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Comptroller's Office: Most Subway Stations Are In Need Of Repairs

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The New York State Comptroller's office said Thursday that too many of the city's subway stations are in disrepair, and efforts to upgrade the stations are dragging along too slowly.

The report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said only 51 of the city's 468 stations were found to be free of defects in a recent survey, and only one in four had most or all of their components in good condition.

"New York City Transit reports it is making progress on repairing stations but the pace is too slow and much more work needs to be done," DiNapoli said in the release. "Worn or damaged stairs and platform edges pose risks for riders, while broken tiles, lights and peeling paint leave riders with a low opinion of the transit system."

The comptroller's office used data from the New York City Transit subdivision of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on structural and architectural elements in the stations. Structural elements include stairs, columns and platform edges, while architectural elements include tile, paint and lighting.

The survey rated the components on a scale of 1 to 5, with the number rising for worse conditions. The survey did not account for hygiene, maintenance or the condition of elevators and escalators.

More than 25 percent of all structural components had some kind of defect, and repairs were required at 94 stations, the office said. Stations in Brooklyn and Queens ranked the worst among structural defects.

About 43 percent of platform edges were also in need of repair, and 10 percent had serious defects, the office said.

About 27 percent of station ceilings or columns needed painting, and the tile or finish on subway walls and floors did not meet the NYCT's own minimum standards, the office said.

The Comptroller's office survey also found that at least 25 percent of tile, paint and lighting components needed repairs at 83 stations – including major ones such as 47th-50th streets-Rockefeller Center, and Borough Hall in Brooklyn.

Nearly one in five of the subway system's 176 elevators and 217 elevators are beyond their useful lives and must be replaced, the office said. More than half serve six deep underground stations in Upper Manhattan, the office said.

The NYCT had planned to replace all outdated elevators and escalators by 2001, but the elevators now will not be fully replaced until 2019, and the escalators until 2024, the office said.

The MTA took issue with the report Thursday evening.

"All 468 stations in the MTA New York City Transit subway system are safe for our 5.8 million daily customers, and the MTA has spent billions of dollars to improve the appearance and structural conditions at stations as well," the MTA said in a statement. "This report does not reflect the improvements being made under the MTA's component approach, which focuses on improving deteriorated components systemwide rather than rehabilitating entire stations."

The NYCT surveys stations conditions once every five years, the Comptroller's office said.

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