Unsightly peeling paint infects 79% of New York City’s underground subway platforms, according to a recent survey conducted by the New York Public Interest Research Group’s Straphangers Campaign.
NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign
|Peeling paint plagues 79% of NYC subway platforms.|
The survey, The State of the Station Platforms, measured all 250 platforms located at 120 randomly-selected Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) subway stations from July- September 2011. The results were catalogued and represent conditions for which the transit officials could “fairly be held accountable for,” including peeling paint, garbage, rats, graffiti and broken lights and handrails, campaign organizers said.
Staff and interns from the group observed 12 conditions and noted their findings here.
“We found the good, the bad and the ugly, from no subway station platforms having overflowing garbage cans to clearly unacceptable conditions, such as peeling paint at three quarters of the platforms observed,” said Jason Chin-Fatt, the Straphangers Campaign organizer who oversaw the survey.
On a positive note, the study found that 100% of the platforms included in the survey had garbage cans present and none appeared to be overflowing.
On the other hand, exposed wiring plagued 28% of platforms and a substantial amount of graffiti was observed in 20% of platforms. Also, substantial floor cracks appeared at 33% of all platforms surveyed, the group said.
Among the “ugly” conditions were:
• broken lighting fixtures at 50% of underground platforms observed;
• substantial water damage at 53% of underground platforms observed; and
• substantial peeling paint at 79% of underground platforms observed.
The MTA New York City transit completes its own Passenger Environment Survey (PES) for subway stations twice each year. The Straphangers Campaign, however, said the MTA rates different aspects of the station environment and in some cases utilizes different measurements. In addition, NYC Transit rates an entire station, including entrances, mezzanines and station booths; whereas this survey rated station platforms only.
New MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota has pledged to take action on the peeling-paint issue in the stations. In news reported last month, Lhota said deteriorated paint in the stations was a priority for maintenance work; see MTA Chairman Lhota wants to attack peeling paint in subways.
“It’s one of the things that bothers me, and I’d like to fix it as much as we can,” Lhota told the New York Daily News when asked what he’ll do as “rider-chairman.”
The Daily News story reported that a stepped-up pace of station repainting was already on the agenda for the MTA, thanks to plans put in motion in 2010 to accelerate painting work. Still, the transit agency has a ways to go; only 30 of its 468 stations got a new paint job over the last two years. Going forward, the goal is 40 a year.
More information: http://www.straphangers.org/platforms/12/.