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Peeling paint, broken lights at more than half of subway stations, report finds


Straphangers Credit: Cracked floor at an L stop, water damage along the J/Z, and peeling paint at a No. 7 (Straphangers)

Most subway platforms have peeling paint and busted lights, according to a survey released Thursday.

The Straphangers Campaign released its first "State of the Station Platforms" report on subway conditions Thursday after examining 250 platforms in 120 subway stations last summer.

Jason Chin-Fatt of the Straphangers Campaign, who oversaw the survey, said that after inspecting more than a quarter of the MTA's subway platforms, "We found the good, the bad and the ugly."

On the bright side, they only found one overflowing garbage can, though there were some "clearly unacceptable conditions," including peeling paint at more than three quarters of platforms.

Among the "good" conditions were 94% of platforms were free of garbage bags. The "bad" conditions included "substantial floor cracks" at one-in-three platforms and rats on 11% of subway tracks. The report called broken light fixtures and substantial water damage at half of stations "ugly."

In an email, an MTA spokesman said improving the appearance and cleanliness of subway stations "is among [the agency's] top priorities." He said the "Fastrack" program that began last month - where a large chunk of a subway route is shut down overnight for four consecutive days for maintenance work - has helped the effort, in addition to adding more workers and resources to removing trash.

The MTA conducts its own monthly Passenger Environment Survey on subway stations, based on appearance, equipment and information provided. According to their last report card, Queens stations got the highest rating of 89%, compared to the lowest-rated Bronx, at 83%.

MTA board member Charles Moerdler, who often bemoans the "terrible" conditions of Bronx subway stations, said the agency doesn't have enough financial support to better maintain the system.

"The problem here is not will, but moolah - money," he told amNewYork. "The bottom line is the government - whether it be city or state - must have the will to provide the resources so that you can do a job."

Follow reporter Marc Beja on Twitter: @marc_beja


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