Officials getting an earful from commuters on subway tour

RIVERDALE, Bronx (WABC) -- Politicians are getting the chance to experience the problems with the subway system that New Yorkers experience every day.

"Trains are never on time, the trains are dirty," a commuter said.

Riders are venting, and getting an earful are a handful of local and state lawmakers who set out on a 24-hour tour of the subway system.

The Riders' Response Transit Tour began in the Bronx Thursday morning on the number 1 line.

"Ride the train every day for a year, just don't do it for the cameras," a commuter said.

But the cameras were there for every step and every stop. Volunteers are taking detailed surveys as the lawmakers were talking to many riders.

"(We are) determined to be part of the solution. Determined to hear the frustrations and experience of riders and listen from them," said Ydanis Rodriguez, City Council Member.

The group has been riding lines in Manhattan and the Bronx. They will end at 7 p.m. in Times Square.

Starting at 7 a.m. on Friday, they will hit the Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island lines beginning with N, W and 7 trains at Queenshboro Plaza and ending at 7 p.m. in Union Square.

"The main frustration is that it's not reliable. You cannot count on when you are going to get to work," a rider said.

The MTA is beginning a subway action plan and announced a new leadership team to implement that plan.

About the tour, a spokesperson said: "We understand riders are frustrated, and they have every right to be, that's why Chairman Lhota laid out an aggressive plan to take immediate action to stabilize and modernize the system."

Lawmakers too are exploring new and innovative ways to pay for maintaining and improving the system.

"The tracks, the signals, the trains that's what affects everybody and we have to provide for a permanent and recurring source of funding to deal with those problems," said Assem. Jeffrey Dinowitz, (D) Bronx.

There are big issues in a very big transit system.

"They can get as many opinions as they can. You can't get all of them. You're never going to please everybody," a rider said.

The feedback from commuters will be presented at a hearing next week.
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