Catsimatidis: ‘MTA Needs More Compassion’
Independent/Republican mayoral candidate and businessman John Catsimatidis held an afternoon press conference on Queensboro Plaza under the shadow of the No. 7 train to discuss the MTA’s plans for shutting down full subway service for both weekends of the Asian Lunar New Year.
Catsimatidis said that the MTA has had numerous service disruptions that greatly affect the people of Flushing during the past five years.
“Since 2008, service on the 7 line between Manhattan and Flushing has faced major disruptions during the height of the Lunar New Year celebrations in both boroughs. It is happening again this year to the Asian community and small businesses and quite frankly that’s wrong,” Catsimatidis said.
Also present at the February 7 meeting in Long Island City, was LIC/Astoria Chamber of Commerce President Arthur Rosenfield who denounced the MTA’s insensitivity to small business owners, particularly those along the Long Island City corridor along Vernon Boulevard and Hunt’s Point which have few alternative transportation options for customers.
“Small businesses in our area rely heavily on foot traffic but if the customers can’t take a train to our stores, it’s a devastating impact to our bottom line,” he said.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, more than 500,000 residents of Asian descent live in Queens and approximately 150,000 live in Manhattan. A large number of members of this community travel back and forth to celebrate with family and friends.
“Somebody has to have the sensitivity for the outer boroughs and the MTA needs more compassion,” Catsimatidis said. “That’s why I am here today, because I am a real person, I came from the streets and I am sensitive to community needs and concerns especially those of the outer boroughs.”
Also present were candidate for City Council Tony Meloni and community business owners who voiced their concern about the disruption of the No. 7 line, which has been hurting their businesses and has caused problems for their employees in getting to work on time.