Alliance looks to solve straphanger issues
by Kathleen Lees
Nov 20, 2012 | 2832 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Riders Alliance is hoping to solve the problems faced by frustrated commuters throughout New York City. A grassroots organization consisting of subway and bus riders, members are looking to combat transit troubles, particularly with the G train.

Since the organizationâ•’s beginnings this summer, residents have had the chance to discuss commuter concerns from all perspectives within the organization.

"We've been doing a lot of behind the scenes work for a while," said John Raskin, executive director of the alliance. This past Monday, the group held their official launch party, and this past month, they had a meeting to discuss issues regarding the G train.

Among general problems, Raskin said members recognized various issues with the G line, including the need for more frequent service at night and better communication with riders during service disruptions. However, a more common complaint stems from limited transfers to nearby lines.

Raskin listed the J, M, and Z lines at Hewes St. with an unconnected transfer to the G line only two blocks away as a problem the organization is hoping to solve. "This would be a helpful connection," he said.

Other Riders Alliance members see similar issues with the G line.

For alliance member Jacob Mason, though the G train runs near his apartment in Clinton Hill, Mason said he always takes the B54 bus toward Church Avenue because of the G's lack of transfers.

"What's frustrating is the G train passes near a bunch of lines," Mason said, referring to the R, N, Q and others lines that intersect at the Fulton St. and Atlantic Ave."Barclays Center stops. "The G passes right over them, but doesn't connect."

As it stands now, the G train connects with trains specifically to Manhattan at isolated points, causing concern for many riders who work in the borough.

Charles Seaton, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, explained that the agency is always working to improve service as needed, noting "the G has extended to Church Avenue."

However, he did not have any comment regarding more free transfers from the G train that would get riders into Manhattan.

But more than just the G, Raskin stressed that the organization is hoping to provide strategies and possible solutions to ongoing struggles with transportation throughout the boroughs.

"We need a stronger investment in our buses and subways," Raskin said. "And we want to make sure our strategies are driven by our members," he said.

On Nov. 27, Raskin will be discussing new ideas for improvements on the G line. The event will be at El Puente Che Institute, 289 Grand Street.

To find out more about the organization, visit their website at www.ridersny.org.
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