Greetings, I am Bradley Brashears, Planning Manager for the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, PCAC. I am giving my remarks on May 24th for the May 26th Board meeting, so apologies if we’ve missed breaking news – but I say this to reinforce the importance of allowing speakers on the day of Board meetings. I’ll also take this opportunity to urge you to reinstate Committee meetings where so much valuable information is shared.
As our region reopens and the subways finally return to 24/7 service, New Yorkers are on the verge of discovering our next “normal.” It seems that each week a new post-pandemic ridership record is reached – the increase is clear underground with standing room only on rush hour trains. We believe a reimagined discounted fare structure on the rail roads will help increase numbers there and help both riders’ and the MTA’s bottom line. More on this in our forthcoming Freedom Ticket Phase II report.
New York thrives on arts and entertainment and the best way to get there is to #takethetrain. Last week, I was in Astoria to watch Interim Transit President Sarah Feinberg and Chief Customer Officer Sarah Meyer team-up with celebrity chefs to call for New Yorkers to take transit to their favorite restaurants. It came on the heels of many restrictions being lifted on dining and entertainment – perfect timing. Following that up, MTA officials and our dear friend, Sandra Bloodworth, Director of MTA Arts & Design, announced the June 4th return of Transit’s Music Under New York Program after a fourteen-month hiatus. And for those looking to escape hot times in the city, the LIRR has announced its summer Getaways and Discover Long Island promotions.
The good news is unfortunately matched with tragedy, and it is imperative that riders feel safe on transit. With additional NYPD and MTAPD officers being added to the system, we continue to urge data-driven deployment decisions, and that officers have the training and necessary tools – including being paired with outreach and social workers – to be most effective at dealing with some of the most heartbreaking and serious issues.
We also want to congratulate Rob Marino, Transit’s Director of Government and Community Relations, on his well-deserved retirement and thank him for putting up with us over the years. Thank you!
Download Here: PCAC Testimony. Return of 24-7 Subway Service. 5.26.2021