Photo Courtesy of Riders Alliance
Riders Alliance members have pledged to distribute the kits in subway cars and on platforms whenever trains are stuck or delayed.
By Forum Staff
A public transit advocacy group this week introduced a new tool that, according to the organization, will help subway riders become activists in the moment, whenever they’re delayed, right on the train or platform.
The Riders Alliance has pledged to distribute thousands of “Subway Delay Action Kits” to fellow straphangers when they find themselves stuck on trains. The kits contain cards with instructions that riders can follow to sign the online “Fix the Subway” petition and tweet their frustration directly at Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who, the group said, “runs the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and has promised but not yet delivered a plan to modernize the aging, overburdened system.”
Members of the organization handed out kits to commuters on Monday morning at Grand Central Station.
The Alliance noted that the unveiling of the kit comes a week after the release of new MTA data that revealed delays are up 4.5 percent from September of 2016 to September of this year, and that they remain elevated at approximately triple the monthly average from the year 2012. In the most recent month for which data is available, September 2017, the group pointed out that there were more than 58,000 weekday subway delays. In 2012, the monthly average was close to 20,000.
“At a time when the State is not doing all it should and the MTA’s misplaced priorities are becoming more evident, serious reforms are needed to address the current crisis,” State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) said on Monday. “New Yorkers rely heavily on our mass transit system and we must insist the MTA do better for straphangers.”
The Alliance indicated that will distribute Subway Delay Action Kits through its members on trains and platforms, but also noted that anyone in NYC can request a kit from the group by visiting CuomosMTA.com.
Additionally, on Monday members reiterated their call for Cuomo to begin the upcoming 2018 Legislative Session by laying out “a credible plan” to modernize the MTA and implementing “a fair and sustainable funding source to make it possible.”
“I get on the subway every morning not knowing if or when I’ll get to work. A poorly timed subway delay can throw my entire day into a tailspin,” added RA member Lauren Houston. “But now, when we’re stuck on the subway, we can put our extra time to good use by organizing our fellow riders to take their complaints right to Gov. Cuomo. I plan to distribute these kits to hundreds of subway riders, and I hope everyone will use these instructions to channel their anger into action and accountability.”