Concerns raised about safety of New York City’s subway stations


New York City’s subway system is among the most extensive and heavily traveled in the world. With more than 660 miles of tracks and 468 underground and elevated stations servicing more than 1.75 billion people each year; it’s imperative that subway trains, tracks and stations are regularly inspected and maintained.

According to the Metro Transportation Authority’s website, in 1982 the average NYC subway car traveled 7,145 miles between maintenance repairs. As of 2013, the number of miles traveled between repairs had increased to 155,382 or by more than 2,074 percent. Additionally, a recent report released by the Citizens Budget Commission revealed that many of the city’s subway stations are in desperate need of maintenance and repairs.

The CBC report identified 33 subway stations where more than 50 percent of the station’s “structural parts need work.” Of these stations, 15 are located in Queens and 10 in Brooklyn. Much-needed repairs include those to leaking and structurally-unsound ceilings and warped and broken staircases which pose immediate collapse and fall dangers to members of the public.

However, while the MTA is aware of the major structural damage and hazards at many subway stations, the agency’s resources are spread thin and focused on more immediate repairs related to equipment malfunctions. Consequently, it often isn’t until an accident occurs or someone is injured that such problems are given attention.

Such was the case when a “deteriorated subway wall gave way,” recently and caused the derailment of a G train. The derailment forced the evacuation of 84 passengers, three of whom suffered injuries and were taken to a nearby hospital.

Until and unless the city’s politicians and MTA officials take action to invest the funds needed to repair the many structural and equipment defects that plague New York City’s subway system, innocent members of the public will continue to be at risk of suffering serious injury.

Source: DNA info., “3 Injured After G Train Crashes into Deteriorating Subway Wall: Officials,” Nicholas Rizzi and Sybile Penhirin, Sept. 11, 2015

New York Daily News, “Fixing all the problems at MTA subway stations will take 52 YEARS, says report,” Rich Schapiro and Dan Rivoli, Sept. 2, 2015

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