Councilmen Bill deBlasio and John Liu held a press conference today calling on the MTA to establish a Straphangers' "Bill of Rights", including such radical ideas as reliable on-time service and attractively priced fares.
Also speaking were Dan Cantor, Executive Director of the Working Families Party, Gene Russianoff of Straphangers campaign, and yours truly. Check out the news tonight, the TV media were out in force.
My two cents:
"New York, and Brooklyn in particular, have seen a surge in population and in transit ridership, but investments in transit have not kept pace," said Gary Reilly, Brooklyn Transit Advocate. "If the MTA was as aggressive in seeking money from Albany and the Mayor's office as it is from our bus and subway riders, there wouldn't be a fare crisis. If we're to preserve our status as one of the greenest cities in America, we need Governor Spitzer to commit to state funding for mass transit that will reverse the tragic legacy of neglect left us by the Pataki administration. Can you imagine if your kid brought home a report card full of Cs and Ds, and then not only asked for but demanded a raise in allowance?"
NOTE - Having some formatting issues . . . bear with me, thanks.
Subway Riders’ Bill of Rights
1. Fares that are affordable and attract riders to use mass transit.
2. Regular, on-time subway service.
3. Immediate and real-time notification of service changes and advisories available to passengers on platforms, in train cars, and via internet and text message with accurate information.
4. Accurate and user-friendly assistance for riders to find alternative means of transportation in situations where service is interrupted.
5. Trains and platforms that are kept clean.
6. A working and understandable public address system on all platforms and in all trains, with in-car announcements alerting passengers to upcoming train stops and platform notifications informing riders of the arrival of the next train.
7. Well-trained, helpful station and train personnel to provide information and directions, as well as establish a human presence in the subways.
8. Working payphones in all stations and access to cellular phone service while on platforms.
9. An MTA website that is user-friendly and can support heavy traffic such as that which may be experienced during an emergency.
10. An environment as safe and secure as possible from crime and terrorism, with such features as an increased presence of uniformed police officers and bright lighting.