NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A subway stop in Queens has been thrown into chaos – all because of a broken escalator.
As CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority initially said the escalator would be fixed this week. But on Thursday, it was still out of service.
Rozner was demanding answers Friday.
The escalator at the 61st Street No. 7 Train station in Woodside has been out of service since Jan. 1. Many residents said they cannot physically climb the dozens of stairs.
The MTA said it is aware of the problem and will get to it, but residents say they want action, not excuses.
The situation for riders at the station amounts to “hurry up and wait.” They are rushing to work, only to find they have to wait their turn to fit in one elevator.
“It’s just a mess,” said Will Wilpow.
“It’s always broken,” said Lisa Brady of Woodside. “It’s never fixed.”
Some riders can walk up the 70 stairs. But for those with strollers or health conditions, it is not an option.
“With my bad ankle, it hurts,” said Thomas Chan of Woodside.
“I had a heart attack and I like to take an escalator or elevator,” another commuter said.
“I have asthma. I have a pump, and when I have to walk up these kinds of stairs, it wears me out,” said Lisa Brady of Woodside. “Now I’m standing here waiting for the next round of people to go up in the elevator because the escalator’s broken.”
The escalator has been blocked off for two weeks. Several times, there were promises posted that it would be fixed in a day or two.
The latest notice now says it will be repaired by Jan. 11 – a day that is now past.
“It is an inconvenience,” said Joanne Burns of Woodside.
“It’s been down for quite a while too, so I don’t understand what’s taking so long with it,” said Manuel Pereira of Long Island.
Even worse, on Thursday, construction workers were seen monopolizing the only working elevator.
“I thought they weren’t supposed to use personal elevators, but I guess that’s thrown out the window,” said Manuel Pereira of Long Island.
CBS2 demanded answers from the MTA Thursday about what is taking so long. A spokesman said no one was available to go on camera, but said recent severe weather delayed the project.
He said the escalator will now be fixed by next Friday at 3 p.m.
Riders said they will believe it when they see it.
“My boss doesn’t want to hear that I’m late every day because the escalator’s broken,” Brady said.