Polls Show Riders Want An Advocate For Buses and Subways
September 6, 2011
Michael Murphy 646-873-6008
During the month of August, Transportation Alternatives' Rider Rebellion and NYPIRG's Straphangers campaigns conducted polls asking New Yorkers what qualities are most important for the next MTA Chair. The top two qualities selected were: political skills to raise support for transit in Washington, Albany and City Hall (27 percent in T.A.'s Rider Rebellion poll) and experience running other large, complex transit systems (27 percent in Straphanger's poll).
"New Yorkers know first-hand the city's public transit needs," said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. "Over the last three years, the state legislature has raided a total of $260 million in dedicated funds from transit riders. It's no surprise that people want the next MTA chair to ensure that elected officials protect the public transit funding needed to prevent further fare hikes and service cuts. They want serious leadership for these challenging financial times."
"Riders most want an MTA chair experienced in running other large, complex transit systems," said Cate Contino, Straphangers Campaign coordinator. "With a public transit system that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, riders need the next MTA chair to be able to step into our complex system and hit the ground rolling at full speed. Riders want it all, and we deserve it!"
The Straphangers Campaign and T.A.'s Rider Rebellion hosted the polls on their websites and on Facebook, asking users to choose two qualities from a list of seven. The top five responses from the Straphangers poll were:
1. Experience running other large, complex transit systems -- 27 percent.
2. Political skills to raise support for transit in Washington, Albany and City Hall -- 20 percent.
3. Relies mainly on transit to get around -- 18 percent.
4. Wants to talk with community groups and individual riders about their concerns -- 17 percent.
5. Experience working with unions, contractors, and the private sector -- 13 percent.
The top five responses from T.A.'s Rider Rebellion poll were:
1. Political skills to raise support for transit in Washington, Albany and City Hall -- 27 percent.
2. Wants to talk with community groups and individual riders about their concerns -- 10 percent.
3. Experience running other large, complex transit systems -- 10 percent.
4. Relies mainly on transit to get around -- 7 percent.
5. Has experience working with unions, contractors and the private sector -- 4 percent.
Both polls allowed voters to leave their own comments and submit user generated qualities. The most popular suggestions in Straphanger's poll centered around the need for a leader who understands the impact public transit has on peoples' quality of life. The most popular user submitted quality in T.A.'s Rider Rebellion poll was a MTA Chair who "is willing to fight for bridge tolls/congestion pricing," which received 18 percent.
Transportation Alternatives' Rider Rebellion campaign is uniting transit riders in support of affordable fares, better service and the end of service cuts. The Rebellion is an action-oriented campaign that pressures elected officials to stand up for riders and provide stable, long term funding for subways and buses. In its first year of existence, the Rider Rebellion campaigns' "Transit Rider Bill Of Rights" has been endorsed by over 22,000 New Yorkers, 18 community boards, 4 state elected officials, dozens of community based organizations and transit advocacy groups.
To join the Rider Rebellion, transit riders can text "REBEL" to 30644.
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Transportation Alternatives 127 West 26th Street, Suite 1002
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-629-8080 Fax: 212-629-8334