Scathing report about MTA platforms

May 27, 2009 3:33:48 PM PDT
A warning was issued Wednesday from the MTA's own inspectors about hazards on platforms. The advice to passengers is to watch your step.

The scathing report claims that the MTA has botched the safety inspections of yellow stripboards along the edge of every subway platform. Most of them are crumbling or broken.

At 27 stations, 23 of the boards that had been declared safe were actually defective.

Avi Katz, 15, prefers the bus over the subway these days. That is, ever since he fell off one of the unstable platform edges as it collapsed under him. It happened when Avi was on his way home from school 16 months ago. But shockingly, at the Kings Highway station, the problems haven't been fixed yet.

"I don't want what happened to me to happen to anyone else," Katz said. "It's not fair."

The MTA's inspector general agrees, and he's now issued a report criticizing the agency and New York City transit officials for inspections of the platform boards. Barry Kluger says they have been inconsistent, incomplete and downright inaccurate.

"Because many of these reports did go through, but you had one inspection calling it a 'poor' and another one calling it a 'fair,'" Kluger said. "And they're looking at the exact same location."

On Wednesday, the city's transit president admitted there have been mistakes.

"The state of disrepair that existed across the system was one of those things that we weren't really focusing on," Howard Roberts said.

And Roberts promises all of this will be fixed by the end of the year.

"So they're fixing it now because we made a fuss?" Avi's mother, Rena Katz, asked. "Why didn't they fix it then? Are they going to wait for somebody else to take a fall?...They should've been doing it already, a long time ago."

And local leaders are promising to do everything possible to hold them to it.

"We're talking about simple things," Assemblyman Dov Hikind said. "Give them a hammer, give them some nails, and let them go fix the freakin' stations, which they promised New Yorkers they would do. And they haven't done it."

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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