Palma, Crespo call for subway ‘Bill of Rights’

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The fare Bronxites are paying to use the subway to get to and from work and school is up, and many are calling on the MTA to provide better, faster, and more easily-accessible service.

In June, the MTA raised the base subway and bus fare to $2.25, while only narrowly avoiding drastic proposed cuts to service, particularly in the outer boroughs.

Assemblyman Marcos Crespo and Councilwoman Annabel Palma were joined by Public Advocate candidate Bill de Blasio at the Parkchester – E. 177th Street stop on the Number 6 IRT line on Thursday, July 16 to call for more accountability at the MTA.

The legislators asked MTA’s newly nominated chairman Jay Walder to institute a Subway Riders’ Bill of Rights to ensure that New Yorkers have access to clean, affordable, on-time public transit throughout the five boroughs.

“Making sure trains and platforms are clean and secure, and providing basic information services in formats that all transit users can understand must become top priorities for the MTA,” Crespo said. “I join Bill de Blasio and Councilwoman Palma in calling on the MTA to immediately institute the Subway Riders’ Bill of Rights, so that all Bronx residents can enjoy a safe, reliable transit system that’s responsive to their needs and backgrounds.”

Palma stated that without the opening of the Second Avenue subway in sight, improvements to service was the least that could be done.

“For many working New Yorkers, reliable, affordable public transit can mean the difference in being able to make ends meet,” Palma said. “As fares continue to increase, the MTA must deliver more for the tens of thousands of Bronx residents who are currently forced to battle severe over-crowding on the Lexington Avenue lines each day, with no Second Avenue subway completion date in sight.”

de Blasio wrote a letter to Walder calling for the creation of the Subway Riders Bill of Rights, which would include clean trains and stations, as well as multi-lingual announcements.

“Guaranteeing riders on-time service and providing announcements in languages other than English should be a no-brainer for the MTA; and if services are not improving, we cannot continue to force riders to shoulder the burden of the MTA’s financial woes,” de Blasio said. “By implementing the Subway Riders’ Bill of Rights, the MTA can renew New Yorkers’ faith in what can and should be the best public transit system in the country.”

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