaken by the members of the Council as a follow up to two similar surveys that were conducted in 1994 and 2004 to assess the conditions of subway stations from the passenger’s perspective.

The Council members surveyed stations in each of the four boroughs that have subways and recorded observations regarding 34 indicators. These indicators addressed areas of concern such as litter, working telephones, exposed wires, conditions of walls, ceilings, and the condition of stairs and handrails. The most common indicators where stations received failing grades include the presence of exposed wiring, the cleanliness and condition of station ceilings, the presence of tactile warning strips indicating platform edges, water leakage on ceilings, water leakage on walls, and cleanliness and condition of station walls.

The Council found that nearly one half of the stations examined are critically in need of repairs to station infrastructure and improvements to station maintenance. In light of recent concern about the ability of the MTA to undertake necessary capital improvements and the deferral of work in a number of stations that is planned for the current Capital Program, this finding is of particular concern.

Click here for the complete press release. Please note the report is in .pdf format.

I would like to first start off with the complete rankings of the 50 stations which were a part of this study. The rankings will list the stations from worst to best condition according to the metrics used by the NYCTRC.

01. Beach 90th St (A,S)

02. 149th St-Grand Concourse (4)

03. 138th St-Grand Concourse (4,5)

04. Jay St/Borough Hall (A,C,F)

05. 103rd St (6)

06. 157th St (1)

07. 179th St-Jamaica (F)

08. 46th St (G,R,V)

09. 50th St (1)

10. Nassau Avenue (G)

11. Steinway St (G,R,V)

12. 28th St (1)

13. Beach 98th St (A,S)

14. Greenpoint Avenue (G)

15. Morris Park (5)

16. Park Place (S)

17. Church Avenue (F)

18. Ozone Park-Lefferts (A)

19. Bergen St (F,G)

20. Court St-Borough Hall (M.N.R)

21. Kingston-Throop Avenues (C)

22. 63rd Drive-Rego Park (G,R,V)

23. 75th St (J,Z)

24. 111th St (A)

25. Astor Place (6)

26. Knickerbocker Avenue (M)

27. 42nd St-Times Square (1,2,3)

28. Forest Avenue (M)

29. 170th St (B.D)

30. Fort Hamilton Parkway (D,M)

31. 116th St (B,C)

32.Canal St (1)

33. High St-Brooklyn Bridge (A,C)

34. 71st St (D.M)

35. Grant Avenue (A)

36. Christopher St-Sheridan (1)

37. Wall St (4.5)

38. 14th St-Union Square (4,5,6)

39. 50th St (C,E)

40. DeKalb Avenue (L)

41. Bay Ridge Avenue (R)

42. Avenue P (F)

43. Halsey St (J)

44. 225th St (2.5)

45. Wakefield-241st St (2)

46. Avenue X (F)

47. Franklin St (1)

48. Burnside Avenue (4)

49. Prospect Avenue (2,5)

50. Sutter Avenue (L)

Here is a sample of the report:

Stations were divided into three distinct areas to facilitate the survey process: Entrances, Control Areas and Platforms. The station areas are defined as follows:

Entrance: The area leading from the street-level entrance (including the signs and railings at the entrance) to the opposite end of the entrance stairs. For those station houses located at street level, only the entrance doors and any area in front of the doors that appeared to be NYC Transit property were evaluated.

Control Area: The area from the entrance stairs (or entrance doors) up to and including the turnstiles. The paid side of the control area (that part of the control area which can be entered only by paying a fare) was not evaluated, with the exception of seating in off-hour waiting areas, if applicable.

Platform: The passenger platform adjacent to the tracks. The ceiling over the tracks and the platform floors were evaluated as part of the platform area. Each station was evaluated using 34 station condition indicators. Of the 34 indicators, 14 are also measured by NYC Transit’s Passenger Environment Survey (PES).

The State of New York must increase its support of MTA operations so that maintenance and repairs of stations in New York City are not problematic. A steady, predictable source of revenue is needed so that stations are not left to deteriorate as a result of deferred maintenance. There should never have to be a choice between adequate service and decent station infrastructure.

The City of New York must start contributing to the capital improvement of stations in those areas where it seeks to improve economic development. These stations function as “gateways” to places such as the South Bronx and downtown Brooklyn and should be seen as an integral part of the neighborhood fabric. The City of New York’s support should not stop at the entrance to the subway, but should extend into the station and join with NYC Transit in a mutually beneficial effort to create a positive subway experience for users.

Station impact fees should be levied on new development or substantial redevelopment projects within a quarter-mile of a subway station. These fees could be charged at the building permit stage based on some measure such as construction value, square footage or number of units. The presence of a subway station within walking distance adds great value to any development and increases the use of this transportation service; as such, new development and redevelopment should share in the care and maintenance of this important asset of the community.

Click here to read the complete report. Please note the report is in .pdf format.

I have a lot to say about this report but I can not do so at this time. I have some business matters that need to be addressed. I will try to have my breakdown of the report up later tonight.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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