Op-Ed
by Albert Baldeo
Nov 17, 2009 | 3218 views | 0 0 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The deteriorating infrastructure of our subway systems constitutes one of the worst eyesores in our neighborhoods. The New York City Transit Authority is guilty of dragging its feet on repairs in subway stations and we must urge our legislators to hold the MTA accountable for their chronic and persistent failure. Not only do these unsightly structures depress, but the dangerous chemical droppings are a health hazard. We deserve better.

Commuters are subject to unsafe conditions in many of the stations. According to a recent audit, released by Comptroller William Thompson, of 50 subway stations, there are 144 defects, with over 69 percent not reported for correction or repair. The report indicated that the NYC Transit Authority is failing to repair and report defective and dangerous conditions such as holes in station ceilings and platforms, corroded metal, loose or warped rubbing boards and broken steps in commuter areas at subway stations.

The report also contains 16 recommendations to the Transit Authority, which has announced plans to fix up what it calls the 50 most dilapidated stations. We, the commuting public, should demand that our elected officials hold the New York City Transit Authority accountable by enforcing a deadline and demand emergency work on these stations. Photo-ops will no longer suffice.

Public transportation is the lifeblood of New York City. Every day, millions take buses and trains to work, school, to have fun, and visit friends and relatives. Our economy depends on it, and so does our way of life. But today, our public transportation system is in crisis.

We need massive new investment to meet the demands of a growing city, but city and state aid for the MTA must play its part to meet this demand. We need a transit system that is affordable and reliable. But without increased state and city aid, more fare hikes are inevitable. Time after time, the MTA raises fares, but ignores upkeep and maintenance, driving up the cost of living and driving folks from our neighborhoods.

We demand a serious allocation of capital funding now. Otherwise, maintaining a reliable, affordable transit system for the future is impossible. Time has caught up with the MTA.

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