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Escalator in East Broadway Subway Station to Be Replaced

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The escalator at the East Broadway station on the F line will soon be demolished.

Over the past few days, commuters at the East Broadway station on the F line learned they’d be climbing more stairs in the next 10 months. According to signs posted throughout the station, the escalator that runs up from the platform to the mezzanine level will be out of service until June 2013. In fact, the MTA plans to demolish the escalator and install a new, more reliable and convenient one in its place.

While the MTA has been undertaking significant improvements to subway stations as part of its ongoing Capital Program, this change was prompted by the escalator’s deterioration. “The project falls under our ‘Normal Replacement’ category – the escalator has reached the end of its useful life and is being replaced,” wrote an MTA spokesman in an email. But replacing the escalator also offers a chance to improve the commuter experience. “The benefits to the customer will be a wider, more reliable escalator,” he wrote.

Currently, the escalator is too narrow to permit more than a single-file line of passengers; unlike other MTA escalators, there is no room for one passenger to pass by another. During busy travel hours at East Broadway, crowds of people waiting to take the escalator often bottleneck on the platform. The new escalator should address this issue, said the MTA spokesman, but the related construction process will last until next June. “The escalator will be out of service for this period in order to remove the existing escalator, add new steel to modify both landings in order to accept the wider escalator, and install and commission the new escalator,” he indicated.

The MTA is asking that passengers simply take the stairs while the project is underway, but this may prove difficult for elderly and disabled residents.  The climb from the platform, which includes a couple flights of stairs, may present a problem for some commuters, though stairs have always been the only option for those heading in the other direction, down to the platform.

While signs stated the project would begin yesterday, the escalator was still running today.

Despite these concerns, the spokesman for the MTA said the state of the escalator had declined to the point that it required major work. “We certainly regret any inconvenience, but options here are extremely limited,” he explained.

The current escalator was running as usual yesterday, despite signs stating the project would start Wednesday morning. It remains unclear when work will actually begin.


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  1. If it’s going to take 10 months they might as well install an elevator too. There are too many elderly and families with children in strollers in our neighborhood who shouldn’t have to walk up and down stairs. We have 2nd ave, Delancey st (which is a hub for 3 different trains) and east broadway station in our neighborhood and none of them are wheelchair accessible.

  2. I wish they would install a new elevator or escalator at the other end of the platform. Then when that is operational, replace the old one. They are certainly right that it is failure-prone and unreliable.

  3. They’re doing some sort of work in the middle of the platform that looks like it might be an elevator.   Does TLD know anything about that?

  4. so wait…. why does it take 10 months to replace an escalator? i’m pretty sure most of us would be unemployed by now if we worked as inefficiently as the MTA. 

  5.  Really? And what do you know about framing for a wall; never mind replacing an escalator at a busy station, on a narrow platform, safely and in a manner creating as little disruption as possible?

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