Subway riders have no patience for broken escalators

We'd make some joke about the workout if this weren't dangerous: Commuters jumping a barricade to run up an out-of-service escalator without knowing why it is broken.

But such was the frustration Thursday morning at the 72nd Street station on the Q line, which opened a year ago. With two out of three escalators broken, subway riders didn't care. And apparently broken escalators are a normal sight here.

The very same escalators broke down a number of times last summer. That is especially intolerable given the 2nd Avenue subway line, practically brand new, is the MTA and the governor's highly touted, proud and very expensive addition to the system.

Fox 5 showed the video to MTA Board Member Andrew Albert. He was stunned.

"Something is clearly wrong at this location," he said.

The MTA told Fox 5 that the escalator is out of service from a brake issue.

But a handrail issue led to a second breakdown during the morning rush, the MTA said. The contractor, Schindler, which installed and maintains the escalators, was on site within 20 minutes.

During that time, the MTA website showed that the outage was being investigated. It was fixed one hour and 40 minutes after the breakdown.

A report published by the city comptroller's office last year stated that of the escalators and elevators reviewed, 80 percent had missed scheduled maintenance. And many believe that has to have an effect.

But the MTA said the escalator that broke down Thursday morning was inspected just 10 days ago.

Board Member Albert said he agrees the brand-new subway line comes with procedures to maintain escalators property but he still plans to get answers on what happened here.

As for the escalator that remains out, a poster says it should be back in service January 30.