[UPDATE BELOW] Arnold Diaz and his Shame Crew over at Fox5NY are on part five of their Broken Subway Escalator series. Most recently they revisited the Union Square and 53rd and 3rd stations, both of which have had busted escalators for years. To recap, Diaz says the MTA gave sweetheart deals to real estate developers who promised to install and maintain escalators. In both stations they have been boarded up and straphangers are directed to take the stairs instead—and while that may be a healthier alternative for some of us, there are plenty who need the escalators.
Diaz says the MTA could have fixed the problem years ago and billed the developers, but have failed to do so. We've contacted the agency for comment.
UPDATE: NYC Transit's Paul Fleuranges tells us, "For NYC Transit to repair those escalators and then bill developers would have set a dangerous precedent that at the end of the day would have provided the impetus for these developers to walk away from their legal commitments all together, which would then lead NYC Transit to spend scare public dollars on protracted legal maneuvering to recoup our initial and ongoing costs. We feel it best to hold those developers to their agreements.
The escalator on the E & V at 53rd St & 3rd Ave owned by Miller Global Properties has been dismantled and removed and preparations are being made for the installation of the new one. It is our understanding that the escalator for Zeckendorf Towers at Union Sq is being manufactured.
We realize that this has been a long and cumbersome process for our customers, but we are hopeful that finally progress is being made."