The MTA’s lax structural inspections of subway stations have put straphangers at risk of being pelted with loose bricks or falling ceiling panels for years, according to a damning report released Monday.
In the case of the 181st Street No. 1 train station where the ceiling collapsed last August, the MTA Inspector General found that transit officials knew as far back as 1999 that structural repairs were needed. However, no permanent fixes were ever made, and officials never followed up with thorough inspections.
“The danger signs were evident but were unattended to by the multiple departments within NYC Transit,” said MTA Inspector General Barry Kluger, whose office released the report.
While the study was conducted in response to the 181st Street ceiling mishap, which shut down the station for more than two weeks last summer, it concluded that there are widespread problems in how NYC Transit ensures that stations are safe.
Other scathing findings include:
- Transit inspectors failed to get up close to examine conditions, instead choosing to eyeball stations from the platforms or tracks.
- Some ceilings and concrete platforms at elevated stations aren’t subject to routine inspections, making the risk they will fall apart “unacceptably high.”
MTA officials said they are in agreement with 90 percent of the report’s recommendations.
“Some have already been undertaken and guidelines are currently being developed for the implementation of others,” the agency said in a statement.