Thompson: MTA slow on fixing station defects

An audit of station conditions found needed repairs, such as these stairs on the 33rd Street stop on the No. 6 line. (Courtesy the Comptroller's Office)

Lead paint. Cracked floorboards. Hanging electrical wires. Broken steps.

Welcome to the New York City subway.

A damning audit released Wednesday by city Comptroller William Thompson found that widespread maintenance defects across city subway stations often remain unrepaired for months.

“It’s as if New York City Transit is looking the other way,” Thompson said in a statement.

During the year-long audit of 50 stations begun in July 2007, Thompson’s office identified 100 defects — including corroded metal, platform holes and unstable platform edges — that transit officials had not reported broken. In addition, 15 percent of defects reported in transit’s maintenance database had not been fixed after more than two months.

“It’s true. It’s all true,” said Andrew Albert, a MTA board member. “We’ve seen unbelievable conditions in stations that haven’t even been targeted for renovations.”

In response, transit officials said they are training supervisors to better identify maintenance defects and ensure that stations are inspected at least every 72 hours. Additionally, the MTA will begin overhauling components of stations instead of waiting for full rehabs, which will allow them to respond to problems faster, officials said.

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