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Andrew Cuomo

How to Turn Up the Pressure on Cuomo to Fix the Subways

Photo: Governor’s Office/Flickr

Subway delays and service failures keep escalating because political leaders spent a generation mismanaging resources needed to maintain and improve the system. And for the last seven years, the person most responsible for letting the subways slide into a state of disarray has been Andrew Cuomo.

As the Times detailed in an excellent investigative piece over the weekend, Cuomo has neglected repair and upgrades for core infrastructure like tracks, signals, and trains. The best hope to turn around the system is to intensify the pressure on Cuomo.

"When you're Tweeting at the governor, that goes directly to his office," said Riders Alliance organizer Rebecca Bailin. "They hear us, and the more of us that do it, the more they have to pay attention to us."

If you want to enlist your fellow straphangers to turn up the heat on Cuomo, the Riders Alliance wants to help. Sign up for their "Fix Our Subways" campaign and they'll send you copies of this flyer to hand out, so people know exactly who to contact:

New Yorkers can sign up to receive copies of this "Subway Delay Action Kit" to distribute to fellow riders. Image: Riders Alliance
Image: Riders Alliance
New Yorkers can sign up to receive copies of this "Subway Delay Action Kit" to distribute to fellow riders. Image: Riders Alliance

The idea is that "everybody who's on the train, commiserating and sharing their frustration can channel that into productive action," said Riders Alliance Executive Director John Raskin.

The inspiration for the toolkit came from Riders Alliance members who wanted an easy way to mobilize other transit riders during subway troubles.

"There's this intense feeling of powerlessness that [people] experience, and I experience, when we're stuck on the subway," Bailin said. "This gives us something useful that we can do and we can direct to other riders. We can really mobilize thousands of people every time there's a delay."

"Just this morning, I was delayed about 15 minutes on the train," said Riders Alliance member Lauren Houston, who commutes into Manhattan from Flatbush. "I'm looking around and everybody's rolling their eyes. At least now I would have a card that I can give to people so they feel like they can do something in that moment."

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