NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Escalators at New York City’s newest subway stations are going down – and not in a good way.
A new report reveals a stunning tale of MTA incompetence and rider frustration as escalators at the three new stations along the Second Avenue subway have been breaking down at an alarming rate – just 10 percent meet availability standards.
An out of order sign at the new 72nd Street stop on the Second Avenue line tells you all you need to know about the MTA inspector general’s report.
Just three of the 32 escalators at the three stops are meeting performance goals – even though they are “comparatively brand new” and were opened to great fanfare by Gov. Cuomo less than two years ago.
“It’s an outrage and it’s worrisome because you have all these new stations,” a subway rider named Mark said.
The problem gets worse than that, the sign at 72nd Street says the escalator will be back in service on July 12 – four days ago.
CBS2 demanded answers from the man fixing the escalator.
“When will it be online? The sign on there says it will be fixed on the 12th, that was four days ago,” CBS2’s Marcia Kramer said.
The MTA’s answer was even more disheartening.
“The sign was incorrect, it should have read the 26th,” an MTA employee said.
Ten more days without one of the escalators at 72nd Street; which wasn’t the only escalator CBS2 discovered wasn’t working there.
One rider said it happens all the time.
“Every other day it breaks,” Barry Bernstein of the Upper East Side said. “It’s the MTA, everything is screwed up in the MTA.”
“How frustrating is it to walk up when the escalators are broken,” Kramer asked.
“My age, my bad knees, it hurts.”
“I feel like I just remembered them being built and I went on it for the first time and not too long after they were breaking on a bi-weekly basis,” subway rider Nicole explained.
Riders told CBS2 this escalator was broken on Monday and that walking up the stairs was a nightmare in the heat.
“You would think that a new station would have better maintenance. You would think a new station wouldn’t break down as much, plus there are leaks in the roof,” Chip Cronkite added.
While the inspector general’s audit dealt with the new Second Avenue subway stops, CBS2 cameras also found broken elevators at Columbus Circle, which seem to be a constant problem as well.
MTA officials offered no answers about Columbus Circle. As for the Second Avenue subway, a spokesman said the agency will hold the contractor, Schindler, accountable.
They added that the failure could put future work at risk.
The company has a contract to install 17 elevators and 45 escalators on the LIRR’s not yet finished East Side Access project.
Spokesmen for the Gov. Cuomo and the MTA issued a terse warning to the contractor – stop failing the riders or be replaced.