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Despite Pledge, Most Pols Won't Commit to Marathon Subway Ride

By Teddy Grant | August 1, 2017 5:18pm
 Councilwoman Margaret Chin speaks to crowd about subway issues.
Councilwoman Margaret Chin speaks to crowd about subway issues.
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DNAinfo/Teddy Grant

CITY HALL — State and city politicians pledged to ride the subway for 24 hours this week to draw more attention to the problem-plagued transit system — though only a handful in attendance at a press conference Monday committed to actually riding the rails. 

Standing in front of the City Hall R/W station Monday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Council Member Ydanis Rogriguez, Public Advocate Letitia James and other elected officials announced their plan to join straphangers in the subway Thursday and Friday so they can speak to riders about their commutes and experience the problems in person. 

“I think it’s important that city and state Legislatures now go into the subway and hear for themselves,” said Stringer, whose office sent out a media advisory about the tour. “The state recognizes and the city that it’s a problem. The question is, ‘who pays for it?’” 

When asked at the press conference if he would personally be taking the train during the tour, Stringer demurred, saying he needed to figure out child care for his kids first. 

His office later said that he's planning to attend some parts of the tour — which will occur in two, 12-hour sessions across all five boroughs on Thursday and Friday — without offering specifics.

Of the elected officials in attendance at the press conference, only Rodriguez, chairman of the Council's transportation committee, and Bronx Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz have committed to riding the full 24 hours, their offices told DNAinfo. 

Public Advocate James will be attending the tour, but not for the entire 12 hours each day, her office said, noting it's unclear at this time when she'll be riding. 

State Sen. Brad Hoylman will also participate, but will only make stops in his district, which covers parts of the East, West and Greenwich Villages, as well as portions of Midtown, Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen and the Upper West Side. 

Councilwoman Margaret Chin, whose district covers Chinatown and parts of Lower Manhattan, will be joining at the East Broadway stop on Thursday at noon. 

Councilman Jumaane D.  Williams, whose district covers East Flatbush, did not return requests for comment on whether he would be riding.

“I am sick and tired, and I’m sure you’re sick and tired, of the delays,” Chin said at the press conference. “We want to make sure the MTA comes together and fixes this.” 

UPDATE: Councilwoman Chin announced Wednesday morning that she would be joining the ride Thursday, after previously not saying whether she would participate.