Uptowns Ydanis Rodriguez And Other Elected Call For Immediate Fixes To MTA Elevators

February 14, 2017
Following a week where elevators at the 168th Street subway station broke down on four separate occasions, elected officials and community residents are saying “enough.” At a press conference outside the subway station, NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James and representatives from uptown elected officials’ offices explained that this situation is unacceptable, as riders were left crowded on the deeply submerged platform, leading to trains skipping the stop entirely.
Following up on a letter sent to MTA leadership last week, the elected officials and residents called for a permanent fix to these oft-plagued elevators, as well as access to alternate exit points from the platform to the station, a basic fire-safety requirement in most city buildings.
168th Street is a key access point to NY Presbyterian Hospital and the Columbia University Medical Center. The press conference follows a letter sent on Wednesday of last week, requesting that these elevators be made a priority. In the time since the letter was sent, the elevators have broken down on two more separate occasions, leaving riders stranded.
These conditions cannot last a day longer, said Uptown NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez
“These conditions cannot last a day longer,” said Uptown NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “It’s every subway rider’s worst nightmare, being caught on a platform with no way out. The MTA needs to set a date for when a complete renovation of these elevators will begin, so we can ease the concerns of our community. We know it wouldn’t take this long if these elevators were at 42nd Street. Our community deserves respect and it is time for action.”
“It is completely unacceptable that commuters ahve had to endure yet another elevator shutdown stifling their morning commute. The MTA must re-mediate this problem immediately and address the needs affecting morning travelers,” said NYC Public Advocate Letitia James.
“Five outages in three weeks is unacceptable. Like my colleagues, I call on the MTA to take whatever steps are necessary to get these elevators running reliably,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “We have precious few elevator-equipped stations. The ones we do have need to work, period.”
…Elevator outages lead to greater commuter delays and unsafe crowds.  The 168th street train stop is utilized by New York Presbyterian Hospital, the largest employer in Washington Heights, and Columbia University Medical Center…
“I am deeply concerned following a recent report that the elevators at the 168th street subway were out of service once again and I urge the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to make the necessary permanent repairs to immediately resolve this issue and prevent this and similar outages from recurring in the future,” said Harlem U.S. Congressman Adriano Espaillat. “Elevator outages lead to greater commuter delays and unsafe crowds.  The 168th street train stop is utilized by New York Presbyterian Hospital, the largest employer in Washington Heights, and Columbia University Medical Center.  An inadequate subway system is unacceptable for New York City and the millions of residents who rely on it for their health and livelihood.”
“The elevators at this widely-trafficked subway stop, which are the only way to exit, have had recurring problems that prevent the use of this stop by the people of this community,” said NYS Senator Marisol Alcantara. This is unacceptable, and the recurring nature of the problem has created serious hardship for many. I call on the MTA to immediately fix this problem, this time permanently, and once again extend the use of our world-class public transport system to the taxpaying New Yorkers who pay for it.”
“We call on the MTA to put a plan in place to address the infrastructure needs of the stations in the district and on the Governor to restore crucial funding to eliminate the gap of funding for the MTA,” said NYS Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa. Our communities deserve decent service especially when we are constantly under threat of a fare hike. This station has a robust traffic of people, for which the permanent fixes to the recurring problem with the elevators should be a top priority to ease the daily commute of these individuals.”

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