FLATIRON DISTRICT, Manhattan — How about a “Cuomojito” after the subway ride you may have suffered through today?
Welcome to the the Fifth Annual Riders Alliance Gala where members wear the subway lines that have given them the most trouble in the past year.
And it’s been quite a year.
More than 400 subway riders and activists descended on Slate NY to enjoy subway themed cocktails like that “Cuomojito,” he “rums” the MTA or “the sick passionger,” a passion fruit margarita, and talk about one of the worst years in the subway’s 112-year history with record ridership and a record number of delays and derailments.
“The answer to fixing transit is not rocket science,” John Raskin, the executive director of The Riders’ Alliance. “It will require new money, modern signals and new subway cars and we can do it, but Governor Cuomo needs to find the political will to pass it and make it happen,” Raskin added.
This subway-themed gala honored a man known affectionately as “Gridlock Sam,” who for close to half a century has been working to remedy the city’s transit and traffic woes.
“We’re paying the price for neglect,” Sam Schwartz, otherwise known as Gridlock Sam, told PIX11. “This is an easy one to fix. We need a steady funding source. The governor hit it on the head with congestion pricing and it will help traffic which is the worst it’s ever been,” Schwartz added.
With a band who actually plays in the subway, Blue Dahlia and subway themed games and activities, this was a grass roots event that raised over $200,000.
Tickets cost $250 per person but anyone who donated anything to the Riders Alliance this past year could come here for free.
And a vocal group was here to celebrate but also to continue to push for half fare metro cards for low income New Yorkers.
The Riders Alliance is hoping to introduce a new drink next year called “the reliable commute.”
We’ll all drink to that.