To the editor:
(re: “MTA’s worst days are behind us,” July 25)
As anyone who takes public transportation in our area knows, there have been a lot of issues lately.
The express buses that used to take between 45 minutes and an hour to and from Midtown now take 90 minutes or more to get to and from the Upper West Side, and that’s before you consider the many late and missing buses.
The 1 train isn’t stopping at 168th for at least a year, so transferring from the A and C trains is out. The wait for the Bx7 or Bx20 buses from the A at West 211th Street can take a half hour in rush hour (at a broiling hot bus stop with no shade), and then those buses sit in the awful traffic on Broadway near West 230th Street forever, too.
There is no 1 train service (or only shuttle bus service for part of the way) on most weekends, and late nights now. Sometimes the A train is out too, on the same weekends.
Metro-North is also doing track work on the weekends, and is now considering changing the Rail Link service.
In addition, subway elevators are often broken or non-existent, and wheelchair lifts don’t work, or bus operators aren’t properly trained to use them, making transportation inaccessible to many people.
Because of these and other problems, many people are opting to skip public transportation and drive into the city. Between the added cars, the never-ending roadwork, and the added Uber and Lyft vehicles, the traffic is always bad, even at traditionally quiet times. We have no bus or HOV lanes to help us.
All these transportation issues are really having a negative impact on living in Riverdale. I have changed my behavior already because of them. I have to worry about if I’ll be able to get an appointment or a meeting on time, or if I’ll be able to get home on a Saturday night if I want to go to a Broadway show.
How long is it going to take me to get to and from Macy’s if I want to go shopping? Is it worth going to a show or concert if I need to add the expense of taking an Uber home?
And I’m a generally healthy person who’s able to get around and find other ways to go if needed, and I have a full-time job. What is this doing to all our seniors, to families with small children or strollers, to those with mobility issues, or to those on fixed incomes?
When I moved here, it was because of the ease of getting to and from the city. That has now become an obstacle, not a benefit.
We really need your help as the main media outlet here devoted to this community to hold the city and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority accountable.
We need our local officials (Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Councilman Andrew Cohen) to advocate for us and demand changes where they can.