Letter to MTA + Amtrak Requesting Seating at Moynihan Train Hall
February 3, 2022
Mr. William J. Flynn
Chief Executive Officer
1 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001
Mr. Janno Lieber
Chair and CEO
New York, NY 10004-2207
Dear Messrs. Flynn and Lieber:
We congratulate you and your teams on the completion of Moynihan Train Hall. It is a spectacular public space and a testament to all your efforts in serving transit riders. However, to ensure everyone can enjoy this public good we request the installation of additional seating.
As the recently concluded holiday travel season clearly demonstrated, there is not nearly sufficient public seating available at Moynihan. During the holidays, hundreds of passengers were seen sitting on the floor, while scores of others roamed the station looking for places to sit. This is not only a peak season concern as Moynihan serves tens of thousands of passengers each day. The small waiting area for ticketed passengers is not enough to meet the demand. We need seats in the main hall where most passengers wait for their train.
This problem goes beyond inconvenience. We are sure you agree that all New Yorkers, especially older adults, people with disabilities, and adults traveling with young children, deserve a clean, safe and comfortable place to wait for their train. As all transit agencies work to bring back ridership, making stations as accessible and welcoming as possible should be top of mind.
We know that there are several issues that must be weighed when considering the installation of additional seating. We are aware that a number of unhoused individuals frequent this neighborhood, which might cause some concerns. This is a valid issue that should be addressed with services and outreach, instead of an exclusionary design plan that punishes transit users. Finally, we urge that these improvements be made in consultation with law enforcement to ensure that counter-terrorism design is incorporated.
Thank you for your consideration of our request. We welcome the opportunity to speak further with you about this important issue. Please contact Samuel Vasquez Martinez in Senator Hoylman’s office at 212-633-8052 to discuss.
Brad Hoylman, State Senator, 27th District
Robert Jackson State Senator, 31st District
Jerrold L. Nadler, Member of Congress
Mark Levine, Manhattan Borough President
Richard Gottfried, Assembly Member, 75th District
Erik Bottcher, City Councilmember, 3rd District