Riders Alliance kicks off weeklong rally for transit system fixes

Posted: Updated:

As the state budget deadline approaches, the Riders Alliance says it is worried that the budget shows no promise of a long-term transit funding plan to fix New York City's aging transit system.

The grassroots group announced the kickoff of a week of state budget education, where they're reaching out to straphangers citywide to educate them on how to get involved to make city subways and busses better. 

They're handing out pamphlets and information at transit hubs and asking New Yorkers to reach out to their elected officials and ask them to take action by allocating $1.5 billion a year to fix the subways.

They say the signal technology that's being used is from the 1930s and needs to be updated, and that aging trains can't keep up with the increasing amount of riders. They're also asking New Yorkers to call the governor's office in Albany and tweet their worst commute experiences to get the attention of lawmakers.

"We're kicking off a week of educating riders not only that the subways are a mess, they know that, but why they are a mess and the fact that the subways and buses need $1.5 billion in new revenue every year to be fixed," says Rebecca Bailin, of the Riders Alliance.

The Riders Alliance says this week, they will be teaching a lesson on subway civics to commuters to help them better call for the subway repairs.

A spokesperson from the governor's office told News 12 in a statement, "It's the governor who has taken aggressive action to fix the subways by funding the state's half of the Subway Action Plan, advancing near-term fix NYC recommendations, proposing sending mobility tax revenue directly to the MTA and investing an historic $8.6 billion in the capital program. While some continue to simply talk about turning the subways around, the governor is actually working to get it done."

The MTA responded, telling News 12 in a statement in part that the "MTA’s singular focus is continuing to restore the system to a state of reliability. Everything else is just a distraction.”

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