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Riders push for upgrade

By Michèle De Meglio

Sick and tired of crowded trains and slow buses, Brooklynites are trying a new approach to convince the city to improve local public transportation. A petition started by a Community Board 10 member is currently being passed around the borough and has already been signed by 100 people supporting its message of making outer-borough transit equivalent to that in Manhattan. The document, which will be sent to the mayor, the city’s Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission, City Council, and state Senate and Assembly, states, “We pay city of New York taxes and the NYC fares for use of mass transit. We expect equal consideration in allocation of funding for our New York City residents to be used for transit within our borough and travel within the boundaries of the city of New York.” The petition asks the city to cough up more cash to upgrade mass transit options for riders going borough to borough. “I have to commute into Manhattan and continue to use mass transit,” said Jeannie May, the creator of the petition. “It’s rather annoying that I have to spend two hours each day getting to and from work.” May said transportation options are limited near her Bay Ridge home, as buses run infrequently, and the N and R trains are the only ones nearby. “You have to walk five or six blocks to get to a bus or a train,” she explained. Since mass transit leaves something to be desired, May said, local residents are likely to stick to driving their cars, and as a result, clogging already congested streets. “If we want to get cars off the street we have to have better transit,” she said. May believes the problem is that attention has been paid to improving buses and subways in Manhattan but not in the outer boroughs. “The further you get in the outer boroughs the worse the mast transit is,” she said. “It forced people to own cars.” The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) board just approved a fare hike which it says will cover deficits expected in the coming years. Anyone interested in signing May’s petition can contact 917-312-5133.

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