Can Anyone Lift a Weight as Heavy as MTA Stubbornness ?

Hey, Rebecca Seawright, how about some love for MTA F Train victims?

Updated 2 years ago Peter McCarthy
F Train at rush - too crowded to get on...
F Train at rush - too crowded to get on...
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

When I read this statement from our State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, "I am pleased to report that I just received notification from the MTA that additional Q trains are coming to the Second Avenue Subway as a result of continued advocacy by our local groups... and local elected officials," I jumped off my chair. On further review, the news wasn't so great, but still, maybe you and Ben can put your heads together to enact a rescue.

Can Rebecca Seawright Help Roosevelt Island's F Train Victims?

Don't stop me, even if you've heard this.

So, the news for Second Avenue subway riders wasn't really all that hot. A couple of new trains per day, well after rush, not even starting until next June, may not seem like anything worth tossing your hat and sipping champagne, but really, getting the MTA to respond flexibly to anything is damn near a miracle.

Here on Roosevelt Island, our subway problems dwarf those of Q Train riders.

Not only are we far more crowded than the Second Avenue cars, we have many fewer alternatives to and from Manhattan's bigger Island

Even when both Tram cabins are running, crowding is intense during rush and even on fair weather weekends. The ferry's great but doesn't carry many passengers, likely even fewer once winter descends on New York.

While UES commuters have a network of buses carrying passengers along almost every avenue, complimented by crosstowns, Roosevelt Islanders have only a single bus into Queens, and it never finds its way back to Manhattan.

Citi Bikes? Not even the option of pedals available for rent here. Check the map. Roosevelt Island looks like an abandoned dessert surrounded by nests of bicycles across the water on both sides.

Here's the bottom line - we'll take whatever help we can get. Anything.

Occasionally, we get delirious enough we imagine an elevator up to the Queensboro Bridge, forgetting how hard it is to get consistent elevator service for a single level at the Tram. Some would even climb stairs, if made available, as a means of egress.

(This is not a good idea. You just end up a hundred feet or more above the problem, with a mile to walk along a windswept deck, choked with exhaust fumes, just to get reach public transit.)

Rebecca Seawright
Rebecca Seawright
File photo courtesy Rebecca Seawright New York State Assembly

Back in the good old days, RIOC President Steve Shane argued that the MTA was pushing as many F Trains as they could through Roosevelt Island. Lengthy waits between arrivals suggest differently.

Would it be too much to shoot a couple of those relatively uncrowded M Trains in our direction during rush hours? It would be a small deviation from a course also served by E Trains.

We'd probably be willing to go along with the occasional R Train emerging through the tunnel from Queensbridge.

AM Seawright (and Ben Kallos, too), we all know that talking to the MTA, for us, is as useful as asking Donald Trump to construct a coherent, not internally contradictory paragraph.

We need you to do it for us. 

I know, I know, the Gods of Mass Transit Rail are probably too tone deaf with you too, but that tiny dribble of help for Q Trains riders gives us hope.

Look, against all odds, Jessica Lappin got our tram into the Metrocard system. It was a moon shot, a Hail Mary that got caught, a ninth inning grand slam walk off, a half-court jumper at the buzzer... 

But it can be done.

Counting on you guys...


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