R Is For “Rancid,” Say Straphangers

October 25, 2012 Editorial Staff
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With the city investing millions of dollars into a Second Avenue subway and a new and improved Atlantic Avenue station, straphangers in southern Brooklyn can’t help but say, “What about us?”

Ridgeite William Robb said that the city’s attention to infrastructure in Bay Ridge “can only be described as anemic, at best.”

Robb, who has ridden the subways for 45 years, said that cars on the R train are incredibly dirty. He contends that workers, especially at the 95th Street station, spend only seconds collecting litter and mopping cars.

“I’ll bet I’m just one of an army of angry Brooklyn – or the Bronx or Queens – riders who are fed up with getting short changed on our fair share that the Transit Authority is spending on us, vis-à-vis [Mayor Michael] Bloomberg’s bias towards Manhattan,” Robb said.

Sunset Park resident Justin Gonzalez agreed. “It’s dirty and slow. I have to wait too long,” he said.

Michelina Sosa said that sometimes the train cars smell so badly, she has to go into another one. “I can’t get on some cars,” she said.

“It takes forever to come because of roadwork,” commented Manhattanite Ricky Chui.

In addition to the poor condition of trains and stations, earlier this month, NYPIRG’s Straphangers Campaign released its annual survey of subway car announcements.  While almost every other line experienced improvements, the R train came in dead last, with riders claiming that the announcements were “clear and accurate” a mere 56 percent of the time.

Charles Seaton, a spokesperson for the MTA, said that supervisors have been sent out to the 59th Street, Bay Ridge Avenue, 77th Street, 86th Street and 94th Street stations to check the stations.

“We will continue to monitor conditions,” he told this paper.

However, some riders feel that the R line isn’t so horrid.

“It’s much better than before, but too many stops,” said Hemmi B., of Long Island.

Reporting contributed by Denise Romano.

Irene H. of Bay Ridge said that cars are “cleaner than it used to be.”

“It’s one of the best trains,” said Valentina from Bath Beach. “It’s regular, a little bit slow. It meets [connects] well with other trains.”


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