2010-10-29 / Letters

East Ender Speaks About MTA

Dear Editor,

I would like to make a response to Ellen McCarthy’s letter to Jay Walder.

I live in the eastern side of the peninsula and agree with McCarthy. There is a need for a Downtown Express Bus! Specifically from the eastern end of the peninsula to Queensboro Plaza, then to downtown 14 Street /Union Square and City Hall Area! There needs to be a stop at Queensboro Plaza before going into Manhattan because a lot of Far Rockaway residents work at the Northern HRA building and Rikers!

There is a need for better transportation in the Rockaways period! Yes we are getting our train stations rehabbed, that’s great. However, in the meantime, while we are being inconvenienced by having to double back in order to go forward “Manhattan Bound,” we are incurring other added hardships!

We are dealing with constant switch problems out of and to Far Rockaway and Rockaway Park. We are provided with old trains which incur mechanical problems on a daily basis.

The South Channel bridge is constantly getting stuck.

We have a lack of transit police and the extra commute means leaving earlier when it’s still dark, and people, specifically students, are being attacked on the platforms!

Due to switch problems and mechanical issues as stated above Far Rockaway and Rockaway Park residents are often being abandoned to fend for ourselves! We are often stranded at Broad Channel or Howard Beach, two neighborhoods I am totally not familiar with. We our told to walk outside unfamiliar areas that historically do not welcome certain groups! Yet we are not provided with police escorts! We are not provided with block tickets. It is assumed everyone has an unlimited Metrocard. More importantly transit does not provide us with emergency shut-tle buses on these occasions!

The only shuttle buses we get is during the weekends! And the shuttle buses provided are not the accordion buses!

Yet the mayor has just added three extra accordion buses on the M15 line in order to make up for heavy traffic! Excuse me! Did everyone hear me! The mayor just added three more uses on the M15! Yet, Rockaway residents are dealing with all the above inconveniences and the elimination of the free toll! And we’re told that service cuts have to be made.

Therefore I am asking McCarthy and all Rockaway residents, the family members of Rockaway residents and our politicians the following:

Hold the contractor who is supposed to do the rehabilitation work in the Rockaways accountable. Their information is WDF, INC, 914-318-0730. The contract number for the Beach 44 Street station is (#A36018/19/20/- 21/21/22).

For your train station contract # look at your mezzanine, the information is there!

Every time you get stuck on the train or bus call transit 718-330-1234 or 311! Seven or more calls on the same day creates an FLAG! (I know I am not the only one getting stuck!)

Everyone should be filing a title VI complaint by writing to the two following addresses:

EEO, 130 Livingston Street, 3rd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201, And US Department of Transportation, Office of Civil Rights, 1 Bowling Green 429, NYC 10004.

Title VI is supposed to ensure equitably distributed and accessible transportation to everyone regardless of race, color, creed and national origin.

We are not getting this in the Rockaways! There is a problem when it takes commuters about half an hour to get from Penn Station to New Jersey which is a different state! And Rockaway residents are taking more than one hour to get from one side of the peninsula to the other or into the mainland!

It is also very suspicious that every time there is a mechanical issue the train always makes it to Howard Beach/Broad Channel! But since the demographics of commuters changes after Howard Beach/Broad Channel, we are not provided with equitable and accessible transport-ation.

Whether you are in the eastern or western end of the peninsula. Black, Latino, Irish, or Jewish, etc., we are all being discriminated!

Note: Even family members who don’t reside in the Rockaways can write the above letters. Family members can state it is a hardship to visit their families in the Rockaways especially those is nursing homes, hospitals, Daytop etc.

There was recently some protest in the Rockaways about the toll. Why should we inconvenience our residents?

Maybe our politicians, residents and family members need to protest at the above locations making massive title VI complaints! Or by protesting by the M15 bus or by City Hall or all of these locations in one day! Something to think about!

Elected officials need to take your union endorsements seriously because there are a lot of fed up Rockaway union members who are getting tired of being stranded!

Voters you need to hold your unions accountable when endorsing a candidate and hold your elected officials accountable for your vote!

Write Jay Walder informing him we are demanding immediate measures be taken to ease our hardships. Don’t just complain! Make your recommendations! Let him know if our demands are not implemented we will request his resignation and or termination

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