The Metropolitan Transportation Authority did not perform all scheduled preventive maintenance on nearly 80% of sampled subway escalators and elevators, according to an audit by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office.
One-third of the MTA’s scheduled preventive maintenance assignments in the sample were completed late, “if at all,” said the report by Deputy Comptroller for Audit Marjorie Landa.
“Preventive maintenance is late or not happening at all, and when defects are identified, work orders aren’t always created. It’s not rocket science – it’s common sense,” Stringer told reporters Monday at the 72nd Street and Broadway station in Manhattan.
The MTA is one of the largest municipal issuers with roughly $36.5 billion in debt.
Stringer’s office sampled 36 elevators and 29 escalators citywide and found that the 65 machines should have received 849 scheduled preventive maintenance services during the target 18-month period.
According to report, however, 289, or 34%, of the assignments sampled were late or undone.
Stringer recommended that the Division of Elevators and Escalators of the MTA’s New York City Transit unit set realistic internal targets for preventive maintenance service assignments, accounting for public safety and needs, and available staffing.
Among other recommendations, the audit called for personnel re-instruction, new work-order procedures and enhancement of a new tracking system to better identify defects.
In a response, MTA communications director Beth DeFalco said that under the authority's current capital plan, New York City Transit is spending more than $1 billion to replace elevators and escalators and increase the number of subway stations compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"The most in-depth inspections were all completed on time during the audit period," said DeFalco. "We have a detailed system for the maintenance of these machines and closely track work that is done to keep our elevators and escalators safe and available for our customers.
"We are continually looking at new ways to improve the performance of equipment and maintenance practices.”