Pol: MTA 'bureaucracy' adds to disabled riders' wait for new MetroCards
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, a likely mayoral candidate in 2013, repeatedly slammed the MTA Sunday for its "disgraceful" delays in sending seniors and disabled straphangers replacement MetroCards when theirs are lost or stolen.
Stringer said the MTA should quickly issue temporary replacement cards to those riders, who pay reduced fares, as it does with riders with defective cards. He said under the current system, people wait months to get a new card.
In the meantime, he said, "they have to either pay the higher fare or they have to suffer the indignity of a bureaucratic MTA system.”
MTA spokesman Charles Seaton said the agency recently hired extra employees “to deal with a backlog of claims,” and hopes to begin responding in under six weeks. The agency gets about 35,000 claims each month; 8,000 are tied to reduced fare cards.
Seaton added that following Stringer’s suggestions would “would only add another level of production and prolong the time it takes to replace a card.”
But Stringer scoffed at the agency’s response, saying, “Imagine the MTA creating more bureaucracy — it couldn’t happen, right?”
“The hundreds of employees at the MTA should maybe stop shuffling a little paper — the bureaucrats — and actually get into the service side of this,” he continued. “They certainly have enough MTA bureaucrats to talk about raising fares and cutting services... they’re the ones who are scheming to figure out how to sock it to working people.”