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CBC: Queens Burdened By Dilapidated Subway Stations

52nd Street

Sept. 2, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge

The majority of New York City’s worst-condition subway stations are in Queens, a new report from the Citizens Budget Commission has found.

The CBC, a New York finance-oriented nonprofit, released a report Wednesday that examines both the quality of subway stations citywide and the MTA’s system for repairing them. Leveraging MTA data on station conditions, the CBC identified the system’s 33 poorest-condition stations, about half of which are in Queens.

A station is in bad condition when a significant portion of its “structural components” – its platform edges, stairs and other pieces related to its functionality – are found to be in disrepair.

The City’s worst station is 52nd Street-Roosevelt Avenue on the 7 line in Sunnyside/Woodside, where 23 of 29 structural components, or 79 percent, need repair.

Other stations with substantial disrepair include 30th Avenue on the N/Q in Astoria (72 percent of structural components), 103 Street-Corona Plaza on the 7 (68 percent) and 36 Avenue on the N/Q in Astoria (67 percent).

The CBC’s report throws cold water on a repair plan that the MTA devised in 2010. The agency switched from its previous method of repairing entire stations at a time to addressing individual station components on a priority basis.

The MTA told the New York Senate at the time, “the new strategy will address more stations in a shorter period of time, while continuing to maintain high standards. The overall goal is to eliminate components [in the worst disrepair] within 15 years and thereafter to maintain a state of good repair at all [stations].”

However, according to the CBC, the pace of the MTA’s structural component repair – about 280 components per year – is too slow to keep up with station wear and tear, leaving “dismal prospects” for completing all necessary repairs.

To mitigate the MTA’s seemingly futile task, the CBC made three primary recommendations: prioritizing repairs over system expansion projects, improving project management and seeking public-private partnerships.

“We appreciate the ‎CBC’s thoughtful analysis. We are pursuing opportunities to squeeze costs from our 2015-19 Capital Program by using negotiated and other innovative procurement methods,” MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz said in an email.

However, Ortiz added, “we respectfully disagree with their recommendation to reduce spending on expansion projects.”

“At a time when growing ridership is leading to crowding and delays, we must pursue expansion projects that will accommodate more customers as well as provide new connections and opportunities for our customers,” Ortiz said.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris said he is not happy with the current condition of the stations. “For too long, our mass transit system has been in need of improvement, especially the N, Q and 7 lines. The MTA has failed to recognize the rapid growth of our neighborhoods and our infrastructure is not keeping pace.”

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Martine aerts-Niddam

Because they are…..
How many MTA workers does it take to change a rail?

One to actually do it

9 to share the experience ( or be on cell
Or have lunch or just hang around)

That’s why they need more time And money. Uhh

El loco

why did they spend 2.4 billion for the new extension to hudson yards when all of the other 7 stations are in such bad shape. the 7 line now has the best and worst stations in the city.


It’s all those illegal immigrants walking on the stairs so much going to their sweatshop jobs. They don’t pay the fare so they can take the train often. People like me who come from Park Slope don’t do that.


Don’t ask for anything. They’ll replace the whole station with a huge bike track for hipsters.


How about taking the money from the salaries of all the worthless dilapidated toll booth freeloaders. Everyone gets a card at the machine and these pieces of shit sit there around the clock doing absolutely zero for anyone except give a fucking attitude for waking them up. They are the biggest waste of salary benefits and time this city pays out. Get rid of them to pay for repairs.

Kramden's Delicious Marshall

If only this country spent as much on fixing infrastructure as we do on foreign aid and illegal wars, we’d be in a lot better shape. And I say that as a conservative.

Craic Dealer

Indeed. A true conservative isn’t a socially prude person, conservative relates to how little a person wants government is involved in their everyday life.

Anonymous visitor

Terrible! Every thing falling apart. Infact 7 line under construction all The time. It’s been more than 10 years mta doing repair.. little to no improvement…

Rocky Balboa

Oh, yes, the 52nd Street stop is horrendous. The pigeons, however, are fond of it. I don’t recommend a woman stand on the upper level waiting for a train at night.

Sam Me

You must’ve not been here long enough. The station was pigeon shit-infested a few years ago. It has cleaned up since–not well, but there is still improvement. Also, I am a woman who rides the train at night and I have felt more terrified at other stations.

Rocky Balboa

My daughter does not like standing out there at night – it is very deserted and also on Roosevelt Avenue, not a great place to hang out. The pigeons however, are very happy!

Sean Ogre

Fear not Olden. I’m sure they’ll get right on it, only after they’ve finished wasting $100mm and fucking up the traffic patterns on the blvd though.


Wow! I was just thinking the other day about how crummy 52nd St is with all the warped and uneven steps. I mean I’m in pretty decent shape and I’m half an inch from tumbling down those stairs every time. But to see that it’s the worst in the whole city? I’m glad someone noticed, but I’m not looking forward to when they have to shut the station so they can refurbish. Knowing them I expect the project to take anywhere from 1 month to 10 years.


you need to allocate more time frame for widespread MTA corruption and irresponsible spending of funds. dont forget, the MTA makes a MINIMUM of 30 million dollars a DAY, so that wont be enough to replace a $5 step.


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