MTA: 1.757 Billion Steps Short

By Sadaf Ayaz

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority(MTA) is reportedly at an all-time low with a slow increase in repairs and fares that don’t seem to show their impact. While some New Yorkers are patient with these changes that often hurt their commute, several are starting to get very irritated.

The MTA is an integral part of many New Yorkers’ lives. In fact, New York City has a 1.757 billion annual subway ridership according to the MTA–that is the seventh highest ridership in the world.

Brittany Jones, a 23-year-old waitress, calls the MTA a blessing and a curse. “Everyday, we complain about the subway’s temperature, its dirtiness, the train and bus delays but if we didn’t have the MTA, NYC wouldn’t run,” Jones said.

“The MTA is trying to make efforts to better itself, but the unorganized management and increased delays it’s causing is just aggravating for everyone,” said Alex Rodriguez, a 25-year-old department manager at H&M who rides the N train in his daily commute.

“Train delays are a daily problem now, and it’s causing all professional settings to be disturbed because there is no consistency,” Rodriguez continued, weary of being late to work despite taking early trains to make it on time. “It’s 1.757 billion steps short of what it needs to be. This is New York City for Christ sake!”

Amina Rana, a 19-year-old student at Hunter College, agrees. “I once missed an exam even after I left early as a precaution. Thankfully, my professor was understanding, but that isn’t always the case.”

Even Joseph Lhota, who was appointed Chairman of the MTA this year said, “Our customers are right; we aren’t very good right now.”

“We’re not providing the quality service they deserve,” he said.

While Lhota is known for helping bring the subway back after Hurricane Sandy, another rider pointed out that even issues from Sandy are far from solved.

Emma Romeo takes the M and L trains, however, both lines will be shutting down this year for a significant time to repair the damage done by Sandy. “While it’s a major inconvenience to me, I understand that the work needs to get done,” the 20-year-old sociology student said.

With the cities high dependency on the system, the MTA has a significant impact on both riders and residents or businesses around the stations. Romeo revealed, “[the repair] has impacted whether or not I plan to renew my [apartment] lease.”

Romeo hopes the MTA, along with the city, does a better job with general public transit. “Both the Metro and the LIRR have begun to become undependable to the point that I think it’s going to start discouraging ridership, and as a proponent of mass transit I think that’s pretty concerning,” Romeo said.

Rodriguez agrees and hopes the MTA’s efforts to fix its issues will be meticulous moving forward. “If you’re gonna fix things, actually fix them,” he said.

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