Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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NY1 For You: Howard Beach/JFK Station Has Many Steep Climbs Due To Sandy

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Getting to and from the Rockaways has been unpleasant for commuters since Hurricane Sandy knocked out the peninsula's subway service, and at the Howard Beach station, where travelers must transfer to a shuttle bus, there are many broken elevators and escalators. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following NY1 For You report.

It is a trek for commuters at the Howard Beach/JFK train station in Queens, where most of the elevators and escalators have been out of service since Hurricane Sandy.

"We have to go around and up and down the stairs and sometimes you miss the train. So it's quite annoying," says commuter Ashley Machadl. "I mean, Hurricane Sandy occurred a long time ago and we live in New York, so this should have been done already."

Three of the four elevators at the A line station are broken, along with one of two escalators.

On the inbound side, where commuters have to leave the station to make a transfer, the only two elevators and the first escalator are broken, leaving riders no choice but to climb a long flight of stairs. It's not an option for many.

"I've noticed a number of disabled people, either people who are on crutches, people in wheelchairs and elderly people and people like myself who travel with their children, people who have babies in carriages," says commuter Aiysha Simon.

The elevators and the escalators are maintained by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and riders say they have repeatedly filed complaints with the agency.

"They're aware of this as being a problem. It's posted on their website that it was supposed to be completed and the parts would be ordered and installed in mid-March, and here we sit," says commuter Jamila Simon.

NY1 contacted the Port Authority and a spokesman says all four elevators were knocked out of service from Hurricane Sandy after the station took in seven feet of water. The elevators had to be stripped out and rebuilt, according to the spokesman, who says one elevator returned to service last week and a second elevator and escalator should start running as soon as the end of this week.

He also says the third elevator is due back in a couple of weeks and the fourth should work again by early May.

It is not too soon for riders who have been waiting for a smoother commute since Sandy.

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