On January 6, we reported on the growing frustration among commuters as the East Broadway escalator replacement project drags on many months after it was scheduled to be completed. The MTA has been telling local elected officials the new escalator was undergoing final testing and that it would be operational by the end of this month. Today, Lower East Side representatives – Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Sen. Daniel Squadron and City Council member Margaret Chin – are out with a letter to the agency’s chairman, Thomas Prendergast, urging the MTA to get the job done. Here’s the full text:
As the elected officials who represent the Lower East Side of Manhattan, we are writing to you concerning the East Broadway subway station that serves the F line. We ask that the escalator at the station be restored to service as expeditiously as possible. As pointed out in previous correspondence with the MTA, the escalator was removed in August 2012 for what was supposed to be an 11-month replacement project and a new one is not yet operational. The MTA has delayed its estimate for completion again and again over the past year and members of our community are justifiably frustrated by the repeated delays. The Lower East Side suffers from a lack of public transit options when compared with surrounding neighborhoods and the F line is absolutely vital for our constituents. As home to several Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs), there are many elderly residents here who are unable to use this station without great difficulty, if at all. We must ensure that all residents have better access to public transportation. Members of our community have already waited too long for this repair project. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. We look forward to hearing from you.
MTA’s online service advisory chart still shows the escalator is “estimated” to be back in service January 31.