Gianaris Brings Real Time Train Countdown To Astoria
Life will get easier for straphangers on the N and Q trains in Astoria. In response to years of advocacy by state Senator Michael Gianaris, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and New York City Transit (NYCT) will implement Real Time Information, an automated system that will announce how long riders have until the next train arrives, in five Astoria stations. Gianaris has advocated for countdown clocks in Western Queens subway stations since the fall of 2010.
“I am pleased the MTA listened to our community and made the daily commute of N and Q train riders easier,” said Gianaris. “Countdown clocks were a great idea three years ago, and although it took some time, I am pleased to see that Western Queens will now be able to enjoy Real Time Information. I thank the MTA and New York City Transit for realizing the need for service improvements and I hope this is a sign of things to come for Astoria and other rapidly developing Western Queens neighborhoods.”
“The pilot at these five stations will bring real time arrival information that will enhance the experience of our customers in Astoria,” said Acting NYCT President Carmen Bianco. “Our overall goal moving forward is to develop similar capabilities on our lettered lines to offer customers the same level of information they see on the numbered lines within three to five years.”
Lauren Houston, a member of the Riders Alliance—a grassroots organization of subway and bus riders fighting for better public transit—who lives near the Broadway station on the N and Q trains said, “Waiting on an elevated platform in the dead of winter or the dog days of summer is no fun. With the new loudspeaker announcements I’ll know exactly when the next train is coming and how long I need to brave the elements. Thanks to state Senator Gianaris for working to get this system up and running and to the MTA for responding to the community’s concerns.”
Gianaris has been a fierce advocate for better mass transit in Western Queens throughout his career in the state legislature. His past efforts include fighting for more frequent service on the Q103 bus line, working to mitigate the inconvenience of No. 7 train line closures, and demanding the restoration of the QM22 Express Bus Line and the W train line, both of which were lifelines for Western Queens residents.
Gianaris sent a letter to New York City Transit in October 2010 requesting countdown clocks for subway stops in Astoria. Western Queens is experiencing a rapid population and cultural expansion and as neighborhoods like Astoria continue to grow, it is important that transportation infrastructure in the area keeps pace. Real Time Information is a step in the right direction and will make the lives of thousands of Astoria straphangers easier.
As Western Queens continues to grow and thrive, Gianaris said he will continue to fight for improved mass transit in the area.