Escalator Has Been Out of Service Since August 2012
LOWER EAST SIDE -- Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and Councilmember Margaret Chin joined dozens of community members and the Riders Alliance at a rally to urge the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to finally complete repairs to the escalator at the East Broadway F train subway station.
The escalator has been out of service since August 2012 and the MTA has repeatedly pushed back the expected completion date over the last year and a half. After at least six missed deadlines, the MTA set a new completion date of today, January 31st; but yesterday afternoon, the agency moved the date yet again, this time to February 28th.
The Lower East Side -- which is not as well served by public transit as some other communities -- is home to a large number of elderly residents who rely on the escalator and have been unable to use the East Broadway station without great difficulty over the last year and a half.
"The train left the station a long time ago on an acceptable timeline for repairs. Any day without a working escalator makes things more difficult for seniors -- and a year and a half is simply unacceptable," said Senator Daniel Squadron. "Lower East Siders depend on the East Broadway F stop as one of few access points into our transit system, yet it's been much more difficult for many to even use the station. The MTA must get our escalator working now."
“This escalator has been out of service for far too long,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said.“Our Lower East Side community suffers enough from a lack of public transit options and we rely on the East Broadway F stop. We have elderly neighbors who literally cannot use this station when the escalator is out. It is at the very least an inconvenience for our able-bodied residents and an impossibility for many of our seniors. The repair is long overdue and we will not accept another delay.”
“There is absolutely no excuse for this. This escalator has been inoperative for a year and a half, now, and the MTA continues to push back the repair date, over and over. This has been a year and a half of inconvenience for far too many New York straphangers. I urge the MTA to stop delaying and repair the escalator immediately,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12).
“We need this escalator fixed quickly. I am working to make Manhattan age-friendly and to do this, we need the cooperation of the MTA. When a repair is this important, the MTA must move faster,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.
"For too long, the Lower East Side community has waited for repairs that never came. In a neighborhood where transit options are already limited, residents, and especially our seniors, deserve unimpeded access to public transportation. The MTA has repeatedly committed to repairing escalator service at the East Broadway subway station--years later, there is no end to the project in sight. I call on the MTA to honor their agreement to restore escalator service in a timely manner. A fully-functional East Broadway station is long overdue," said Councilmember Margaret Chin.
"Until this escalator starts working again, F might as well stand for Fuhgeddaboutit for elderly Lower East Siders. When we launched the Riders Alliance in 2012 to win better bus and subway service, one of the first complaints we heard was about the escalator at East Broadway. A year and a half later, it still hasn't been repaired. We appreciate the work of Senator Squadron, Speaker Silver, Congresswoman Maloney, Borough President Brewer, and Council Member Chin to bring attention to this long-standing concern of F train subway riders," said John Raskin, Riders Alliance Executive Director.