subway water damage An increase in water damage was one of the few ways in which the "state of the subway platforms" had worsened between 2011 and 2012, in a survey conducted prior to superstorm Sandy. (Photo courtesy of the Straphangers Campaign.)

Transit advocacy group Straphangers Campaign recently released the results of a survey conducted between May 28 and August 10 of last year, analyzing the "state" of 251 subway platforms at 120 stations.

The survey, conducted by 13 interns and staff, found several areas of improvement: the number of garbage bags left on stations was down, as was the number of staircases in disrepair, exposed wires, cracks in the floors, and broken lights.

The platforms scored almost 100 percent on the presence of garbage cans and the absence of overflowing garbage cans.


But while those physical conditions were better than or as good as the survey the year before found, the appearance of some platforms had worsened when it came to water damage — well before superstorm Sandy wrecked havoc throughout the subway system.

"Substantial graffiti" was found at 27 percent of all platforms, up from 20 percent in 2011.

The Campaign said the platforms they surveyed were nearly identical to the randomly selected platforms surveyed in the first iteration of the "State of the Subway Platform" in 2011. Surveyors visited the platforms on weekdays between the morning and evening rush hours.

The 251 platforms they looked at made up28 percent of all 909 platforms city-wide.

The survey also found that subway riders have a one in 10 chance of spotting a rat over the course of their commute.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat

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