NYC leaders hold community meeting to discuss subway problems

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WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan — A community discussion will be held Saturday in Washington Heights where commuters can voice their concerns over recent MTA problems.

The town hall will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion at Columbia University Medical Center on St. Nicholas Avenue.

Those hosting the event will be Democratic Rep. Adriano Espaillat along with City Comptroller Scott Stringer and City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez.

Transit issues have been plaguing the MTA for months.

On Friday, the B train derailed, causing service delays.

Last week, a track fire in Harlem caused major subway delays. Last month, hundreds were forced to evacuate after a derailment.

“This derailment is indicative of a creaking mass transit system that needs urgent upgrades to fit the needs of a 21st century city,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams tweeted.

These problems aren’t technically part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “summer of hell,” which refers instead to summer-long track work and corresponding schedule cutbacks for suburban commuter trains at Penn Station.

While there have been some notable problems, so far the gridlock hasn’t been as bad as some predicted. Cuomo credits state planning for preventing worse problems.

But the number of subway delays has tripled in the past five years, to 70,000 per month, and rush hour cancellations and delays on the Long Island Rail Road were at the highest level in 10 years, according to a report last month.

“Their anger about subway meltdowns is turning into real concerns over the governor’s leadership,” said Nick Sifuentes, deputy director of the Riders Alliance. He called on Cuomo to propose a comprehensive solution to the region’s transit troubles. “Otherwise, there will be no end in sight for the subway ‘summer of hell’ and miserable riders are going to keep making Governor Cuomo miserable, too.”

“The summer of hell is turning into the summer of fear,” Sifuentes said.

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