July 9, 2017: City Comptroller Scott Stringer held a press conference uptown today lambasting the MTA’s failure to deliver adequate transit to New York City residents. Results from a survey conducted by the Comptroller’s Office polled 1,200 surveyed transit riders has shown that New Yorkers are significantly dissatisfied with public transportation. Among the results, 74% of commuters said they've been late to a work meeting in the last three months because of subway delays, 13% lost wages in the last three months, and 2% said they'd been fired. A previous audit from earlier this year revealed a serious gap of MTA repairs and maintenance.
In other staggering news relating to the 7, the cost of the system upgrades is now over budget by double what was originally planned.
Members of Access Queens, Melissa Orlando, Brandon W. Mosley, and Christian Amez, stood with Stringer as he called for for a $3.5 billion bond act, which would be vetted and approved by voters, to help fund the MTA for necessary upgrades and repairs citywide. Stringer made clear that the MTA is due for a top-to-bottom restructuring, the recent appointment of Joe Lhota by Governor Cuomo as MTA Chairman is a huge step, but involvement of the city and state government is crucial.
Of course, delays, last-minute service changes, and even reprimands from work tardiness due to subway delays are nothing new to 7 Train riders. For years, Queens residents have endured an increasing number of service nightmares, some riders still today say they’re left on the platform waiting for the 7 for up to 15 minutes during peak hours with not one in sight. It seems as though transit pitfalls are starting to spreading citywide, beyond Queens, which is attracting the ears of city and political officials.
However, the conversation still needs to shift to a holistic view of the transit needs in Queens, not just the piecemeal stories that are meant to attract views. It is time to talk about looming issues such as necessary Amtrak repairs, the L Train shut down mixed with the rapidly deteriorating infrastructure are creating the perfect transit storm. And projects that do nothing to address current issues, such as Mayor De Blasio's BQX streetcar, which only serves as a distraction from the dire state of public transit in New York City. It is time to talk about how unfettered development and consistent underfunding of transportation infrastructure have created the problems we see today.
For more on the press conference, check out these articles: