Officials join commuters, transit workers in rallying for mass transit federal funding
Elected officials, transit workers and commuters all rallied together in Bay Ridge for mass transit federal funding Tuesday.
State Sen. Andrew Gounardes and Council Member Justin Brannan stood with southern Brooklyn commuters and other leaders to urge lawmakers to send federal funds for transit operations.
The group is also requesting to add rather than cut transportation service once pandemic aid expires.
“It should not be the case that you can drive somewhere faster than you can take a subway or a bus somewhere,” says Sen. Gounardes. “It should be I can get a train every minute in Times Square, but if I'm in the Times Square of my neighborhood in 86th Street, I have to wait 15 minutes for a train in the morning.”
Attendee Betsy Plum believes the district isn’t treated fairly, saying in part, “This is a district that is perpetually on the receiving end of some of the slowest service in the city.”
Southern Brooklyn commuters tell News 12 they're often waiting a long time especially while waiting for certain trains like the R and D.
They say the trains operating in the area are coming much less frequently compared to the trains running in Manhattan and in northern Brooklyn.
“If I am paying the same fair, why can’t I get the same service like the people Manhattan?” questions Glen Baksh, of Bay Ridge.
Council Member Brannan says reliable public transportation is vital.
“We need investments in our public transportation. Don't get me started about our brothers and sisters across the Verrazano Bridge. We are tired of fighting for crumbs out here, we are out here today looking for a full loaf,” says Brannan.
Currently, transportation and infrastructure bills are being negotiated in congress.
Sen. Gounardes say he and other elected officials will continue to push the local congressional delegation to support dedicating more federal funding to the transit system.