Column: We are one step closer to transit equity

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The city announced on June 22, the launch of phase 2 of the e-scooter pilot program in the Bronx.
Photo courtesy Amanda Farías

You may have noticed that our neighborhoods look a little different this week. Community mobility has started to become more accessible and affordable for East Bronx neighbors.

As many of you know, my office has been working diligently with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to support safety infrastructure improvement throughout our communities. On June 22, NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced the Phase 2 expansion of its e-scooter share pilot program, which has now doubled the program’s footprint after recording more than 500,000 rides without any recorded serious injuries and has brought critical transportation options for all of us.

With the inclusion of e-scooters at our already existing transit hubs (subway stations and the NYC Ferry) we are one step closer to being multi-modal – which shows that the city is making significant progress toward transit equity. With no bike-share options in the district, these scooters are critical to helping all of us move around our own neighborhoods with ease and agency. I hope that we all take advantage of these scooters and visit new places that may not have been the easiest to get to before. Now we can use a scooter to catch the ferry, visit the new greenmarket at Virginia Park, check out the Waterfront Garden in Clason Point and so much more.

You can download the apps Bird, Lime and Veo to access these scooters and even order electronic wheelchair options on the app. When using the scooters please be mindful of cars, bikes and pedestrians like you would in any other vehicle. Helmets are strongly encouraged.

City Councilmember Amanda Farías at a press conference announcing the expansion of the city’s e-scooter pilot program in the east Bronx. Photo courtesy Amanda Farías

If you need assistance downloading the app or want training on the scooters, my office will have Bird, Lime and Veo around the district throughout the summer to provide tutorials and are available to answer any questions by phone at 718-792-1140 or by email at district18@council.nyc.gov.

Public Service Announcement

This year the New York City Redistricting Commission will be redrawing the City Council district maps to reflect the data collected from the 2020 Census. It is important that we vocalize the importance of our neighborhoods, their culture, character and their borders to the commission on both what we want to remain the same or what we would like to see differently.

Make your voice heard to the Redistricting Commission at the public hearing being held on Wednesday, July 6 at Hostos College from 4-7 p.m. You can participate in all hearings in person or virtually at www.nyc.gov/districting. If you would like to submit testimony ahead of time, like me, you can email it to publictestimony@redistricting.nyc.gov or mail it to the Districting Commission at 253 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10007.

The commission needs to hear input from New Yorkers before it releases its draft maps this summer. My office and I will be testifying and I hope to see many of my fellow CD18 people at the hearing representing the best of The Bronx.

Amanda Farias is the councilmember for the 18th District, representing parts of Castle Hill, Clason Point, Harding Park, Parkchester, Shorehaven and Soundview. To read her previous column, click here.

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