Thursday, October 6, 2011

Two miserable Bronx subway stations slated for fix-up

A story from this week's Bronx Press.

By Brendan McHugh 

Two of the city’s worst subways are getting a makeover.

After months of advocacy by the borough president and two Bronxites on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board, the 149th St./Grand Concourse and 138th St./3rd Ave. subway stations will undergo major renovations next year.

“It is time for the Bronx to receive its fair share from the MTA, and the agency's commitment to making these much-needed repairs is a major first step towards that goal," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

The 149th St./Grand Concourse station will get a new paint job, reconstructed platform edges, special grouting to prevent leaks and ventilation repairs. Repairs to the 138th St./3rd Ave. station include the east mezzanine passageway and an interior stairway. The work should be completed by early 2013. 

Jump below for the full story.

“We have been able to move the MTA to pay particular attention to the subways and stations running the Bronx,” said MTA board member Charles Moerdler, who urged the agency alongside fellow board member and former Bronx borough president, Fernando Ferrer.

In March, Diaz met with MTA officials and cited 22 Bronx stations in need of repair. An MTA official, in a letter to Moerdler, said the agency is already paying more attention to the borough than it probably should.

“Through 2011, we have made major investments in 42 of the 71 Bronx stations, or about 60 percent. This compares favorably with the corresponding numbers for other boroughs,” wrote MTA President Thomas Prendergast, adding that the Bronx is only nine percent of subway ridership, while Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens make up 55, 21 and 15 percentage, respectively.

But while the MTA hopes the attention will quiet the borough advocates, Diaz plans to continue to push for improvements throughout the borough’s stations.

“When the Bronx works together, we can achieve great things and our work making these station repairs a reality shows us that,” he said. “I look forward to working with the MTA to bring these repairs to completion, and I will continue to advocate on behalf of our borough's commuters to ensure that they have a clean and safe experience in our subway system.”

Moerdler has the same plans, saying that as long as he finds filthy Bronx subways, he will continue to expect the MTA to clean up after them.

Prendergast promised better care in the future, but things may get worse before they get better.

“In the future, as conditions evolve and new defects emerge, you may expect and rely upon continued investment in the Bronx,” he wrote.

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