Jan. 12, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge
In an effort to make R train rides less “infrequent and unreliable,” transportation advocates and more than 40 elected officials are calling on the MTA to conduct a comprehensive review of the line.
The Straphangers Campaign, the Riders Alliance, and the electeds – including several from western Queens – sent a letter to MTA head Tom Prendergast on Monday, requesting a study of the R line.
Some issues the study should look into, according to the letter, include “infrequent and unreliable service, a lack of communication and poor station conditions.”
Western Queens elected officials who signed on include Assembly Members Aravella Simotas and Francisco Moya and Council Members Costa Constantinides, Jimmy Van Bramer and Daniel Dromm.
“R train riders must contend with delays and infrequent service, combined with older train cars,” Constantinides said. “A full-line review to assess current issues and examine possible solutions would help to potentially improve the commutes of our residents.”
Full line reviews have been taking place since 2009, according to the MTA, including most recently a study of the A/C in December.
That review took more than a year to complete, which the letter writers called “simply too slow.”
“Riders cannot be expected to wait that long for service assessments and improvements,” they stated.
However, according to the MTA, they will likely have even longer to wait for an R train analysis.
MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz said that, because all full line reviews conducted so far have focused on lettered lines, a numbered line will be selected next.
Ortiz added that a review of the R has not been scheduled, stating that it would become “obsolete” once the Second Avenue Subway opens, which he said will impact ridership on the R due to new transfers to/from Manhattan and the diversion of the Q to the upper east side.
Please let us not forget the Q101 bus whose service has not been improved in years despite the growing population and transportation needs of Astoria.