Elevator and escalator conditions at subway stations across the city are going down and Comptroller John C. Liu wants the MTA make some changes.
“The MTA just has to escalate and elevate its commitment to make sure that escalators and elevators are working,” said Liu, whose audit was released on the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. “Transit riders, especially seniors and people with disabilities, rely heavily on the MTA to make stations accessible.”
Liu believes that the MTA needs to be more responsible in overseeing its internal agencies, including New York City Transit (NYCT), which operates the city’s 468 active subway stations and oversees the Elevator and Escalator Department (EED).
In the audit, Liu found instances where required preventive and scheduled maintenance was not performed and safety tests were lacking or not properly performed. Liu also found that NYCT lacks formal operating procedures and does not properly supervise its crews.
“On the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the MTA should honor its required commitment to make our subway system accessible for all riders,” Liu said. “MTA’s sloppy performance in inspecting and maintaining elevators and escalators increases the risk of breakdowns, which not only causes trouble for straphangers, but also jeopardizes safety.”
The recommendations made by Liu include immediately performing safety tests on elevators that were scheduled but never performed, and ensuring that all required documentation reflecting work performed by field crews is completed and retained.
The MTA agreed with Liu’s findings and said that steps will be made to improve facilities and bring them up to the standard set by this audit.
“MTA New York City Transit concurs with all the recommendations made in the audit report and agrees that most of them offer meaningful ways to improve the overall performance of our expansive network of elevators and escalators,” said Aaron Donovan, MTA deputy press secretary.
The full audit report is available at www.comptroller.nyc.gov.