By Philip Newman
City Comptroller William Thompson has accused the New York City Transit Authority of dragging its feet on repairs in subway stations.
The Transit Authority said help is on the way.
Thompson issued a report based on an audit of 50 subway stations throughout the past year. The report said that of the 144 defects his investigators discovered, 69 percent were not reported for correction or repair.
The comptroller said New York City Transit “is failing to repair [and] report defective and dangerous conditions — holes in station ceilings and platforms, corroded metal, loose or warped rubbing boards and broken steps — in commuter areas at subway stations across the city,” the report said.
“We recently averted a tragedy when a subway ceiling collapsed onto tracks in Upper Manhattan,” the report said.
“That should have signaled not just the need but the urgency to repair hazardous conditions,” the report said. “Instead, it’s as if New York City Transit is looking the other way. New Yorkers deserve better.”
Among the comptroller’s complaints were a loose metal wall panel at the south-end section of the southbound elevated platform at the 88th-Boyd Streets station of the A line in Queens. On June 20, 2008, a trouble call was generated and was closed out as completed. On July 12, 2008, investigators observed that the condition had not beenrepaired.
Thompson made 16 recommendations to the Transit Authority.
The New York City Transit Authority, which has announced plans to fix up what it calls the 50 most dilapidated stations, replied: “Several of the recommendations made in the comptroller’s office audit report on the Transit Authority efforts to maintain and repair subway stations are being followed, while some, including those requiring the use of Web-based technology, are under review for future incorporation.
“In our 2010-2014 Capital Program proposals, NYCTA Transit will begin to take a more cost-effective, efficient, flexible and realistic approach to station conditions given available funding. Our station component program will focus on remediating deficient station components while maintaining those components that are in good condition.”
Thompson is the Democratic nominee for mayor.
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 136.