Government Fails to Elevate

NewYorkBrokenEscalator.jpg “Charles Sterrazza, left, and Matthew Benzinger, both in hard hats, worked on an escalator under the watchful eyes of passengers.” Source of caption and photo: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.

(p. A18) New York City Transit has spent close to $1 billion to install more than 200 new elevators and escalators in the subway system since the early 1990s, and it plans to spend almost that much again for dozens more machines through the end of the next decade. It is an investment of historic dimensions, aimed at better serving millions of riders and opening more of the subway to the disabled.
. . .
These are the results:
¶One of every six elevators and escalators in the subway system was out of service for more than a month last year, according to the transit agency’s data.
¶The 169 escalators in the subway averaged 68 breakdowns or repair calls each last year, with the worst machines logging more than double that number. And some of the least reliable escalators in the system are also some of the newest, accumulating thousands of hours out of service for what officials described as a litany of mechanical flaws.
¶Two-thirds of the subway elevators — many of which travel all of 15 feet — had at least one breakdown last year in which passengers were trapped inside.
. . .
. . . the cost of all this goes beyond the hefty capital investment and the roughly $25 million spent each year on maintenance and repair. It can be calculated in terms of people delayed on their way to work, people injured in accidents, people forced to alter their travel routines. And for the disabled, it means that many areas of the subway system still cannot be reliably navigated.

For the full story, see:
WILLIAM NEUMAN. “$1 Billion Later, Subway Elevators Still Fail.” The New York Times (Mon., May 19, 2008): A1 & A18-A19.
(Note: ellipses added.)

NewYorkSubwayMap.jpg Source of map graphic: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited above.

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