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Transit Group Collects Commuting Horror Stories in Push for MTA Funding

 Riders Alliance will send the stories to state lawmakers, urging them to fund the MTA's capital plan.
Riders Alliance Collects Subway 'Horror Stories'
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LONG ISLAND CITY — A transit advocacy group is collecting "subway horror stories" from commuters this week — part of a campaign pushing for state funding for the MTA to repair the city's aging subway system.

Riders Alliance members were at the Queensboro Plaza station in Long Island City during the Tuesday morning rush asking straphangers to write down their worst subway stories, which they displayed on a bench on the Manhattan-bound platform.

Lena Cheung, a 7 train rider, wrote of how she was once stranded for an hour on her way to work, only to have the train go backwards once it started moving again.

"It's not OK to be a full hour late for work," she said of the ordeal. "It's not just the 7 train — it's a lot of other trains."

Another rider wrote of being stuck on a 7 train for three hours, and "no idea what was happening," while another complained of the trains being packed, with "people all in your face."

"Watching three trains pass by because they're too full," a third straphanger wrote.

"7 train horrible frequency," yet another penned. "Almost got fired!"

Riders Alliance will be compiling these terrible train tales from around the system this week, both in person at the city's subway stations and on its website.

The group plans to send them to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state lawmakers, urging them to fund the MTA's proposed $32-billion capital plan, which would pay for repairs and improvement projects for the next five years.

"If Gov. Cuomo and state lawmakers don’t fund the next MTA capital program, riders are going to see a lot more of these signal malfunctions and train breakdowns in the future," John Raskin, executive director for Riders Alliance, said in a statement.

"Our transit system is better in every way than it was in the 1980s, but if we don’t invest the funds to maintain it, we’ll see the bad old days come back."

Riders can also tweet their stories using the hashtags #subwaystruggles and #thankscuomo.

The campaign comes a week after Queens leaders held a rally calling for better service on the 7  line, and follows two days in a row where service on the L train was disrupted during the morning commute.

In an email, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said funding will help the transit system improve.

"As the Riders Alliance points out — as subway ridership continues to grow past 6 million a day, fully funding the MTA's 2015-2019 Capital Program will let us renew, enhance and expand the MTA network," he said.