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Frustrations of escalator maintenance

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Experts estimate there are some 5,000 escalators in New York City. When one of them breaks down, like a privately maintained escalator in the middle of the subway platform at 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue, it's a pain. Why do some escalators break down more often than others?

An MTA spokesman has said subway escalators break down because they operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and because commuters will stand on one side of wide escalators causing uneven wear on subway station escalators that have to run all the time in one direction.

An escalator consultant agrees but only in certain circumstances.

But in our fast-paced New York environment anytime you have an escalator wide enough, you will always have a stationary lane and an express lane.

Our expert says more important is how often escalators run and when they can get maintenance. Subway escalators run nonstop. But department stores are usually closed at least eight hours a day, so escalators run less, and can get repaired daily.

Other factors include the age of some escalators and whether items like food or coins fall into the mechansism.

The company fixing the escalator at the 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue subway station says it is waiting for parts and will fix it in a week. If so, it will have been broken for three weeks.

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