NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Lawmakers in upper Manhattan held a community meeting Saturday for commuters to vent their frustrations and share their stories regarding recent troubles with the city’s subway system.
A derailment, a fire, a shutdown, topped off by elevator and escalator malfunctions — that’s why Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-13th) held the meeting at Columbia University Medical Center.
“If this is the summer of hell, then this is the epicenter of hell right here in northern Manhattan,” Espaillat said.
The community was clearly not happy with the way things have been going. There were hundreds in attendance, so many that the meeting had to be moved, WCBS 880’s Mike Sugerman reported.
“People need to be focused on making it better, so that people don’t get to work late and people aren’t dealing with crowding, and not enough air conditioning, and track fires, and derailments and on and on,” a Washington Heights woman told 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern.
“If the letter grade would go beyond F, I would give it a W,” one man said.
But would can be done? Some straphangers had a few ideas — mostly involving money.
“If the city can put more money in, the federal government should forget about them,” another man said.
Espaillat said that isn’t the case, but he does say he wanted to gather commuters’ stories before he presents anything in Washington.
“We like the cosmetic changes that are being proposed, but we prefer the subways getting there on time, getting people to work on time,” he said.