Lights are on in closed parts of the subways, a potential money looser
The lights are on, but no one’s home.
Mezzanines, stairways and other alcoves in subway stations across the system that are closed to the public are lined with scads of lights that never dim, potentially draining tens of thousands of dollars at a time when the MTA needs every cent.
“It doesn’t make any sense to keep them on,” said Farid Korozhin, 19, a Coney Island rider. “They probably eat a lot of energy.”
At one station alone — Fordham Road on the D line — amNewYork roughly calculated that it could cost up to $25,000 a year to power the nearly 50 bulbs kept on at two gated sections. In all, the MTA paid more than $225 million for electricity in 2008, the most recent figures available, according to the agency.
“I don’t see why they have them on. Con Edison keeps reminding everyone … to save energy,” said Mary Mariannova, 23, a Riverdale rider.
Most of the bulbs used are 55-watt Sylvanina fluorescent tubes. It’s unclear how many unused areas in the system are lit, but some examples amNewYork found include:
- A garbage-strewn mezzanine on the D line’s 174th Street, where at least two dozen lights are kept on.
- Areas in the Second Avenue station on the F line strung with 39-watt bulbs.
Meanwhile, NYC Transit officials argue that the lights are necessary for security purposes, particularly for employees working in closed areas and emergency responders responding to calls. It also would be too expensive to separate the circuits in closed sections of the stations from the public ones, a transit spokeswoman said.Julia Borovskaya contributed to this story.