SI train riders gripe about rail service
The riders of Staten Island's lone rail line said in a survey that their train is a failure, citing poor security, cleanliness and transit connections.
The survey of more than 1,200 riders released Tuesday by State Sen. Diane Savino's office showed riders were clamoring for service that would make their commutes safer and less aggravating.
"They spend a lot of time in that long, intolerable commute thinking about what would make their lives easier," said Savino, who represents Staten Island's north shore and parts of Brooklyn.
A top concern was station appearance and safety. Savino noted that city and state money has been appropriated for police cameras at stations, but only one has been equipped so far. Recommendations included the installation of LED lights, more access to waiting areas and newsstand concessions in high-traffic stations to make the area more welcoming.
Kevin Ortiz, an MTA spokesman, said the MTA will respond to Savino once the report is reviewed but said the number of felonies on railway property this year has declined by nearly half, with six felonies.
"While we continue to install security cameras, traveling on SIR is safe," Ortiz said. He added that the MTA has spent nearly $300 million in capital projects to improve Staten Island's rail service.
Meanwhile, commuters said they wanted the rail service to be closer aligned with schedules for the Department of Transportation-controlled Staten Island Ferry and MTA buses that get residents to the railroad stations.
"Time and tide wait for no man but if DOT would do a better job of coordinating with the MTA, you'd have a less disruption in service for a lot of people," Savino said.
Nicole Garcia, a DOT spokeswoman said, there are 65,000 daily ferry riders who count on the boat being on time.
"We can't delay thousands of passengers for the dozens of subways and buses that serve the terminals-which can make boats miss connections on the other side," she said.