Sen Squadron, CM Gentile, Riders Alliance, Straphangers Campaign, Electeds Call For MTA Full Line Review Of R Train

Electeds, Advocates Highlight R Train Community Concerns

Squadron, Gentile Call for Review to be Completed Within 6 Months

NEW YORK – State Senator Daniel Squadron, Councilmember Vincent Gentile, Riders Alliance, the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign and 41 elected officials called for the MTA’s next Full Line Review to study the R train. In a letter to MTA Chair Prendergast dated January 11th (attached), the elected officials and advocates also requested that this Full Line Review be completed more quickly than the last Review, which took 18 months.

“We have heard a number of community concerns about the R train. The R train serves many communities for which it is one of the only transit options,” wrote Squadron, Gentile, Riders Alliance, Straphangers, and the electeds. “We also request that this review be conducted in a timely manner. The almost 18 months that it took to complete the A/C Full Line Review is, simply, too slow… Riders cannot be expected to wait that long for service assessments and improvements.”

In 2009, Senator Squadron worked with the MTA to create the first-of-their-kind Full Line Reviews. They have led to more frequent and on-time trains, newer and cleaner subway cars, and other cost-effective service improvements that are important to riders along the A, C, F, G, and L trains, in collaboration with colleagues, Riders Alliance, and the Straphangers Campaign. Councilmember Gentile has recently worked with colleagues, Riders Alliance, and the Straphangers Campaign to draw attention to service, communication, and station condition concerns along the R line.

"This Full Line Review can't be as delayed as an R train commute,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “I hope the MTA pursues this Full Line Review, and quickly offers results and improvements. I thank Councilmember Gentile, Riders Alliance, the Straphangers Campaign, and my colleagues for their support in calling for a better R train.”

Councilmember Vincent Gentile said, “I have heard my local constituents’ tireless complaints regarding R Train service for the entirety of my term in the City Council; however, ridership grievances stretch far beyond Bay Ridge. Riders from Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn share the same sentiment: R train service is a nightmare. Across the City, the R train is repeatedly late and overcrowded, suffers from infrequent service, frequent delays, unkempt stations, inadequate audio systems, and the use of older subway cars. The urgency for the next line review to include the R train has hit fever pitch – over 40 elected officials representing Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn have signed on to this letter. Thank you State Senator Squadron, Riders Alliance and Straphangers Campaign for leading this call with me. I hope the MTA hears and understands the need for the next line review to include the R Train so that we see positive solutions for our commuters in the near future.”

Lisa Levy, a member of the Riders Alliance who lives off of the R train at 77th street said, “There's always a problem with the R train. The other week it took me 2 hours to get home because of a disruption and there was no service announcement! We just want an R train that we can rely on to get home and to work. Thank you Senator Squadron and Council Member Gentile for requesting a much needed Full Line Review.”

Cate Contino Cowit, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign coordinator said: “The goal here isn't to study the R train to death, but to create timely and practical ways to better serve the tens of thousands who use it. Today, riders often call the R the 'Rarely.' Maybe – if transit officials do their best – one day its nickname will be the 'Reliable'”