Op-Ed: Calling on MTA to relieve construction crunch

Last week, we heard the news that the MTA will be closing the Montague Street Tunnel, which connects the R line to Manhattan, this August until October of 2014. Unfortunately, that means 14 months of hardships on all of us that use the R train to get to and from Manhattan. The repairs, which are Sandy related, must take place and I am not criticizing the MTA for doing these repairs. Our infrastructure was badly damaged during this storm, and it must be fixed so our transportation system can function properly. But the MTA must make accommodations to our residents.

Yesterday I sent a letter to both MTA New York City Transit President Tom Prendergast and Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling for a specific set of additional transit options in the wake of this construction news. I believe, in order to ensure that residents can have an efficient commute to Manhattan while experiencing this inconvenience, that we must address this closure from multiple angles. I specifically asked the MTA and New York City to provide our residents with the following:

  • An increase of 50% in frequency of both X27 & X28 service
  • A full restoration of the X28 Weekend Service
  • A reduced fare for Express Bus Service for the X27 and X28 throughout the construction.
  • A full restoration of the B37, the former 3rd Avenue Bus Line
  • The NYC EDC and DOT reinstate ferry service at the Brooklyn Army Terminal to take residents from Brooklyn to Manhattan
  • Shuttle Service in downtown Brooklyn to take riders into Manhattan

I know that these solutions would help alleviate many of the delays that the Montague Tube closure would cause. I ask that all of you that use the R train call the MTA and ask them to adopt these options. They must not only hear from the elected officials, but also from their customers, so they know that leaving us with no direct route into Manhattan without alternatives is not fair, is not right, and will not work. By working together, we can make sure that our community continues to be the greatest place to live, work, and raise a family.

State Senator Marty Golden represents Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Sheepshead Bay, Gerritsen Beach and Marine Park.

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