Subway Elevator and Escalator Reliability Continues to Improve

Elevator reliability is at 98.1 percent during the first quarter in 2012, up from 96.7 percent in 2010. Escalator reliability is at 96.2 percent, up from 91.6 percent in 2010.

Photo of Subway Station Elevator

Over the past several months, NYC Transit has expanded its focus to address the shortcomings that existed in elevator and escalator performance by doing scheduled maintenance on equipment 24hrs a day / 7 days a week to minimize the total duration of equipment outages and maximize availability. The Elevator and Escalator Division also improved remote access to system databases in order to respond to outages faster. The E & E Division has also been taking advantage of Fastrack and other station closures to address maintenance needs without affecting customer service.

There are 235 elevators of which 196 provide service for our customers, 178 escalators and two power walks that the E & E Division is responsible for maintaining. Additionally, NYCT continues to work with private entities to ensure the more than 30 pieces of out-of-system equipment are maintained as well.

To help better train E & E personnel, NYC Transit operates a specialized training annex aimed at teaching the maintenance and repair of elevators, escalators and moving walkways. The facility offers extensive hands-on training so employees will be as prepared as possible as they work to keep the subway system's elevators and escalators in a state of good repair. The annex is a vital tool in maintaining the reliability of the system's elevator and escalator equipment.

NYC Transit's $1.3 million electronic monitoring system continues to alert maintainers when an elevator or escalator stops working. Every piece of equipment is online and connected to a central display ensuring a rapid response by repair forces.

Acknowledging that elevators may fail at times, we post equipment outage information on the MTA website. The information is updated three times over the course of the day and gives riders an early warning of what equipment is being worked on. The MTA is now offering customers the opportunity to receive up-to-the-minute updates on the status of elevators and escalators through a new email alert notification system.

Customers can subscribe to as many locations as they need. They can subscribe by borough and station. When they pick the station, they will be able to pick a particular elevator or escalator. After subscribing, customers will receive an alert when an outage occurs. A second email alert will be issued once that piece of equipment is back in operation. Riders can sign up now by clicking here.