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Half of the City's Worst Subway Stations Are in Queens, Study Finds

By Katie Honan | September 3, 2015 1:23pm
 This 7 train stop in Woodside was ranked the worst in the city by an independent commission.
This 7 train stop in Woodside was ranked the worst in the city by an independent commission.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

WOODSIDE — Half of the city's worst subway stations are in Queens — and they'll likely stay that way for more than 50 years, according to a study released by the Citizens Budget Commission.

The commission studied the infrastructure and issues like peeling paint and shoddy platform edges at all of the city's 467 subway stations, and found half of the worst stations are in Queens.

The 52nd Street stop on the 7 train, with more than 2.2 million annual riders, came in at the top of the commission's worst stations list. 

More than half of the station's structural components — 79 percent — are in disrepair, the study found.

Peeling paint at the 52nd Street 7 train station. (DNAinfo/Katie Honan)

The 103rd St - Corona Plaza stop on the 7 was ranked fifth in the study, and the 61st Street station was 16th on the list.

The study's authors compared the task of repairing stations to that of King Sisyphus in Greek mythology, who was condemned to rolling a boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down as he approached the peak, according to its authors.

"Even if the proposed five-year capital plan for 2015-2019 were fully funded — which it is not — the MTA’s current and planned pace of work would never bring all stations to [state of good repair,]" the study said.

At its current pace of repair, the CCB said the MTA won't fix all of the stations until 2067. 

They recommend the MTA divert some of the money from its capital expansion plans into repairing current stations.

They also recommended creating private-public partnerships, or "station conservancies," to maintain those that need the most work. 

A spokesman for the MTA, Kevin Ortiz, thanked the CCB for its "thoughtful analysis" and said the agency is looking for ways to "squeeze costs" from its capital program.

But they feel they have to continue working on new projects to meet growing demand.

"We respectfully disagree with their recommendation to reduce spending on expansion projects," Ortiz said. 

"At a time when growing ridership is leading to crowding and delays, we must pursue expansion projects that will accommodate more customers as well as provide new connections and opportunities for our customers."