November 18, 2017

Day One Without Trains

Updated 4 weeks ago Peter McCarthy
Standing in the rain at the Second Avenue Tram Plaza, BEFORE RIOC cut off shuttle service
Standing in the rain at the Second Avenue Tram Plaza, BEFORE RIOC cut off shuttle service
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Thanks to New York transportation's Big Brother, the MTA, travel restrictions yesterday weren't nearly as disruptive as we might've expected, especially considering our own Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation's - take your pick - cluelessness about or indifference to local needs.

F Trains Down: MTA to the Rescue as RIOC Fails Again

Walking out onto the sidewalk along Main Street on Saturday, Roosevelt Islanders saw a steady stream of MTA buses doing a circuit from the bridge to the subway station, some more full than others.

No card needed, which meant that entry and exit were fast, as we shuttled between home and the transit hub at Queens Plaza where you could hop on an R, an E or our own rerouted F Train.

Sponsored from Rosevelt Island:

Provided you were able to locate the pick up point - there were lots of signs - return buses were just as plentiful.

With F Trains rerouted around Roosevelt Island in both directions all weekend, any hope that RIOC learned anything from the mess we were left with on Memorial Day weekend was dashed early.

In spite of promises to be intimately in touch with its sister State agency, the MTA, to be alerted well in advance of any F Train shutdowns and prepared to respond fully, RIOC didn't even seem to be aware of the upcoming weekend closure until awakened to the fact by residents on Wednesday morning.

Their response was tepid, at best. And slow.

Late Wednesday afternoon, ten hours after being notified by residents, RIOC finally pushed out its first, minimalist bulletin, the core of which was that their only concession to the challenge ahead would be a limited run of free shuttle buses.

From 11:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., they'd carry passengers from the "Roosevelt Island Tram Plaza to the Manhattan Tram Plaza" and back.

Is it petty to be annoyed that RIOC still doesn't get it that both Tram Plazas are in Manhattan? We are still in the borough, aren't we?

Note to RIOC: It's the Roosevelt Island Tram Plaza and the Second Avenue Tram Plaza, both in Manhattan.

Thanks.

Correctly or incorrectly identified, neither plaza was adequately served by shuttles restricted to far less than half the hours they were needed and, of course, unexplained.

Apart from sending most seniors and disabled the same message they got on Memorial Day Weekend - Stay home! - RIOC left Tram riders standing in the rain for a half-hour or more, frequently with no buses waiting on the Roosevelt Island side, leaving arriving passengers in the rain again.

No waiting Red Bus leaves riders out in the rain again on the Roosevelt Island side
No waiting Red Bus leaves riders out in the rain again on the Roosevelt Island side
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Clueless? Indifferent? Who knows?

Anything but tuned in to the unique needs of the Roosevelt Island community.

Thanks to the MTA, it wasn't worse. 

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