Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman (D-WF Brooklyn), a member of the NYS Assembly committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, testified today about Brooklyn’s most pressing mass transit needs. Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, Chair of the Committee, hosted the hearing at Brooklyn Borough Hall.
Millman expressed her own concerns about Brooklyn’s transit needs before hearing the several presentations from transportation experts. "In New York City’s most populous and ever expanding borough, one would think we would have first-rate mass transit to move the 2.3 million Brooklynites who use our city and buses each day," said Millman. "The reality is that Brooklyn is being shortchanged left and right. Despite the fact that the MTA recently increased the fare to $2 per ride, we have found the reality is we are forced to pay more for less. We pay more only to lose our token booth clerks throughout the borough. We pay more only to endure overly crowded, infrequent train service. We pay more only to have the longest commute of anywhere in New York City."
Assemblywoman Millman also shed light on the long-standing problem of accessibility at local train stations. Most notably, Millman said, "The elevated Smith and Ninth Street station on the F and G lines is an atrocity. When the escalators have been switched off or are broken, which happens frequently, anyone who is disabled, anyone with a stroller, or anyone with a heavy load to carry is absolutely stranded. We must work to find creative solutions to make sure mass transit is truly for everyone.
"I have continually advocated for the extension of the 2nd Avenue subway to Brooklyn. This would be a natural extension of the line and could service underserved areas and relieve overcrowded lines. We must also look to increase the frequency of #2 and #3 trains to again relieve our most crowded lines, extend the LIRR service directly into Manhattan from the Atlantic Avenue station, and increase the frequency of the N and R lines, otherwise known to some of my constituents as the ‘Never’ and ‘Rarely.’"