Posted on February 23, 2010
When your apartment looks dowdy, do you change the entire space, or make small fixes? (Assuming you're on a budget like the rest of us, that is.) If you said “small fixes,” then bingo! You’re taking the same approach as New York City Transit with the subway stations. Instead of overhauling each New York subway station whole hog; “station renewal” is now the name of the game. What’s the difference? Instead of completing revamping a station, smaller changes will be made: individual items that need to be upgraded or fixed will be taken care of (stairs, lighting, signage), while everything else will be left alone. (Um, shouldn’t they have been doing that already??) Work is slated to begin in the first targeted stations next year. It costs approximately $60 million to completely renovate one station, as opposed to $15 million for a partial fix. The budget that has been allocated for this program should allow 130 subway stations to be spruced up, in addition to overhauling 25 others. (For the same price, about 14 stations could be completely overhauled.) In the 1980s, the MTA had the lofty goal of completely revamping all 468 stations in 35 years. Thirty years have passed--and not quite half of them have been done. One teensy weensy problem exists, however: The plan hasn’t been approved by state leaders yet—because—wait for it--no one seems to know just where the money is actually coming from.