By MARIE FIERO
A transit advocacy group on Thursday released results of a new survey showing that subway riders’ main complaint by far was unreliable and slow service.
“Whose MTA is it? Cuomo’s MTA!” said Rebecca Bailan, the Political Director of The Riders Alliance, as she led a demonstration in front of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Midtown office.
The survey was a part of what they called a “Riders Capital Plan” after Cuomo released his outline of the five-year MTA capital plan on September 9. Earlier this year, Cuomo and the state legislature passed a funding plan, including funds from new congestion pricing rules and a mansion tax. In their report, the Alliance urged Cuomo to use these new funds to “finally fix the subways.”
The group found that although most riders found unreliable service as a concern, 52% are also concerned about inaccessible stations. Volunteers spoke about their personal struggles with broken or missing elevators and escalators at stations.
“Your zip code shouldn’t determine the quality of service you receive as a New Yorker,” said Bronxite Jess Torres Woolford, who is 39-weeks pregnant. “Many of us need a little extra help,” she added.
Only a quarter of New York City subway stations have an elevator, which limits the stations New Yorkers with disabilities can use. It also means that parents must carry their children’s strollers up and down the stairs. A silence fell over the crowd as a speaker, Shay Uzoigw, mentioned the death of Malaysia Goodson. Goodson died in January after falling down the steps in a Midtown subway station while carrying her daughter’s stroller.
Alliance volunteer Kathy Park Price said, “We have a moral imperative to make this change.”
Photo by Marie Fiero