M.T.A To Spruce Up Subway Stations After Firing Everyone Who Works In Them

by BILLY GRAY · February 23, 2010

Hours before it announced plans to fire over 1,000 employees, the perpetually doomed M.T.A. said it would spend $700 million restoring dilapidated subway stations across the city. Is it me, or is the timing of these announcements as screwed up as the G train's?

Of course, scores of stations are crying out for an upgrade. And if Grand Central's hub seems to constantly teeter on the cusp of trash-strewn anarchy, I can't imagine what the platform at Fresh Pond Road's M train (there's an M train?) stop looks like. Anyway, the Daily News gives us the scoop on the refurbishing:

"'NYC Transit is spending $700 million on a blitz to fix up subway stations. In a new program stretching over the next five years, 150 stations will get upgrades: new lighting, fresh coats of paint and sturdier platform edges', officials said."

Which is great, except 1,000 M.T.A. station agents and administrators will be out of work in the near future, due to a cost-cutting initiative that will save $50 million. Making matters worse: the move reversed an earlier plan to let those workers retire.

So, 150 stations will have fresh coats of paint, but few if any living, breathing human beings to assist you when:

Trains departing said station are inexplicably out of service

MetroCard vending machines are either completely busted or only accepting the form of payment you don't have on you at the moment (this happens about 50% of the times I need to buy a new MetroCard)

You desperately need someone to clarify the notoriously indecipherable announcements blasting through that creaky old P.A. system

You are stabbed

On the bright side (and no thanks to the new lighting fixtures), the purging of station agents should make it a hell of a lot easier to hop the turnstile and even further compound the M.T.A.'s woes.

(Main Photo Courtesy of NYDN)