My name is SueNa Jiang and I reside at 388 Pearl Street, New York, NY, 10038. I am in twelfth grade at Millennium High School in Lower Manhattan. I am writing to express my concerns on MTA subway delays. I urge you to collaborate with the MTA to allocate funding towards the reformation of the city’s subway system. As a passenger in New York, I am especially cognizant of the delays posed by our aging subway system. Millions of New Yorkers are frequent victims of subway delays. Subway reformation is inadequate throughout the city, prompting issues for the economy and quality of life for the people. As the governor of New York, I am sure you know the subway is the main transportation that keeps the city moving. Subways help promote social equity, sustain expanded tourism, and supports economic growth. Many New Yorkers rely on the subway to travel through the city because it is fast. But the subway is becoming less reliable because according to New York Daily News, delays are costing 1.5 million commuters 34900 hours and $1.2 million a day or $307 million a year. In addition, subway delays are putting people at risk of losing their jobs. A new analysis by Scott M. Stringer found that the economic cost of subway delays could be as much as “$389 million annually” in terms of “lost productivity for businesses and lost wages for workers.” This is putting stress on people because workers have to wake up earlier and stay at their jobs longer to ensure that they do not lose it. If this continues, M.T.A will decline in service as more people are seeking alternative forms of transit. I am personally invested in this issue because one time I was waiting for the F train to get to a job interview. There was a 10-minute interval between announcements that there was a slight delay. However, after 30 minutes I was told that the train wasn’t working. So I transferred to the J train, but since there were so many people rushing to the train along with me, the train was crowded with passengers before I could get on. I had to wait for another 10 minutes. When I got to the interview, I found out I missed it which left a bad impression.While I do support the MTA five year capital plan, prioritization and commitment must accompany this effort to improve subway service. Money is a part of the problem, but prioritization is the main issue. I recommend that you insist on accountability and review the capital plan to determine which portion of the enhancement and expansion projects’ funding can be redirected toward more urgent repair projects such as the 80-year-old signal system. The signals play a critical role in the subway system because it ensures subway efficiency and the passengers’ safety. When one signal fails, it will prompt halts for the entire subway. Passengers will have to wait hours for repair crews to fix the signal. Subway delays has been increasing over the years and according to Peter S. Kalikow from The New York Times, the signal system “accounts for almost 15 percent of all subway delays.” This proves how the capital plan has not kept its promises of making significant improvement to subway delays. But if modernizing the signal system is prioritized, train operators can trust and rely on the fact that they would be informed where the other trains are located precisely, without needing to worry about maintaining more distance and slowing down the speed. Moreover, a report from Jake Offenhartz stated that the signal upgrade was expected to cost 405.7 million, up 140.1 from the original estimate, as a result of decades of delay. With the money that is already available in the capital plan, we should spend it on guaranteeing our passenger’s safety and subway reliability instead of delaying it because if we do, the signal modernization will cost more money and the MTA will fall greater into debt. I think you should refrain from spending money on other infrastructure projects because nearly $3 billion of additional funding for our $32.5 billion capital plan are allocated for other projects backed by you: $1.5 billion for a new LIRR track, $400 million for cashless tolling for bridges and tunnels, and $700 million for phase two of the Second Avenue Subway. I acknowledge that these projects are put it into beautification of subway, but these projects do not address passenger’s increasing concern on delays and are at the expense of the millions of dollars that can be invested in signal improvements. According to CBC, “breakdowns, malfunction and power failures will receive less than 60% of their continuing capital needs” based on construction cost inflation “instead of accelerating the signal modernization program, which can allow trains to run closer together safely and increase the system’s reliability.” If you continue funding other projects, the signals will only get worse as funding dedicated to signals and communications systems decrease and fail to meet continuing needs. The most efficient way to resolve subway delays is to modernize the signal system as it will benefit the subway in a long run. Thank you for your consideration of my viewpoint on this ongoing matter. I believe subway delay is an important issue, and would like to see state funding allocated towards our old subway signals. Although I have read several reports of your position, I realize this may not fully represent your viewpoint. Therefore, I will look forward to your reply expressing your opinions and your current stance on the issue.
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