Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Gene Russianoff on Ridership Increases & Roosevelt Island

In Yesterday's NY Times City Room, June 9, 2008, a call was put out for mass transit questions to be posed to Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign. I submitted a question regarding the Roosevelt Island F train stop and increasing ridership. The text of my question and Mr. Russianof's response as posted in this evening's City Room post is below.

Roosevelt Island 360:

Q. Over the last 6 months various state and local legislators have requested NYCTA President Howard Roberts to review the transportation needs of Roosevelt Island with its growing population, taking into account its location on the F Line and the fact that the Tram will be out of service for a good chunk of 2009 due to its rehabilitation. His reply each time has been that the F line has excess capacity to handle the current needs and projected needs of the island. In your experience do you believe that there is excess capacity on the F line as it leaves Queens during the morning rush hour to handle an extra 3,000 plus riders that are expected to move onto Roosevelt Island in the next few years?

Gene Russianoff:
A. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what the capacity of the F train is on Roosevelt Island. What I can tell you is that there is a long history of transit officials not keeping up service with ridership increases. I would press my elected officials to push New York City Transit to do an updated “traffic checking” review. Or do one of your own. I’d be happy to talk to community activists. One anecdote: Way back in the 1980’s, transit officials wanted to close an entrance at 110th and Central Park West. We visited the site and saw that a new apartment house was just being finished – right next to the entrance. To quote David Mamet, who are these people?

So it appears we have some terminology to present to the MTA reps who show up at the June 24th Community Board 8 meeting regarding Roosevelt Island transportation issues. "New Apartment House" huh. It seems we can show several new apartment houses since the MTA switched out the Q Train for the present day F Train.

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