Councilman Dominic Recchia and other members of Council want the MTA to rate stations in the same way that the Health Department gives restaurants grades or the Board of Education grades schools.
The idea came about after Councilman Peter Koo spoke about unfavorable conditions at the nearby Park Place station. He suggested a station grading system at a joint hearing between the council’s finance and transportation committees held on Wednesday.
Transportation chair James Vacca and Councilman Domenic Recchia agreed with Koo, stating that they would draft up a the plan.
Though, the council does not have any power to implement such actions, they still want the MTA to consider it.
“If they’re going to raise the fares 7.5 percent, well then dammit, we’re entitled to accountability,” Vacca said as reported by am New York.
The rating system would be based on vermin, peeling paint, general cleanliness, flooding, garbage and so on.
“If they get a ‘D’ or an ‘F,’ we want to make sure that they’re going to come back immediately and upgrade it so it could be an ‘A’ station,” said Recchia. “I think council members would be willing to put money into the budget to get their stations cleaned up.”
The MTA rejected the council’s station grading idea. A spokesperson said that the MTA already provides statistics about the the stations.
The information they provide, however, is categorized by boroughs, rather than individualized stations.
The question of finance played into the discussions as well. Recchia suggested that if the grading tests were not done in a satisfactory way, council could withhold the millions they earmark for the MTA in their budgets. The legal aspect of withholding money is currently unclear.
“If we see that [the grading system] is not open and transparent and it’s not truthful, then we could always hold back funding for the MTA in the budget,” he said.
Though most of the complaints were about the conditions in particular stations, the greater concern is regarding the fare increases and massive gaps in the MTA’s budget for the coming years.