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Subway Advocates Collect Riders’ Horror Stories, Part of Push for Congestion Pricing

Photo: Riders Alliance

March 13. 2019 By Jon Cronin

In this game of Bingo, when you win, you’ve lost time and maybe some money.

Members of the Riders Alliance, a transit advocacy group, asked Queens commuters at the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue station Sunday to fill out bingo cards to document their subway horror stories.

Riders filled the cards with complaints about fare hikes, re-routed trains, slow bus routes, overcrowded platforms, stalled trains, long waits and accessibility issues.

The cards are being sent to Queens legislators in Albany as part of the Riders Alliance’s push for a congestion pricing plan, which the group argues would lead to better bus and subway service. Its members want the plan to be included in the state budget, which has an April 1 deadline.

The plan would charge every passenger vehicle and truck a toll that enters Manhattan below 60th Street and is likely to raise about $1 billion per year. The MTA hopes to borrow against that revenue stream and raise $15 billion over five years once the plan is implemented.

Several riders filled out cards that were riddled with tales of woe, while advocates spoke up about their own transit problems.

“When the subways are delayed it affects my life, especially my commute to school. For the future commutes of riders like me, it’s time to pass congestion pricing,” said Fulton Hou, a Riders Alliance member from Little Neck, who takes the subway every day to go to work and school.

Norman Joeng, a Riders Alliance member from Rego Park, said he has issues with subway reliability and accessibility.

“I rely on public transportation to go to work, run errands and take my family around. Without adequate investment in the subways, broken escalators and elevators occur more often and it causes stress and delays getting to our destination,” Joeng said.

Meanwhile, State Sen. Jessica Ramos, also chimed in.

“Our subways are in desperate need of repair. Straphangers need a public transportation that is more efficient, more accessible, and works for them and we cannot wait any longer. We need to secure a congestion pricing plan in this year’s budget that will put revenue in a lockbox for repairs on our subways.”

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Regarding the issue of subway overcrowding, is it ok to discuss the elephant in the room?

Take the “7” train for example: Have you ever wondered how much more room, space and available seats there would be if no undocumented people were riding the subway?

No, you say. Well then, do so the next time that you’re on an overcrowded subway. Take a second, look around, and think about it.

JH resident

Nice try.

The source your quoting is 4 years old and refers to the entire US, not NYC so these statistics are outdated and not representative of this city.

While approximately 10% of the Queens population are illegal aliens, they’re concentrated in northwestern Queens along the 7 line (74th Street to Flushing). So yes, they are causing overcrowding on the subways.

They generally don’t live in areas of Queens that require a car for transportation (your source makes that claim).

Why are you pro-illegal immigration? What benefit are you getting from it?


So just to be clear, you have NO sources to back up how many undocumented immigrants ride the subway?

Just complete speculation right?

wow, a new racist angle I've never heard before!

“dey took our seats!” is the new “dey took our jerbs!”


Dear “hmm why does that sound completely false?” and “lol”:

Are either of you even curious about how many illegal aliens and their offspring and here? Wouldn’t you like to know how many illegals overburden all city, state and federal services (including transit)?

The only way to determine a realistic number is to include a citizenship on the 2020 US census. With the sanctuary of NY, this should not be a threat. But, I suspect that you two are not interested in any accurate numbers. I believe that you’re very comfortable that 1 million+ illegals continue to “live in the shadows”.

Is it a humanitarian concern? Or do you have a financial interest in keeping these shadowy fugitives living underground?

Just asking, now you can go back to your name calling.


Regarding the issue of subway overcrowding, is it ok to discuss the elephant in the room?

Take the “7” line for example: Have you ever wondered how much more room, space and available seats there would be if no undocumented people were riding the subway?

No, you say. Well then, do so the next time that you’re on an overcrowded subway. Take a second, look around, and think about it.


So what’s going to happen to Jackson Heights when congestion pricing goes into effect and suddenly people start driving into our area to park their cars and then hop onto the subways and busses? Are we going to get residential parking permits to discourage this, or haven’t the dummies in City Hall thought about this?


