Transit Justice Platform

New Yorkers rely on public transportation every day, but our current transit system does not work well for millions of working-class people. While New York City has the infrastructure to be a leader in creating a truly great transit system, our leadership lacks the vision and commitment to do so. This has led to disinvestment, over-policing, and neglect. As your next Assembly Member in District 54, I promise to support, introduce, and fight for legislation that will make our transportation in District 54 — and across the city — more accessible and equitable for all.

Map of Assembly District 54 (neighborhoods of Bed-Stuy, Bushwick, Cypress Hills, and East New York) displaying MTA subway lines that service the district.

Invest in Improved Transit Infrastructure

Assembly District 54 could have great transportation infrastructure. However, because of a lack of political leadership and advocacy, our district has often been overlooked for transportation improvements. Here are three ways we could invest in and improve transportation in the district:

Click here for ideas to invest in improved transit infrastructure in the district
  • Invest in The Triboro RX Plan:The district is currently served by five subway lines and 17 subway stations. A major issue with the existing subway system is that it was designed to feed commuters in-and-out of Manhattan, but it does not connect the outer boroughs to each other. As a result, there are a limited number of direct connections between Brooklyn and Queens.

    The Triboro Line, initially proposed by the Regional Plan Association, would directly address this issue by providing greater connectivity between the boroughs, and to many transit deserts within the boroughs. The MTA has publicly stated that they would study this proposal as a capital project with great potential. Since the rails along this corridor already exist, converting the existing infrastructure for passengers would cost significantly less than a ground-up construction project. As an Assembly Member, I would pressure MTA officials to seriously consider this transit solution.

 

  • Broadway Junction & Myrtle-Broadway Station Upgrades: Broadway Junction is a vital transit hub, not just for Assembly District 54, but for the greater NYC region. And yet, this station is not accessible to many New Yorkers. None of the station’s platforms are ADA-accessible, and there are shuttered entry points that cause significant bottlenecks.

    Myrtle-Broadway is another transit hub with high ridership and insufficient accessibility. The 2020-2024 MTA Capital Plan recently voted on giving $5.5B to 70 stations, including the Broadway Junction and Myrtle-Broadway stations, for accessiblity improvements. I will fight to ensure that the MTA follows through with these sorely needed ADA capital improvements. 

    In the case of Myrtle-Broadway the MTA should not just make this station ADA-compliant, but also build additional entry points to reduce bottlenecking. Walkability around this station should be improved to accommodate the heavy foot traffic, similar to what was recently done at Myrtle-Wyckoff with the addition of a pedestrian plaza. In the last 12 months, 15 crashes injured pedestrians or cyclists at the intersection of Myrtle Ave and Broadway. By adding a pedestrian plaza at this intersection we will be able to bring a positive quality-of-life improvement to the local area. I will work with transportation advocates and officials, as well as community members, to fight for these overdue improvements.

 

  • Open Existing Entrances on J Train Stations: Currently, there are several entrances/exits that are closed off to the public on the following J line train stations: Kosciuszko St, Gates Ave., Halsey St., and Chauncey St. There is no satisfying reason that explains why these entry points remain closed, especially since the MTA announced the opening of the publicly closed-off entry point on the Hewes St J-line station in Williamsburg in late 2018. The entry point that remains closed at the Kosciuszko St. station would prove to be a great convenience for high schoolers that commute to EBC High School, which is located half a block from the closed-off entrance but two blocks from the existing opened entry point.  

End Fines for Fare Evasion

The Cuomo-controlled MTA Board recently approved spending roughly $250M over the span of four years to hire 500 new subway cops and enforce fare evasion. This is wasteful and unnecessary spending, especially considering that crime has altogether decreased in public transit. More importantly, we should not prioritize public spending on an enforcement principle that criminalizes poverty and does not make anyone more safe. Instead, we need to at the very least decriminalize minor legal infractions, such as fare-hopping, by making that act a fine that is worth: no more than the price of a single fare ($2.75).

Expand Bike Lane Network

In particular, we should expand the bike network in East New York and invest in improvements for the open space off of the North and South Conduit Blvd. Many East New Yorkers commute north-south via Conduit Blvd. Often, these commutes get people to the A/C train stations or to Liberty Avenue, a major commercial corridor. The open space area in the middle of Conduit Boulevard could be drastically improved by the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT). Benches, additional lighting and construction of a two-way bike lane and pedestrian walkways are among the investments that could be made to the area.

This map shows the green open space area located in between the North and South Conduit Blvd.

 

Currently, the NYC DOT is working on an eastward and westward bicycle lane on Atlantic Avenue from Logan Street to Rockaway Boulevard in Queens. The bicycle network in Cypress Hills/East New York should be expanded and extended wherever possible, including Conduit Boulevard, which is currently used as a dumping/littering site and represents an opportunity to invest in green modes of transportation.

This map shows the existing bicycle network in East New York/Cypress Hills. This year, the NYC Dept. of Transportation began construction on an eastward and westward bound bicycle lane on the part labeled “PHASE II” (Atlantic Ave. from Logan St to Rockaway Blvd.).

The following visual shows NYCDOT’s design of the eastward and westward bound bicycle lane on Atlantic Ave. 

Improve Bus Service 

Buses are critical parts of our transit network, particularly in poor and working-class neighbors underserved by the subway system. Too often, the needs of bus riders are overlooked in favor of flashier forms of transit, particularly in areas where wealth is concentrated. I will advocate to ensure the MTA provides the highest-quality service to Assembly District 54. Additionally, I will work to make certain that the MTA Bus Network Redesign is inclusive of our voices and needs.