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.”