2017-12-06 / Editorials

Knock Out The City That Never Sleeps? Never!

The suggestion by an independent commission to scrap overnight train service is absurd. One of the city’s major attractions is that it never shuts down. Anything you want to do can be done, 24/7/365.

The Regional Plan Association (RPA), a publically supported organization that has had its recommendations not only entertained but brought to fruition, seeks to give – radically – with one hand while taking away with the other, citing lower numbers of riders overnight, and the need to perform maintenance. There are other, less draconian ways to perform maintenance as has been done forever.

The plan raises the specter of congestion pricing yet again, while touting completely new lines in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and extending the 7 train to the Lower Manhattan, and an entire restructuring of Penn Station to join Metro-North, NJT and LIRR.

The overnight issue is not the number of riders, it’s the accessibility. We are not only thinking of interborough nightclubbers who might take the train home in the wee hours, what about those working the overnight shift? This is almost half of the city’s economy. Are they to be expected to wait for buses in the dead of winter? We all know how deplorable bus service is, we cannot even fathom such a dismal notion, even if it were possible for bus service to accommodate the same amount of people as the trains. More people will be tempted to buy cars, competing for scarce parking and road space more than ever before, counter to the stated efforts of the commission to combat climate change.

The RPA, which came up with this absurd, backward notion should table this idea immediately, and they do not deserve one penny from taxpayers for such a suggestion that does nothing but undermine a major attraction of the city, ranked among the world’s best transportation systems. We know it has not been up to par for quite some time, but a recommendation such as this is a ludicrous step backward and should not to be entertained for a split second.

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