Local Commuters Join With Elected Officials To Discuss Transit Improvements
April 12, 2012
Michael Murphy 646-873-6008
Last night, Transportation Alternatives, Representative Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and City Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Queens) co-sponsored the first Elmhurst Transit Town Hall. More than 50 locals attended and discussed how to improve public transit in their neighborhoods.
"This town hall is the first step in improving Elmhurst's transportation options," said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. "Last night, the focus was on the solutions and improvements that will give Elmhurst residents the public transit they need. The community's future and prosperity demand a public transit system that is affordable, reliable."
The top transit improvements discussed were the need for re-opening the Long Island Rail Road station in Elmhurst and cleaner subway stations along the Queens Boulevard line.
Representative Joseph Crowley, who co-sponsored the Town Hall said, "Our rails, subways, highways and bridges are the lifeblood of our city and our local economy. I have made it a priority to ensure the federal government continues to provide financial support for mass transit. But, we have to go beyond maintaining the status quo and start thinking about the most innovative and creative ways to meet the growing transportation needs of our community. Initiatives like the proposed re-opening of the Elmhurst LIRR Station and forums like the one held last night are steps in that direction, and I am looking forward to future collaborations with residents, community groups and local officials on what more we need to do for Elmhurst's residents."
City Council Member Dromm, who along with Representative Crowley, co-sponsored the event, told town hall participants, "Improving the existing public transportation in the area is vitally important for the development of Elmhurst and the surrounding communities in Queens. It is also critical that we think about expanding the mass transit options so we can spur the job creation and economic growth necessary for communities like Elmhurst to continue to flourish."
The Long Island Rail Road closed the Elmhurst Station in 1985. In the last 20 years, Elmhurst's population has boomed and residents are in need of more transportation options. If the Long Island Rail Road station is re-opened, it will provide Elmhurst residents with a quick, one-seat ride to work, culture and other business in Manhattan's core.
The New York State Government holds the purse strings to transit funding and thus has a significant impact on subway and bus service. When transit riders are hit with another fare hike in 2013, it will be the fourth such hike since 2007--all as a result of inadequate State and City funding. New Yorkers are saddled with the highest fare burden in the nation, and Albany's scheme to finance the MTA Capital Plan, which makes necessary station and track repairs, with massive debt will only increase pressure to raise the fare. Elected leaders at all levels need to work together to develop sustainable ways to invest in our vital public transit system.
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Transportation Alternatives 127 West 26th Street, Suite 1002
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-629-8080 Fax: 212-629-8334