People have been driving in here from long island and taking trains for years now. You just noticed ?

JHeights my whole life

Understand that if congestion pricing becomes a thing it will spread through New York City like a plauge. Next it will be pay a toll to drive on the Van Wyck to J.F.K. or the Jackie to Brooklyn. A toll on the Grand Central near Lagaurdia and Citifield. It will lead to commuters of all kinds subway and drivers being more broke and sad.

Stop Complaining.

A little off topic but i think most people just have a lack of patience, common sense or poor time management when it comes to public transportation. Been taking bus and train for the past 20 or so years and never really had any problems. Took bus and train on mornings/rush hour/weekends/nights due to rotating shifts on the job, no problems. Luck i guess.


Haha the more money you give to MTA the more they will steal and nothing will get done. It needs a proper audit – send thieves to jail – auction off their property and I can guarantee it will start improving . Up until then you can kiss their unionized ballz

Sara Ross

Why is it that the MTA has to be funded through so many ways? This crooked agency needs to be audited (like the NYS lottery – what schools does the money go to – not NYC ones) to find out where all of the revenue from Metrocards, taxes, advertising (in and on subway cars – even on the outside of them), in and outside of buses, in and outside of subway stations, in and outside of LIRR cars. Every weekend trains are suspended at most stations due to track maintenance, signal modernization (fancy new word), and switch repair. YET – every Monday (all day!) – like clockwork – there are delays on most of the subway lines due to signal, switch, track, train door, etc. problems. The newest problems are “unsanitary car conditions”, “soiled interior” and “emergency brake activated”. We don’t need congestion pricing. What we need are tickets to be given to all of the drivers with so-called out of state license plates. What were Florida drivers doing in NY during the winter? Is anybody in Pennsylvania, since most of their cars seem to be here? There are at least 15 cars in my neighborhood in Queens with PA plates, a couple with NJ and some with California and Illinois. We have to stop supporting the Moron Transit Authority and find out where the money they already have is going! Enough of picking our pockets.


Yes charge everyone, but guess what it still wont be enough money! These greedy politicians will never have enough. They think everything you own and produce belongs to them.


NOTHING will change for the next 25 years so get used to it…

There are only 3 options, Quit working 9-5 M-F find a job with hours other then that and there will be thousands less riders each morning and an easier commute
#2 reverse commute to anywhere is queens like forest hills the 7 train is EMPTY going in that direction
#3 wait for a new tunnel to be built across the east river for your grandkids


Bull, and double bull. Uber corporation took out ads to support this because their 100,000+ drivers head to Manhattan day and night to roam endlessly between rides, as they make less money every year. Don’t be under illusions that there are not massive payoffs going to our Mayor and some councilmembers/state reps. Commence proper municipal control, as yellow cabs were controlled decades ago. LIMIT UBER, not my ability to see my doctor, go to church or shop. Or get to work. Most of Queens is not near a bus or train stop. buses take an eternity, once in the city–Uber.
Watching this gross manipulation and publicity campaign reminds me of the lies and lying liars of our last presidential weirdness.

Nose Plugs

Let me guess, the free space in the center was a smelly homeless guy who just took a dump in the seat next to him.


Congestion pricing will only be fair if it is charged to everyone, EVERYONE!!! All private vehicles!

No exceptions for cops, fireman, teachers, sanitation employees, doctors, nurses, hospital workers, city council members, and every other federal, state or city employee.

Everyone living below 60th street should also be charged. You are part of this city, and if you own a car which is operated in the congestion zone you too should be charged.

These fees should be charged to everyone.


you’re totally right! when they start that nonsense with “exceptions, of course, should be made for….”, you know that it’s another avenue for abuse and fraud. EVERYBODY AND EVERYONE should be charged if the plan is introduced.


Any idea why the Famous Famiglia Pizza at the 74 street subway stop was shutdown by the city??

JHeights my whole life

That’s a good question and hopefully the reporters of the Jackson Heights Post will get us an answer. I know it wasn’t a financial issue because that place was always full of paying customers.


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