LIRR Queens Elevator Damaged by Public Urination, May Need to Be Replaced: MTA

By Arielle Hixson
|  Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013  |  Updated 12:33 PM EDT
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Equipment from New York’s transit system is starting to rust and smell -- not from age, but from an overflow of public urine, the MTA says.

One elevator in the Long Island Rail Road’s Woodside station was so damaged that it was only working 58 percent of the time against the system-wide rating of 98 percent, according to an agency spokesman.

That statistic makes the urine-drenched elevator in Woodside the worst-performing elevator of all the ones in LIRR stations, according to the MTA.

“This kind of vandalism results in us ultimately having to repair this elevator sooner rather than later,” the agency said. “And this kind of replacement takes about $2 million.”

The mezzanine level at Woodside has restrooms available for men and women 24 hours a day.

The Queens elevator is not the first urine-damaged equipment the MTA has looked to fix. Subway car floors have had to be replaced because the original plywood floors begin to stink over time, DNAinfo.com reports.

Years ago, the city decided to switch to a marine-grade plywood sub floor to help prevent smells from lingering in the subway cars.

“Public urination is an age-old problem, and they do it. Why they do it? Who knows. It’s a problem in a sense that it’s a problem everywhere,” an MTA spokesman said. "This situation with the elevator is an acute situation."

MTA officials are investigating whether the Woodside elevator needs to be replaced or repaired, DNAinfo.com reports.

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