The New York Times is reporting today, December 17, 2007, of an MTA project to “hook up more than 300 elevators and escalators in the subways to a computerized monitoring system that would allow it to respond more quickly to breakdowns.” The plan still needs the approval of the full Authority but the prospect is encouraging. Reading through the articles it appears the plan is focusing on elevators first.
According to the article “[t]here are 158 passenger elevators in the subway system, including 138 in 61 stations that are fully accessible to disabled people, according to the transit agency. There are 169 escalators. The subway system has 468 stations.”
Using simple division that means the two elevators on Roosevelt Island account for just over 1% of the total elevator population no matter which figure is the denominator. Not much percentage wise but at least we are on the board. Since we have a higher percentage of wheelchair residents than most neighboprhoods anytime these elevators go out of service we should be yelling louder.
Our 10 escalators account for just under 6% of the total escalator population. At 6% that is nothing to sneeze at. What bugs me and most residents is why are the new escalators already are out of service as often as they are. If they are being “rested” during off hours can that be posted at the track level or at the lower mezzanine before individuals start heading up to find that the escalators from Upper Mezzanine to the street are out of service? Can we automate those fancy LED lights at the bottom to inform us of these outages?
Based on these percentages and our resident population I would hope that our elected representatives work to ensure our elevators and escalators are included in the final MTA automated response plan once it is approved earlier than later.