Transit- ‘Bring Back Our Booths’- Queens Gazette

Posted: June 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

June 12, 2013

Councilmembers Jimmy Van Bramer, Peter J. Vallone Jr. and state Senator Jose Peralta met with Michele Gilliam of the Transport Workers Union Local 100 (TWU) as well as other TWU members on Thursday, June 6 at 4:00 p.m. at the Steinway Street train station in Astoria to support the campaign to bring back station booths.

In 2010, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) eliminated about 100 booths from stations throughout the city, limiting riders’ safety and taking away the jobs of station agents. Every day, more than five million people use the subway as their main source of transportation and rely on station agents for help with reduced-fare MetroCards, access to security gates and safety on the platform. With a decreased number of booths and station agents, riders including seniors, the disabled and children are negatively affected.

TWU members began handing out fliers prior to 4:00 p.m., while shouting, “Tell the MTA to stop cutting services to Queens. Bring back our booths.”

When Van Bramer spoke, he stated that booths are essential and that Queens is no longer going to accept not being given the necessary services. He later mentioned that there are many security cameras in Manhattan subway stations, but very few in Queens stations.

Vallone added that the MTA does not care about riders’ safety and that they are only interested in saving money. He mentioned that for a long time, security gates in many stations were kept locked, defeating the purpose of a security gate. “We are willing to do our jobs, but you need to do it too,” Vallone said, referring to the MTA.

Peralta wants Queens to become a destination. He thinks that the reason most people do not visit the borough is because of its lack of security in subway stations. In Peralta’s opinion, Queens needs to bring back its booths in order to become a destination.

Van Bramer, Vallone and Peralta each agreed that installing new customer assistance intercoms in stations is a bad idea because they are not adequate. Van Bramer ended by explaining that the intercoms will not help people in danger and there needs to be an actual person in the station that can provide help. He believes the MTA uses intercoms to save money.

via ‘Bring Back Our Booths’ | www.qgazette.com | Queens Gazette.

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