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Queens Subway Stations in Disrepair, Worse than Other Boroughs: Report

61st Street – Woodside station (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

Aug. 13, 2019 By Christian Murray

The subway stations in Queens are in a state of disrepair and a new report released by the state comptroller’s office indicates that nearly half the structural components—such as stairs, platforms and ventilators—are worn out or damaged.

The report, released by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Friday, noted that 44 percent of all structural components at Queens stations were either damaged or worn out. Stations in Queens had the largest share of worn or damaged structural components in 2017, followed by the Bronx at 34 percent, Brooklyn at 26 percent and Manhattan at 24 percent.

The findings were based on a 2017 survey conducted by the MTA’s New York City Transit division that reviewed nearly 15,500 subway station structural components at the city’s 471 stations in operation.

The report noted that 45 percent of the structural components at the Flushing Main Street station, the most heavily used station in Queens, were worn out or damaged. Across the entire system, the survey found that 29 percent of structural components were either worn out or damaged.

“Years of underfunding for the MTA capital program has translated into a longer list of needed repairs in New York City’s subway stations, fewer stations in good condition, and ever-increasing rider aggravation,” DiNapoli said in a statement.

The number of worn out and damaged parts has been getting worse in recent years. In 2012, 35 percent of Queens structural components were in disrepair as opposed to 44 percent in 2017. The number has also risen across the system—from 27 percent in 2012 to 29 percent in 2017.

DiNapoli’s report stated that condition of platform edges was of particular concern, with 65 percent of them worn out or damaged across the city, up from 43 percent in 2012. Furthermore, 11 percent of platform edges were found to have serious defects.

But the report was not all doom and gloom.

The number of structural components that had serious station defects has come down. The report notes that there was a 25 percent reduction between 2012 and 2017 in the number of structural components with serious deficiencies. Furthermore, the number of stations with serious structural deficiencies fell from 188 to 158 between 2012 and 2017.

DiNapoli notes that the cash-strapped MTA has focused on fixing those components in the worst condition, while leaving the overall system to gradually wear out.

“On the plus side, the MTA has been able to reduce the number of serious station defects, but a lot more needs to be done to address declining station conditions,” DiNapoli said.

The report also reviewed the nearly 22,000 architectural components at subway stations, such as tiles, finishings on platform floors, lighting, walls and ceilings. The survey found that only 7 percent of all architectural components were in need of repair in 2017, down from 13 percent in 2012.

Yellow and green tiles fell from the elevated subway line in Sunnyside in January damaging cars (Photo: Vitali Ogorodnikov)

Nearly all lighting was reported in good repair and the appearance of stairs and mezzanine floors had improved since 2012.

But the report noted that only 26 subway stations were free of both structural and architectural deficiencies, down from 51 in 2012.

The MTA defended the state of the system and claimed that the study focuses too much on minor issues that have no bearing on public safety. It said the report, however, does show that many serious defects have been addressed.

“As the comptroller notes in his report, NYC Transit has made significant strides at station repairs systemwide thanks to a station maintenance program that focuses on addressing individual components with serious defects,” said MTA spokesperson Tim Minton.

“The comptroller’s conclusion about the number of stations in fully repaired condition is flawed in that many more stations contain only minor issues, affecting neither safety nor the customer experience,” Minton said. “Those stations are understandably not prioritized for immediate repair. By focusing on high-priority defects separately, we are able to respond to serious issues quickly making the most of our limited resources efficiently and cost-effectively.”

 

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24 Comments

Phil

Dramatically increase taxes on the rich and fully fund MTA. Currently much of MTA funding comes from bonds, meaning instead of the richie riches paying, we, the common people, are actually paying them–giving them profit on interest instead of using the money to actually fix teh system. No more bonds. Raise the taxes.

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Carbie Barbie

Implement a parking fee and use that money to fund the MTA.

All these people getting free parking for their private property on public land should pay for that land usage.

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Woodside lady

Barbie girl, MTA has the money ! If you only knew that the money wasted on employees who sleep on job . Does 2 hrs of work gets paid for full day . Yes , one guy who works night shift even bring air mattress in his van to sleep while getting paid !! And lots more goes on that u not aware so the people that live from paycheck to paycheck always get screwed. MTA is organized mob.

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They insist on allowing so many people to ride for free (legit).

They kinda can’t have the money.

