OK, this is a weird complaint, but has anyone else noticed how lame escalators are in terms of reliability? I commute via subway every day (I live in San Francisco), and it never ceases to amaze me how often escalators fail. At least once a week, an escalator in either of the stations I enter/exit from is out of service. Sometimes a repair crew has it disassembled, other times it's just roped off. Sure, most of the time the failed escalators are the ones exposed to the weather (which here is just rain), but if escalators can't handle rain, then why aren't they covered up with an awning or something?? What bothers me isn't so much the incovenience, walking up stairs isn't that big a deal (Yet, that is. I'm only in my 30s). What bothers me is the obvious cost of keeping them running...it seems like such a waste, an exorbidantly high-maintenence technology. I'm not a person prone to conspiracy theories, but as I walk by the repair crews, who sometimes take an entire week to get the thing running, I can't help but wonder if the failures aren't an accident. If they are truly failing due to normal wear and tear, why do we settle for such awful technology? Are there no improvements to be made to the basic design to make them more reliable? Have we really reached the pinnacle of escalator design?