NEW YORK—Most of the problems on and around subway platforms—such as staircases in disrepair, exposed wiring, and garbage bags on platforms—have improved over the last year, according to a survey released on Thursday by the Straphangers Campaign, a transit advocacy organization.
The group observed conditions of 251 station platforms at 120 subway stations, about 28 percent of the total subway station platforms.
Straphangers staff only saw two garbage cans overflowing with trash, out of 246 observed.
“We applaud transit managers and workers for improving conditions at many stations,” said Jason Chin-Fatt, the Straphangers Campaign field organizer who oversaw the survey, in a statement.
“But there’s still room for further progress,” he said.
The two conditions that became “substantially worse” over the last year were graffiti and water damage. Also, the chance of seeing a rat remained about the same.
“There’s no reason … that riders should have a one in ten chance of seeing a rat while waiting for a train,” Chin-Fatt said.
The survey included conditions that Straphangers staff felt transit officials could fairly be held accountable for. “For example, we did not rate the presence of litter, or temperatures in stations,” the group’s survey introduction states.
The MTA runs the city’s subway system, as well as the buses and two of the regional rail systems (Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road).
Kevin Ortiz, a spokesperson for the agency, said in an email that the areas in which the survey show improvement are due to MTA initiatives.
“More frequent collection of refuse bags has helped to provide cleaner platforms while the component approach to station repair helps us target problem areas without the need to wait for a full rehabilitation,” he said. “Also, we have increased the frequency of routine station inspections, resulting in a more comprehensive review of maintenance issues.”
The agency has recently started a database for tracking water leaks and fixing them.