An interactive map released today by the Citizens Budget Commission details exactly how many structural components across NYC's 467 subway stations—from tiles, to lighting, to stairs, to ventilators—are currently chipped, burnt out, broken, or busted. Or, in technical terms, fail to meet the MTA's standard for a "good state of repair."
The findings are hardly surprising. Only 76 stations, or about 16% of the total, currently meet the "good repair" standard—41 in Brooklyn, 14 each in Manhattan and the Bronx, and only 7 in Queens, which is also home to 7 of the Top 10 Most Decrepit Stations in the city.
Those noteworthy stations are detailed here:
The CBC's map reflects MTA data collected in 2012, when city officials last surveyed every station in the system and ranked architectural and structural details on a scale of 1 to 5—1 being the best, and any score over 3 deeming repairs necessary.
According to the CBC's accompanying report [PDF], even if all of the repair work laid out in the MTA's 2010-2014 capital plan is completed as planned, a full 20% of the subpar station components will carry over into the next fiscal cycle. Or, as the CBC puts it, "Even if the MTA's proposed five-year capital plan for 2015-2019 were fully funded—which it is not—the MTA’s current and planned pace of work is not expected to bring all stations to SGR any time soon."
To speed up the MTA's sluggish repair process (which the CBC described as "Sisyphean") the organization has suggested diverting some of the funds set aside for the equally-sluggish Second Avenue subway, or doing like the Parks Department and creating "station conservancies"—nonprofits, not unlike the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, that would focus on shuttling private funding into specific subway stations.
"We respectfully disagree with the CBC's recommendation to reduce spending on expansion projects," said MTA spokeswoman Amanda Kwan in a statement. "At a time when growing ridership is leading to crowding and delays, we must pursue expansion projects that will accommodate more customers as well as provide new connections and opportunities for our customers."
If you find this information frustrating, tell your state representatives and Governor Cuomo to stop robbing the MTA of badly needed funding and figure out a way to come up with more cash for a 21st Century transit system.