Readers Write: Security higher priority than MTA expansion

Readers Write: Security higher priority than MTA expansion

The horrible shooting on a NYC Transit subway train in Brooklyn revealed a fatal flaw in the MTA capital and maintenance programs. How long were the Brooklyn 36th Street 4th Avenue subway station security cameras not working? NYC Transit will never return to more than 5 million pre COVID-19 riders until customers feel safe, secure accompanied by reliable on-time service at a reasonable price. One solution is to assign a transit police officer to ride each train and patrol all stations.

Security cameras must also be installed and in working condition for all 6,400 trains, 5,500 buses and 473 stations. Adequate funding must be budgeted to make sure all of these physical assets are in place, inspected and maintained to insure they are operational 24/7. These are a higher priority than initiating new system expansion projects such as the $6.9 billion Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 and $2.6 billion Metro North Bronx East Penn Station.

Suspend any system expansion planning feasibility studies to fund Gov. Hochul’s proposed multi-billion-dollar Interborough Brooklyn to Queens new subway and others. All MTA Chairman Janno Lieber could promise is that the cost would be under $10 billion. NYC Transit bus, subway, MTA bus (the former NYCDOT seven private franchised operators transferred to the MTA in 2005 and 2006), Staten Island Railway, Long Island Rail Road and Metro North Rail Road must have reached a state of good repair for existing fleet, stations, elevators, escalators, signals, interlockings, track, power, tunnel lighting, pumps, yards and shops along with all safety and security assets.

This should also include insuring a majority of subway and commuter rail stations are in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Maintenance programs for all operating agencies assets must be fully funded, staffed and completed on time to ensure riders safe uninterrupted reliable service.

Larry Penner

Great Neck
(Larry Penner is a transportation advocate, historian and writer who previously worked for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York Office.

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