In DC, more fresh coats of paint in less timeBy
A few weeks ago, a regular SAS reader sent me a link to an article on Progressive Railroading about the WMATA’s plans to spruce up their stations. Over the next 18 months, DC-based authority will restore 42 Metro stations. The work includes “cleaning masonry surfaces, painting interior and exterior surfaces, repairing interior masonry, installing or repairing signs, and refinishing platform shelter benches” and is part of the four-year maintenance-and-restoration the WMATA has implemented for its stations.
In New York, station repair and beautification efforts move at a rather slower pace. The MTA is currently amidst a 39-year program in which just 12 stations a year get a fresh coat of paint. By the time this program wraps up in 2047, most stations will be decades overdue for a new coat of paint. Of course, this program is probably going to be discarded in favor of the new component-based maintenance efforts the authority has proposed, but the two projects’ estimated durations are alarming.
On the one hand, the WMATA enjoys the benefit of five hours a day when their stations are not open. Trains do not run, passengers aren’t in the way. Furthermore, in 2008, the MTA said that its painting efforts were delayed by the need to remove old lead-based paint. Still, public acceptance of the MTA would be higher if our stations weren’t so dingy and in need of beautification. If DC can tackle 42 stations in a year a half, the MTA should be able to paint more than 2.5 percent of its stations per year.