The MTA operates 182 passenger elevators and 176 escalators in the five boroughs, but some of them are out of service so often they might very well be cursed. The spookiest station is Herald Square, where three doomed escalators haven't moved an inch so far this year, and four others are quite often inoperative. Another notorious escalator at the Gun Hill Road station on the 2 and 5 lines in The Bronx broke down 61 times so far this year. And at one station on the Lexington Avenue line, vandals have ripped out the escalator handrail so often that workers are now trying to redesign the rail so that it can't be taken apart.

While fitter commuters can simply take the stairs, the malfunctions are obviously a big problem for elderly and disabled riders, and Gene Russianoff of the Straphanger's Campaign tells the Post, "You can't call them amenities. At some of these stations, like 52nd and Lexington, you could parachute down to the platform, it's so deep."

In an email to Gothamist, NYC Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges fired back at the Post's article: "While the Post focuses on Herald Square, it's important to understand a fact omitted by the Post, namely that those escalators are under warranty repair by the contractor. The article also glossed over the fact that our system-wide availability is still 90% or better, and did not differentiate between scheduled outages for maintenance/repair and unscheduled outages due to failure.

"The paper also failed to mention that we have instituted a Scheduled Maintenance System (SMS) program through which crews will be replacing parts prone to failure prior to the end of their useful life which—as is the case of similar long standing successful programs for subway cars and buses—will increase the availability and reliability of the equipment. The text messaging system *will* be rolled out soon for elevators and escalators along with a new website, but all outages are currently posted on the website." OMG, more text messaging?