Straphangers voice anger about MTA problems

One day after a minor derailment in Brooklyn made a mess of the morning commute for subway riders, some straphangers had a chance to voice their anger to local lawmakers about the recent problems plaguing the MTA.

There's been a bunch of problems with the subway system in recent weeks- Derailments, track fires, congestion, and cancellations all causing a number delays.

Straphangers of upper Manhattan have been hit particularly hard by these ongoing problems.

"The day of the derailment, it took me 3.5 hours to get home from work from Columbus Circle," said one commuter.

On Monday, a track fire at a station in Hamilton Heights resulted in major subway delays and overcrowding on the platforms.

Last month, a derailment in Harlem forced hundreds of commuters to evacuate a subway through the dark tunnels.

"The problems are far reaching, and I believe this is a working class problem,” said one straphanger

Saturday afternoon, a panel of elected officials including the City Council’s Chair of the Transportation Committee and the city’s Comptroller, Scott Stringer met with uptown riders to hear their frustrations and together find a solution to this ongoing problem.

"We need billions in order to get the subway fixed. Money is needed, input is needed, and of course a capital plan that makes sense," said Manhattan borough president, Gale Brewer.

{track} officials say federal, state and city funding is needed in order to improve our subway system but so is a plan.

"We need a real plan and part of that plan is figuring out a funding stream that is going to work to repair the MTA. We had a funding stream in the 80s- we brought the subway city back to life," said Stringer

The comptroller’s office did a survey asking straphangers what this particular subway crisis meant to them.

"74% of our subways straphangers report they have been late to a meeting and that they have been late to work. 22% said they have been late for a job interview, and 13% said they've lost wages as a result of the delays,” said the comptroller.  

2% have reported that they've lost their jobs.

The comptroller conducted an audit that found in the last year, there's been at least five subway derailments and at least 981 track fires. He said the urgency to fix our system has never been greater. The MTA was contacted for a comment, but we have not heard back.

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