Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 4:27 p.m.
Forget NYU2031; the Manhattan Borough President has another bone to pick. And this one involves public transportation, both above and underground.
In an open letter
to MTA Chairman and Executive Officer, Joseph L. Lhota, Stringer chastised the agency for its "emotional, physical and financial toll on New Yorkers." In this case, the older and disabled populations riding the railways and buses. These demographics, in his opinion, are being harmed the most by small inefficiencies.
According to Gothamist
, the City official said today that his eyes on are on the subtle obstacles of the MTA we know (and loath, too) all too well, like subway stations that have no MetroCard machines and the long search to find some sort of customer service underground.
The "lengthy, Byzantine process" citizens must undergo to receive a new MetroCard in the mail is one of the main targets of Stringer's message, for example. At the press conference this afternoon, a story from the letter was told of an older woman who had to wait 12 weeks
to get a replacement fare card from the main offices. And, for an age group that is already economically strained, this can lead to a "dangerous situation" for the straphangers.
Stringer's proposed solution is simple: apply the same process used for defective cards - where a passenger gets an immediate temporary card to ride - to the older and disabled citizens who have lost their cards or had them stolen. Also, he mentions the fact that the full-time MTA service center Downtown on Stone Street is the only one of its kind for the nation's largest public transportation system.
With Stringer as a possible mayoral candidate, this move can be seen, by the pessimistic electoral types, as a means to side with the two demographics in the hope that they'd pay him back at the ballot.
But, with a budget-strapped agency like the MTA, the "reform" he's calling for might be a little difficult to implement. Then again, no one wants to be labeled as anti-old-and-innocent-lady.