MANHATTAN – A subway station escalator broken for months and frustrating commuters during each and every rush hour has finally been fixed, less than a week after Upper East Side Council Member Julie Menin demanded the MTA make the necessary repairs inside less than five-year-old East72nd Street- Second Avenue station.
The escalator, located at the south end of the station by East 69th Street, had been out of service since February according to the council member— causing bottlenecks during rush hour, making it particularly difficult for disabled Upper East Siders to get out of the station.
First the Metropolitan Transporation Authority’s deadline for repairs was pushed back from March 31st to April, then moved again to May 1st— some MTA signs were scribbled over as the escalators mechanicals remained exposed, accumulating garbage tossed by commuters.
Last Thursday, May 5th, the necessary repairs were finally completed, just days after Council Member Menin sent a letter to MTA Chair Janno Lieber calling for urgent repairs— pointing to a number of complaints from frustrated straphangers.
The MTA says the escalator needed a countershaft replacement that required the entire escalator drive motor be taken apart, removed from the station and brought to a repair shop— which itself was delayed by parts and material shortages.
Broken escalators have been a chronic issue in the Second Avenue Subway stations since it opened in 2017.
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During the first fifteen months the line was open, inspectors with the MTA’s Inspector General’s Office found that only three of thirty-two escalators were in service at last 95.2 percent of the time, the agency’s goal uptime.
Meanwhile, the MTA claims the just-repaired escalator has a reliability rating of 97 percent.