2009-08-28 / Columnists

From The Councilman's Desk

Transportation, Transportation, Transportation
Commentary By Councilman Eric Ulrich

ERIC ULRICH ERIC ULRICH Shortly after I was elected to the City Council, I was asked to name the top three committees I wanted to serve on. My answer was simple: (1) Transportation, (2) Transportation and (3) Transportation. I said this in jest, of course, but my point was clear. Many areas of the Rockaways, Broad Channel and Southern Queens are in serious need of new and improved expanded bus, subway and ferry service. As the area's voice in City Hall, I knew I had to give top priority to transportation issues and come to the table with practical, real-world solutions to this long-standing problem. That is why I would like to take this opportunity to voice my support for Mayor Bloomberg's plan to reform the MTA.

Expanded High-Speed Bus Service:

The MTA must expand and fully implement their high-speed bus service to include Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevard south into the Rockaways. This innovative bus service would use dedicated bus lanes, computer-controlled traffic lights, and allow riders to pay their fare on the sidewalk rather than on the bus in an effort to save time and get passengers to their destination quickly.

Improved Subway Service and Performance:

Commuters in the area have to deal with long rides, even longer wait times and deteriorating stations on their way to and from work each day. This is why the MTA must improve subway service and performance by increasing the number of trains that serve the area, installing countdown clocks at stations so riders will know when the next train will arrive, and by fixing subway stations more efficiently and cost effectively to ensure stations are in good repair and functional.

Expanded Ferry Service:

The Rockaways, Broad Channel and Southern Queens have first class waterfront access. We need to take advantage of this natural resource by expanding and improving ferry service and integrating ferry service to connect with bus and subway lines so that riders can seamlessly use their MetroCards to get around, no matter which mode of transportation they use. The overwhelming need to reform the MTA and implement these fundamental improvements is clear. These are not far fetched goals, but rather standards already in use in other cities waiting to be done in New York City. With the right leadership, we can move this plan into action and keep New York City moving forward.

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