The escalator at one Manhattan subway station has been out of service for so long that riders are fed up. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.
After nearly a year and a half, the escalator at the East Broadway station is still out of service, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority says that for at least the next month, riders will have to walk up more than 50 steps from the platform just to get to the mezzanine, with another 26 steps after that to reach the street.
"It doesn't make any sense to take nearly two years to fix an escalator," said state Sen. Daniel Squadron, whose district represents parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. "It doesn't make any sense to give elected officials and the community deadlines again and again and again, and miss them. Enough is enough."
The MTA began the elevator replacement project in August 2012, but its completion date has been pushed back repeatedly, and that's testing the patience of riders who say they're too old to take the steps up to the street level or to carry strollers.
"This is, at the very least, an inconvenience for the more able-bodied, but it's an impossibility for many of our seniors," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Some older riders say they now use buses to get around or embark on an unwanted workout.
"I'm getting older every time I make a new step," said one commuter. "Every time I climb up one of those things, I'm getting older and older, and I'm 75-plus."
The MTA blames the repeated delays on a host of equipment problems and on a lack of manpower to work on the escalator after Hurricane Sandy, but riders say they don't want to hear it.
"I just have been resigned to the fact that it's not going to get finished soon," said one commuter.
Not so, says the MTA, whose latest estimate for restoring escalator service is February 28.
"Me, maybe I can use the exercise, but older people, they have a lot of trouble with a lot of steps," said one commuter. "There must be over 100 steps."
Actually, there are a little less than 80 steps from the platform to the street. But who's counting? They are.
"I do have to go uptown, so I have to do it," said one woman. "Up and down, up and down for me. No, no, no, I'm still using it."
But if she's lucky, she may eventually be able to use the escalator more than her legs.