Today’s news:

Station at 179th Street shoddy: Transit group

A transit advocacy agency inspected 50 subway stations, looking at conditions ranging from cleanliness to flooding and designated a Queens station as worst in the city

Beach 90th Street station in the Rockaways came in last in part, the New York City Transit Riders Council suggested, because it has not been renovated in more than 30 years.

Beach 90th, which serves an average of only 1,063 riders daily, is due for renovation under the MTA's 2009-2013 Capital Plan,.

"The results show that nearly half of the stations (46 percent) need more attention," the Council said.

"These findings are troubling in light of the recently announced deferments of improvements at 19 stations included in the 2009-2013 Capital Program of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority," the Council said.

The agency said both New York City and the state of New York "must increase its support of MTA operations so that maintenance and repairs of stations are not problematic.

"There should never have to be a choice between adequate service and decent station infrastructure," the Council said.

The recommendations of the agency also said any private entity that is the source of water flooding subway stations must be held liable.

The Council checked such conditions as water leakage, exposed wires, the condition or lack of tactile warning strips on subway platforms, cleanliness, presence of rodents, stairs and handrails, lighting, litter, foul odors, waste receptacles, working telephones and elevators and escalators.

The New York City Transit Authority, which operates buses and subways, said "stations have suffered over the years from insufficient funding," but improvements are planned in accord with "current resources."

Other Queens stations inspected included the 179th Street station in Jamaica (F), 46th Street (G-R-V), Steinway Street, (G-R-V) Beach 98th Street (A), Ozone Park/Lefferts Blvd. (A), 75th Street (J/Z) 63rd St./Rego Park (G-R-V) 111TH street (A) and Forest Avenue (M).

Nine Queens stations and the more serious shortcomings, according to the New York City Transit Riders Council, were described as follows.

179th Street station: Water leaking from ceilings, crumbling ceilings and flooded and dirty floors.

75th Street station: Dirty floors and ceilings as well as graffiti.

46th Street station: Water on floors, water leaking from ceilings and graffiti.

63rd Drive/Rego Park: Poor lighting, and leaking and dirty ceilings and walls.

Beach 90th Street: Leaking ceiling and walls and ceilings, poor lighting, dirty ceilings and walls and litter.

Beach 98th Street: Leaking ceilings and walls and dirty walls and floors.

Forest Avenue: Poor lighting, leaking ceilings and dirty floors and ceilings.

Ozone Park/Lefferts Blvd.: Poor lighting, flooded floors, leaking walls, dirty floors and ceilings.

Steinway Street: Poor lighting, foul odors, leaking ceilings, and dirty floors ceilings and walls as well as litter

The Council said inspectors began the project in late 2007 and completed it at the end of March.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 136.

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