Assemblyman And MTA Transit President To Hold "Town Meeting" Nov. 20th

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Lack of consistent weekend A-train service has been aggravating many Manhattan riders uptown for a year or so now. The schedule of repairs to the line has remained extremely vague (and misleading about the true scope of the repairs) with small posters on trains and in subway stations suddenly appearing and announcing the lack of service "this weekend." These seemingly random sign placements are followed by similar signs weeks later, announcing further repairs. The pattern of announcing work (and lack of service) on the 'A' line week by week, and month by month, as opposed to letting riders know the full project's scope and calender, seems at odds with the high standards of operational transparency that one would hope to expect from an organization such as the MTA.

Recently re-elected 71st district assemblyman Herman D. Farrell Jr. sent out a newsletter to upper Manhattan residents in his district this week, and one item really caught my eye: on Thursday, November 20th at 7:00 p.m., Farrell will be holding a "town meeting" with the MTA Transit President, Howard H. Roberts.

The meeting will be held at the Mount Sinai Jewish Center of Washington Heights and will give residents a chance to engage the MTA about the full timeline involved for the repairs. If you are concerned about any issue you may want to consider attending the meeting and raising your concerns with Roberts and Farrell.

While I'm on the subject of random lack of A-train service, I might as well mention that you can expect another weekend with no A-train starting this Friday (November 14th) at 11:30 p.m.

It should be noted, that in the process of writing this entry I discovered an April 24th, 2008 Manhattan Times article that stated the repairs could go well into 2009 (and that was in April so who knows what the current situation is.) In addition Community Board 12 had apparently received no complaints as of April about the lack of service. Perhaps no complaints were lodged because of the approach the MTA has been taking to this situation. People don't feel like they have any say in the matter, instead they are randomly dictated when the service will be interrupted without being given the full scope of the project at hand, which apparently involves track replacement, structural enhancements and lighting improvement. There is a level of arrogance here on the MTA's part. Vocal opposition to this project could perhaps effect the way they continue.

To reiterate: The town meeting with assemblyman Herman D. Farrell Jr. and MTA Transit President Howard H. Roberts is at 7:00 p.m., November 20th, 2008 at the Mount Sinai Jewish Center of Washington Heights, 135 Bennett Ave (at 187th street). Attend. And speak. The MTA will be listening.

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