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boy with luv

Deadass think that the only way for the MTA to improve is to just build a new and improved subway system because this is obviously an old and outdated subway system that needs constant fixing that temporarily fixes the problem but yet still becomes a inconvenience to fellow New Yorkers. take notes, MTA. get your shit together.

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MJ Drage

Part of the problem with the trains in Queens, the #7 in particular, falls on former Mayor Bloomberg. He stated that the Lexington line needed upgrading (his neighborhood) but the #7 DIDN’T need any work because almost NO ONE USED IT.

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Sara Ross

They’re in disrepair? Then why every weekend and at night are they always working on every single line inconveniencing people – track maintenance, signal and switch modification (a $20 word instead of signal and switch repair – AGAIN)? There’s a sign at my home station in Queens that they are doing track maintenance this weekend with options for people to play alphabet trains to get to where they want to go. There’s an MTA investigator and he needs to go station by station and see what’s going on or not going on at the stations where work is supposed to be done. The only 1 door working and graffiti of the 1970’s seems great compared to what’s been going on since then. They get money from more sources than probably any other agency, but yet they always need more. Hey Scott Stringer, do your job as glorified accountant and check the books.

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Stan

Work that neighborhood for many many years that train station definitely needs a lot of help?

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JM

So, if I am driving under the elevated station and debri falls and damages my vehicle, can I file a lawsuit against the MTA?

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Black Forest Iced Cake

Yesterday, in the Roosevelt Ave./74th St. station, I was stuck in a small elevator with 7 other people for more than 20 minutes. We pressed the alarm button many times and we tried to use the “call for help” button…but it never went through to an operator, even though we tried many times. It was unbearably hot and cramped in there (one of the people had a large suitcase that took up the space of more than one person). We yelled and screamed and no one came to help us. Finally, one of the other people was able to use their cell phone to call 911 and beg for immediate help. Eventually, the fire department showed up and got us out of there. No one..and I mean, NO ONE tried to help us, even though everyone heard the alarm that we kept pushing. If we hadn’t been able to reach 911 I can’t even imagine what would have happened to us after another 20 minutes passed. At least 3 people in that elevator were quite elderly. So…the problem in our subway stations is not just with the trains or the lighting…we are risking people’s lives in those ancient, unreliable elevators! Shame on you, MTA!!

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Debbie

OMG!!! This is why I never get in that elevator even tho the escalator is more often not working.

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Carl Marcs

The MTA should just call themselves what they are; bankrupt. Sell it to a private company. No more from politicians who depend on perceptions/votes! It’s in better hands of a company running a service that depends on results.

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Mac

Carl – You obviously don’t know history and are doomed to repeating it. IRT, IND and BMT were all private companies at one time.Please educate yourself before shooting your ignorant uninformed and uneducated mouth off. You sound like a banner waving gullible blowhard, a market enthusiast, LOL.

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Darla

Mac- Why so rude? I agree with you, but why do you need to be so aggressive? You undermine a good argument.
The quality of discourse these days reflects directly on that guy currently holding the office of the presidency. Sad indeed.

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Mac

Darla- Why so rude? Because people like you, the blowhard in the White House and Fox News constantly reinforcing the notion that it is OK to comment and denigrate people (even politicians), when you have absolutely no idea of any of the facts of the conversation you’re chiming in on. It takes very little effort to do a little research to bring one up to speed on a topic. It was never alright to shoot your mouth off on a matter you obviously know absolutely nothing about.

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Mike Quill

Check yourself Mac, your knowledge of the history of the NYC subways is quite limited as well. Read up on the history of the IND (ICOS). As usual Mac you’re always certain and rarely correct.

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Sarah

Mike Quill at least Mac had 2 out of 3. What did Macs Fox News remark upset you? LOL

Mike Quill

Sarah enough with the “you watch Fox” nonsense. Darla asked Mac a legitimate question. Mac responded with a ridiculous level of vitriol, so I pointed out his error. My response was no better. For the record I don’t watch Fox. They’re a complete embarrassment to actual journalism, and IMHO worthless as a news outlet.

Phil

False. Classic neoliberal/conservative BS. Dramatically nderfund public services, blame “the government” because they don’t work (when in fact they need more funding), then sell to corporations at a discount so they can rake in big bucks. Terrible idea.

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Bo dittle

Need more funding? What is this a start up!? MTA is a failure and the sooner people admit it to themselves the faster a solution will come.

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