Politicians get an earful from commuters on subway tour

Saturday, August 5, 2017
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Rob Nelson reports from Lower Manhattan.

UNION SQUARE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Politicians got the chance to experience the problems with the subway system that New Yorkers experience every day.

Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez and State Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz have spent 24 hours on the subway between Thursday and Friday.

There's no doubt they got an earful, not just from performers, and not just from the creaking trains themselves, but also from thousands of commuters who have no shortage of complaints.

It has pretty much been an underground listening tour for the two politicians, trying to get a handle on commuter frustrations as the MTA embarks on aggressive action plan to combat what some say is the worst subway crisis since the 1980s.

The two leaders have collected more than 2,000 surveys and more tellingly got a firsthand taste of the headaches, including a 30-minute delay on the N train Friday near Coney Island, which the councilman posted to Facebook live.

Leaders say this kind of experience and public feedback is critical as the city and state continue to fight over how to finance an $800 million MTA plan to upgrade the aging system.

There will be a city council hearing on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at City Hall to present the findings of the survey.