WILLIAMSBRIDGE, the Bronx (PIX11) – Transit advocates continued their push for six-minute service while speaking to Bronx commuters on Thursday.
Members of the grassroots organization Riders Alliance are trying to get the word out on their initiative to decrease wait times for subways and most buses to no longer than six minutes.
“By the time it boils down to six or ten minutes, I think most of us will leave our cars at home,” Osa Eghafona, a commuter, said.
Canvassing the area outside the No. 2 train at Gun Hill Road, advocates urged riders to contact their local representatives and ask for the funding in the state budget.
“It would actually only cost $250 [million to] $300 million which, in the MTA’s budget, is a drop in the bucket,” said Caitlin Pearce, deputy director for the group.
The MTA’s budget in 2022 was more than $18 billion.
The group will be watching Gov. Kathy Hochul’s next moves after Monday’s State of the State address.
“We all know the MTA is the lifeblood of the New York City metropolitan region and we’ll continue to invest and ensure the MTA’s long-term fiscal health,” Hochul said.
Danna Dennis, senior organizer at Riders Alliance, said not having to wait more than six minutes for a bus or subway will especially help workers who commute during off-peak hours.
“They’re stocking our grocery stores,” Dennis said. “They’re heading to the hospital to make sure that we’re taken care of when we get sick.”
Charliyah Lowe, another commuter, said the sporadic service makes traveling by mass transit unreliable.
“Sometimes, it’ll be like five minutes,” Lowe said. “Sometimes, it’ll be there when I’m there, or sometimes I’ll be waiting a good 30 minutes in 20-degree weather.”
Norma Ginez said increased service will help parents, like herself, commuting with children.
“I have three children that have special needs and I use public transit and you have to be a little bit patient sometimes,” Ginez said. “I have to express to my children that sometimes the buses take a long time.”
The state budget isn’t due until April 1, but Hochul is expected to release the fiscal year 2024 budget in the coming weeks, and that’s when transit advocates say they’ll know if funding for six-minute service has been allocated.