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City Council suggests grading subway stations

It's worked so well for the city's restaurants, why not give letter grades to subway stations? That's the thinking of the New York City Council.

It's worked so well for the city's restaurants, why not give letter grades to subway stations?

That's the thinking of the New York City Council. The idea was proposed today at a Council budget hearing on mass transit.

“Let me make a suggestion to the MTA: We grade the restaurants, right? A,B,C. So we should grade all the stations in the MTA system,” Queens Councilman Peter Koo said today, according to the New York Post.

Koo came up with the idea after he complained about the dirty conditions at the Park Place station outside City Hall.

The City Council proposed that the MTA post public letter grades in stations, based on the cleanliness of the stations, safety at the station, and whether there are rats and other vermin scurrying around.

“That’s a good idea! I would like every station rated," said Bronx Councilman James Vacca, who chairs the Council's Transportation Committee. "Yes, we rate the restaurants and every takeout place. Why can’t we rate stations on cleanliness, rats, water, garbage, graffiti?”

Lois Tendler, the MTA's vice president for government and community relations, who represented the agency at the Council hearing, said the MTA has already done its own internal ratings of the stations. She said she would bring Koo's suggestion to the MTA headquarters, and MTA heads would consider it.

But an MTA spokesman later said the agency won't be doing it.

Letter grades for stations would cost valuable employees and money, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz told WNYC, and besides, it wouldn’t provide that much helpful information to straphangers.

"When you go into a subway station, you see everything: rodents, peeling paint -- that’s there for riders to see,” Ortiz said. “There’s no need to provide a letter grade to quantify that."