BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - An escalator at the busiest underground Metro station in Buffalo has been out-of-service for months and riders want to know why.
The escalator at the NFTA's University Station on Main Street is broken. Daryl Pinkney is on crutches, and taking the stairs is not an option.
"Either one's down or the other one's not working. I've actually been on the escalator and it started to slide backwards," he said.
Cindy Tracey said, "If you can't use this, going up or down, if you can't use the stairs you have to wait maybe two times, three times for the elevator to come up and down to be able to get on it."
The broken escalator is a sore subject for many Metro riders, and the butt of a bad joke for others.
Joan Richards quipped, "I just asked the other day, "What? Did they do send out of the country for the parts?"
The escalator has been this way for nearly four months. Why so long?
NFTA Spokesman Doug Hartmayer said, "We're just strapped for cash."
Hartmayer says there just isn't operating capital to fix it. He says the system is nearly 30-years-old and operates 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
"We feel badly about it. We've tried to fix it ourselves," Hartmayer said.
There is a working escalator taking people up, but not going down. And that has riders frustrated.
"We pay good money to use the metro. It should be working," Tracey said.
Michelle Jones added, "I think it's gone on way too long. With the NFTA fares being raised I think that it should have been fixed by now."
And how much longer will people have to wait before it's fixed?
"We apologize. We need a little more indulgence. We will get this thing fixed as soon as we possibly can," Hartmayer said.
The NFTA spokesman estimates rebuilding the moving parts could cost between $250,00 and $300,000 and could take up to 12 weeks from start to finish.
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