As the MTA faces a crushing financial shortfall that could cause service cuts and fare hikes, the new president of MTA NYC Transit revealed his plans to repaint and refurbish eight recently-renovated subway stations that he says have fallen into disrepair. "I don't want to say that because of our budget issues, we can't make improvements," said Thomas Prendergast. "There's room for improvement, and I honestly think we can do it."
According to the Daily News, Prendergast wants "teams of carpenters, masons, ironworkers and painters" to renovate the following stations: Yankee Stadium and Third Avenue/149th Street in the Bronx, Atlantic Avenue/Pacific Street and Crown Heights-Utica Avenue in Brooklyn, Union Square and Times Square in Manhattan, and Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street in Queens. All of those stations have been renovated in the past decade, but Prendergast says the agency hasn't done enough follow-up work to keep them in good shape after the overhauls. "We let conditions slip," he said.
After the planned clean-ups, Prendergast wants those stations to receive more inspections and repairs. The former MTA Transit executive also intends to launch anti-litter and anti-grime programs, and adjust the existing signals and track circuits on the Lexington Avenue line so more 4, 5 and 6 trains can run during rush hours. Due to lower-than-expected revenues from a payroll tax created to bailout the agency, the MTA is considering eliminating student MetroCards, cutting subway and bus lines, and adjusting scheduling so trains are more crowded and less frequent. Experts say that next year, the MTA might also need to raise fares by more than the anticipated 7.5 percent in order to balance its budget.