Subway protest Bay Ridge

WCBS 880

Subway Riders Protest MTA's Proposed Fare Hike Amid Poor Service

December 09, 2018 - 5:33 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Subway riders in Brooklyn took to the streets on Sunday to protest poor service and a planned fare hike by the MTA.

The riders say they're rebelling against the idea of paying even more for such unreliable service. 

The subway system as a whole has been on a downhill slide, but Bay Ridge may have seen some of the steepest declines.

Michael Maskin, of the Riders Alliance, highlighted the severity of the problem at Sunday’s protest in the neighborhood, which is serviced by the R train.

“According to the MTA, only 48 percent of R trains reached their terminals on time in October 2018,” he said at the protest.

Maskin says riders that get this kind of service shouldn’t need to reach even deeper into their pockets.

“What we’re demanding is that Gov. Cuomo, Gov. Cuomo’s MTA and our state Legislature find a fair funding plan to fix the subways before resorting to a fare hike,” he said.

Maskin is pushing congestion pricing as a sustainable source of funding despite Mayor Bill de Blasio’s hesitance on it.

Maskin ​says a fare hike might force a lot of people into a literal hike.

“There are people who do walk across entire neighborhoods,” he said.

Maskin ​and the other protesters took a symbolic walk up Fourth Avenue between R stations to show what riders have to go through frequently.

“We don’t want to be stranded by our bus, subway and Access-A-Ride service, and so sometimes we have to take matters into our own hands and end up walking very far,” Maskin said.

State Assemblywoman Mathylde Frontus was also at the protest. She said working people would bear the brunt of the higher fare.

“When we talk about fare hikes, I’m always amazed at how we’re not thinking about the people on whose backs this would be hurting, and that is to say the poor and working class,” she said.