2018-02-28 / Editorials

We Need Dependable Mass Transit, Not Window Dressing

While we would love beautiful, modern train stations, with art and digital accoutrements to help Queens become even more of a destination borough, we need our precious investments to go toward signal upgrades and structural and mechanical repairs. Unfortunately, nothing has been done to maintain the 100- year-old system for so long that we have reached critical conditions. Breakdowns are occurring daily, handicapping the whole city leaving millions stranded, delayed and aggravated. Last week was particularly grievous for Queens commuters, when the N, Q, W, 7, E, F, M, R had signal problems lasting for hours and left thousands of riders waiting on dangerously overcrowded platforms—until they were herded out to buses that did not come, packing the sidewalks on lines that stretched around the block wondering if they’d make it to work some time that day. While last week may have been a record week, every day there are probably 50 delays for various reasons throughout the city. We are speaking of disruptions plaguing millions who ride the trains daily, counting the city’s residents plus those commuting from Long Island, upstate, New Jersey and Connecticut. We are tired of making a career of getting from point A to B.

As NYS Senator Michael Gianaris, Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, and NYC Council Member Costa Constantinides, said in this week’s Letters page, “Commuters across Astoria are in dire need of service improvements as subway delays and signal failures are now an everyday occurrence…The MTA has shown a blatant disregard for our community and its representatives during this process. There has been no opportunity to collect public input.” New Yorkers throughout the city are also enduring this.

First and foremost we need trains we can depend on every day, without letting construction run roughshod over the local residents and businesses.

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