Since the Riders Alliance began organizing in the spring of 2012, we’ve have won significant campaign victories throughout the city. They include:
Improved G train service:
Our members began organizing for better G train service in the fall of 2012. With the leadership of State Senators Daniel Squadron and Martin Dilan, we requested that the MTA conduct a Full Line Review of the G train–and then while the MTA conducted its study, we kept the pressure on with rider outreach, media campaigns and even a tongue-in-cheek “G Train Workout Plan” exercise video.
The MTA released its review in summer 2013, and we won the following improvements: 25% more G train service in the afternoon and evening; reduced crowding in the morning because the MTA will space trains at even intervals; and clear signs on the platform that indicate where the four-car train will stop.
Better buses and train stations in Astoria and Long Island City:
In the winter of 2012, Riders Alliance members surveyed bus riders about their experiences and documented conditions at N/Q train station in Western Queens. With our grassroots membership team, we advocated for “50 Fixes” to N/Q train stations and improved bus service. In the summer of 2013, and with the leadership of State Senator Michael Gianaris and other local elected officials, we won: activation of an N/Q train audio announcement system that lets riders know when to expect the next train, repairs to every N/Q station in Astoria, and increased bus service on the Vernon Blvd. Q103 bus.
18 million dollars for service restorations:
New York State’s 2013 budget included $40 million in unexpected funds for the MTA, due to increased tax revenue from a recovering economy, and we worked to guarantee that riders would see direct benefits from the additional funds. Working with the Straphangers Campaign and a broad coalition of elected officials from all five boroughs, we pushed the MTA to use the additional funds to restore bus and subway service levels that had been reduced during the economic downturn. In its proposed 2014 budget, the MTA agreed to increase service levels by $18 million annually.
Better bus and subway service during R and G train tunnel closures:
When the MTA announced that it were closing R and G train tunnels for Superstorm Sandy-related repairs, the Riders Alliance helped form the Subway Tunnel Closure Working Group. Working with transit advocates, elected officials and community groups, we pushed the MTA to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of subway riders who would have longer, more crowded commutes during this extended period of tunnel construction. The MTA responded to our advocacy and in the fall of 2013 we won: 25% more service on the X27 express bus from Bay Ridge to Lower Manhattan, “gap trains” to add service in the event of delays on the 4/5/D/N/R lines, the restoration of the B37 bus in Bay Ridge to Downtown Brooklyn, and a guarantee that construction on the G train would not coincide with construction on the nearby 7 and L trains.