August 11, 2008

Assemblyman Joe Lentol's Letter to MTA CEO Lee Sander

Recently, Assemblyman Joe Lentol wrote to Eliot G. Sander, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer at the MTA. Here is the letter, reprinted below with the Assemblyman's permission. We'll let you know if there's any response.

Mr. Sander should hear regularly from G train riders - consider writing your own letter...

July 31, 2008

Eliot G. Sander
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
347 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Dear Mr. Sander,

I want to bring to your attention the disparity between two of the subway lines in my Assembly District in North Brooklyn, the G line and the L line, as reported this week in the Straphangers Campaign’s annual subway report. While I am pleased to learn that the L train has become the most reliable line in the city, it saddens me to see that the G train is once again ranked amongst the worst lines in the city.

The G line was rated worst of all lines in terms of cleanliness and frequency of breakdowns, and near the bottom in frequency of trains and clarity of announcements. This report card failed to have a category for service disruptions, but if it did I’m sure the G line would have had a poor mark due to incessant disruptions. A good week for the G is one in which it runs from Smith-9th Streets to Court Square without the need for shuttle busses along the way. But seemingly every other weekend my constituents and thousands of others are forced to deal with service disruptions, a split G line in which people must transfer from one train to another, and shuttle busses. I can’t even remember the last time the G went past Court Square to Forest Hills. If the train ran its full route it would save many commuters time and aggravation, in addition to re-linking local neighborhoods with the many thriving and affordable shopping districts in Queens. Countless numbers of my constituents used to use the G line just to get to those stores and now they cannot.

I have said it before and I will say it again, I’m tired of the G line being treated as the lowly stepchild of the MTA. For years I have heard promises of service improvements but nothing ever materializes. Instead, the G is always the first line on the chopping block when it comes time to cut costs. The L line brings people to Manhattan’s Central Business District and intersects several transit hubs, and I am left to conclude that is the reason why it offers much better service. The G line, meanwhile, doesn’t connect to Manhattan, services people in Brooklyn and Queens, and offers about the worst service in the city. It is a sad state of affairs that this line continues to be neglected just because its riders are not going to Midtown or Wall Street.

The G line connects the people of North Brooklyn, from Greenpoint to Red Hook. If the service were better it could have a dramatic impact on the economic growth of this part of the city and is especially vital considering that nearly all of the affordable housing slated to be built in the city is along this line. All else aside, I would have thought these arguments alone would be enough to merit improvements.

For all of these reasons, I am asking you now to stand with me and my belief that improvements to G line service are a must, and that change needs to happen immediately.

I thank you for your time and attention in this matter. Please feel free to call me at 718-383-7474 if you have any questions or comments.


Joseph R. Lentol



Anonymous said...

I love Joe!
I wish that letter could be super glued to each transit executive hand so they can read it daily and absorb it.

mike said...

What happened to the G train extension to court square? Did it go away when the Smith-9th project rehab was delayed?

Gary said...

Well said. Assemblyman Lentol has also been great on DOB reform . . . he's one of the good ones.

Anonymous said...

Right about when I was a teenager, they started shortening the G line. First it was shortened to Queens Plaza - which actually would be ok if they did that again. It would be easier to transfer to express trains going to Forest Hills or local trains. The G would go directly to Steinway again and getting to Queens Center Mall wouldn't be a total and complete aggravation. Why not do that if the G needs to shortened?

Tim said...

CEO Lee Sander should be fired immediately and replaced with anyone or anything, it seems a rock would deal with MTA problems better than he can.

Yeah, I guess I wouldn't be able to print my letter to Lee Sander here. The MTA is a complete and utter JOKE in the biggest city in the U.S. with a huge mass transit potential, yes I say potential because it is clearly falling short right now.

Q: Who sells land to bidders for 100 million dollars less than the highest bid on it and then raises fares on commuters due to money shortfalls?


In light of much of the MTA's recent conduct I don't think it's unfair for me to say fire them all. Replace them with people who are interested in mass transit and helping commuters get places so that our great city can function.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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