Straphangers flood calls to lawmakers on MTA ‘Day of Action’

NEW YORK – Commuters flooded Albany with phone calls Thursday and listed their grievances about the New York City subway to the offices of Governor Cuomo and their state legislators.

“I live in Long Island City and the train don’t work there,” straphanger Samantha Cruz told her legislator as she waited for the 4 train at the Atlantic Avenue subway station.

It was part of the city-wide “Fix The Subway” initiative . Transportation advocates urged riders to connect to their leaders on what they called a day of action.

The group pushed for the modernization of the subway, which would be funded primarily by congestion pricing. While it may provide a big “chunk” of funding, MTA chairman Joe Lhota says it’s still not enough and it’s why a possible fare hike is currently on the table.

“We are not going to go backwards the way decisions are made in the past about delaying repairs delaying maintenance,” Lhota said at a recent MTA board meeting.

The congestion pricing debate is one that has been on the table for years. Supporters claim charging drivers entering Manhattan south of 60th Street would bring in over a billion dollars in revenue.

Those who would be directly affected by the plan, includig taxi drivers and truckers, say it’s unfair that they are being forced to "bail out" the MTA.

A concrete proposal on the next phase of congestion pricing is expected to be introduced as part of the state budget in January.

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