Politicians looking to hear from New Yorkers ride subways for 24 hours

NEW YORK — Subway riders are full of complaints this year, and two politicians looking to get an earful of them all are hitting the trains for 24 hours.

"You can see the frustration. People have to get up early and build in that extra time to get to work just in case they're late. Their bosses are sick of hearing that same excuse," says Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz after commuting with straphangers on the No. 1 train from 242nd Street to 168th.

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez is partnering with him in the 24 hours of commuting.

"We are hearing from riders loud and clear. The MTA needs to be held accountable. Bring permanent resources. The MTA needs leadership to turn around this transportation system that has been so delayed."

They have a coterie of staffers and volunteers with them, asking riders to fill out questionnaires about their impressions of the system, and offer up any solutions.

Gaia from Stamford, Connecticut says her No. 1 concern when she uses the subway is cleanliness and hygiene.

Simone Lewis from Mount Vernon uses the Metro North to the Bronx, then hops on the subway: "We need less delays. Less delays!"

Maria Cruz from Washington Heights chimed in with her own version of the complaint: "I live right here at 181st and sometimes it takes my 15 minutes to get to 168. Sometimes it takes a half hour. It's impossible to plan!"

Other straphangers worry about the homeless who seem to all to frequently to be using stations and cars at camping spots.

All the information is being collected, and will be presented by the politicians at an upcoming hearing on transit on Aug. 8. The politicians will be joined by other political figures, including City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letiticia James.