Scott Stringer Tells the MTA to Listen Up On Demands of Elders and Disabled

Forget NYU2031; the Manhattan Borough President has another bone to pick. And this one involves public transportation, both above and underground.

In an open letter to MTA Chairman and Executive Officer, Joseph L. Lhota, Stringer chastised the agency for its "emotional, physical and financial toll on New Yorkers." In this case, the older and disabled populations riding the railways and buses. These demographics, in his opinion, are being harmed the most by small inefficiencies. 

According to Gothamist, the City official said today that his eyes on are on the subtle obstacles of the MTA we know (and loath, too) all too well, like subway stations that have no MetroCard machines and the long search to find some sort of customer service underground. 

The "lengthy, Byzantine process" citizens must undergo to receive a new MetroCard in the mail is one of the main targets of Stringer's message, for example. At the press conference this afternoon, a story from the letter was told of an older woman who had to wait 12 weeks to get a replacement fare card from the main offices. And, for an age group that is already economically strained, this can lead to a "dangerous situation" for the straphangers.

Stringer's proposed solution is simple: apply the same process used for defective cards - where a passenger gets an immediate temporary card to ride - to the older and disabled citizens who have lost their cards or had them stolen. Also, he mentions the fact that the full-time MTA service center Downtown on Stone Street is the only one of its kind for the nation's largest public transportation system.

With Stringer as a possible mayoral candidate, this move can be seen, by the pessimistic electoral types, as a means to side with the two demographics in the hope that they'd pay him back at the ballot. 

But, with a budget-strapped agency like the MTA, the "reform" he's calling for might be a little difficult to implement. Then again, no one wants to be labeled as anti-old-and-innocent-lady.

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10 Things about the MTA that can be changed without a Capital Project Grant:1/ There is a recent trend to slam on the brakes at stops. it's either inexperience or malice.2/ The neon tickers on buses are switched on at the driver's discretion, or so it seems3/ Bus drivers leave for their route up to 10 minutes early or late in the hopes that they pick up less riding passengers or they give up and catch a cab4/ There are pre-recorded announcements about rider safety but we only hear garbled service changes.5/ For all the time we are trapped underground, we need to be able to buy beverages and snacks as well as outsourcing a public restroom service6/ I'm ashamed and frankly disgusted at the filthy state of subway stations that an outsourced cleaning agency could clean seasonally on top of the platform blast of water7/ Restore subway station ceiling fans in temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit or install them.8/ Replace Metrocard swiping with tap and go style-cards. Watching tourists fumble is plain sad.9/ If you can't fix a subway station, at least improve access with an extra entrance.10/ If entrances to subways were all "Egg Slicers" and buses had on board ticket-checking, less criminals would be able to troll the MTA preying on a paying public.

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