Tag Archives: NYPIRG’s Straphangers Campaign

Transit advocates challenge Cuomo to ride the 7 line

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo via Gov.Cuomo's Flickr/File photo

Fed up with rising fares and poor subway service, members of the Riders Alliance and the Straphangers Campaign wrote a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo inviting him to take a ride on the 7 line during the morning rush hour.

The purpose of this ride-along, the transit advocacy groups said, would be to give the governor a firsthand look at the city’s public transit system and get him to agree to fully fund the MTA’s five-year capital program, which currently faces a $15 billion shortfall.

“It defies comprehension that Gov. Cuomo hasn’t taken up the issue of funding for our subways and buses,” said Nick Sifuentes, deputy director of the Riders Alliance. “The only reason we can think of is that he doesn’t have to deal with the dreadful rush hour commutes that average New Yorkers face every day.”

According to a report by City Comptroller Scott Stringer comparing commute times in 29 major American cities, New Yorkers have the worst commute in the country. Additionally, report by the New York Post provides MTA data that shows delays have increased in recent years.

“New Yorkers are paying more for less and they hate that,” said Gene Russianoff, senior attorney for the Straphangers Campaign.

If the MTA’s five-year capital program, which pays for new subway cars, buses, commuter rail trains, modern signals, track and station upgrades, as well as supporting expansions like the Second Avenue Subway, does not get fully funded, commuters will feel the consequences with more fare hikes.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office has reported that for every $1 billion that the MTA must borrow for its capital plan with no new revenue sources, it could be forced to raise fares an additional 1 percent.

“New Yorkers are fed up with fare hikes, bad service, and overcrowded trains — we’ve been hearing from frustrated riders for months,” Sifuentes said. “It’s about time the governor does too.”

The letter specifically asks Cuomo to join riders “on the 7 train, which is over capacity daily and which was recently stuck in a tunnel after yet another equipment failure during the morning rush.” It also asks him to ride other problem-plagued lines such as the C train in Brooklyn.

Public transit supporters will hold a rally on Tuesday, May 5, at noon on the steps of City Hall to call for greater investment by the city in its subway and bus system.


Queens buses fare well on annual survey

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Danielle Petrovich

The NYPIRG’s Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives just gave out two awards for the poorest bus service in the city, but only a few Queens buses were cited as slow or unreliable.

The first, called the “Pokey”award, is for the slowest route and determined by volunteers who ride 34 bus lines that are renowned for their high volume of riders and history of delayed rides.

This year there was a tie for first place—the M66 and M42 buses.  Both are crosstown Manhattan routes and had an average speed of 3.9 mph at noon on a weekday.

“The M66 and M42 are excruciatingly slow,” said Gene Russianoff, attorney for NYPIRG’s Straphangers Campaign. “[They] would lose a race to an amusement park bumper car — and be a lot less fun! A bumper car can go 4.3 miles per hour compared to the 3.9 miles of the Pokey award winning buses.”

In Queens, the Q58 was the 25th slowest bus in the city, at 7 mph, followed by the Q44 LTD at 9.5 mph and the Q27 at 9.9 mph.

Although the Q58 is faster than many other NYC buses, some Queens riders were unhappy with its service.

“I have to leave for work extra early just for the bus. It’s so slow; it takes forever to get to my stop,” said Flushing resident Tanya, a frequent passenger on the Q58.

“The bus is always so inconsistent. It never comes at the same times every day,” said Tom of Fresh Meadows.

The second award given out, the “Schleppie,” which measures how well buses keep to scheduled intervals, and is based off of official transit statistics, didn’t include any Queens buses.

First place went to the M4, which runs from Upper Manhattan to Penn Station on Fifth and Madison Avenues and Broadway. Nearly 30 percent of  its arrivals were bunched together or had big gaps in service. Close behind it were the M101/2/3, S78 and S74  lines, all having an unreliability rating over 20 percent.