Millman to MTA: Hearings a “Sham”; Restore Agent at High Street

Assembly Member Joan Millman, testifying at an MTA public hearing Wednesday, accused the MTA of holding “sham” hearings because two were scheduled for the same time, one in Brooklyn and one in the Bronx. This, she said, “depriv[es] both boroughs of the opportunity to be heard by the full board.” It indicates, she said, that “these hearings are a sham and that the MTA does not care about its employees or the riding public.”

Millman described the closing of token booths and elimination of Station Customer Assistance (SCA) agents at some stations as “criminally negligent.” Concerning the High Street Station on the A and C lines, she said:

The layout of the High Street station, with entrances separated by a significant distance, makes it particularly unsettling and potentially dangerous for passengers if there is not a vigilant agent present. In fact, residents of the surrounding community report that prior to the introduction of SCA agents, they often felt unsafe entering and exiting the station and waiting on the platform for trains; when an agent is present, the station is safer. At one of the entrances, near 175 Adams Street, Concord Village hires a security guard during the holidays to maintain a constant presence in the station to provide an extra measure of protection for its residents who use this entrance. Given its proximity to the Brooklyn Bridge and the beautiful waterfront park we now have there, this station welcomes a large number of tourists who often need assistance from the SCA agents.

She then made a similar point concerning the Carroll Street station.

She addressed the question of additional funding for the MTA by noting that the state needed to increase its contribution. She also faulted the MTA for hanging on to unused buildings the sale or lease of which would bolster its coffers (“What is the MTA doing with 370 Jay Street?”, she asked, “Storing tokens?”), failing to get contributions from developers along the Fourth Avenue corridor, and selling its Atlantic Yards property in a “sweetheart deal” for less than half its appraised value. She advocated using some federal stimulus funds for MTA operating expenses rather than capital projects, and said the federal government had approved this, but the MTA had yet to agree.

As additional ways to generate funds for mass transit, Millman said, it is necessary to consider the imposition of tolls on the East River bridges, and the creation of a residential parking permit system. In conclusion, she said, “The MTA needs to do a better job of managing its finances before it looks to balance its books on the backs of hard-working New Yorkers.”

Millman is running for re-election to the State Assembly from the 52nd Assembly District. She is opposed in the primary election, to be held September 14, by Heights resident Doug Biviano.

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  • Doug Biviano for Assembly

    Meet the scoundrels – 2: Lawmakers robbed MTA then raged at service cuts

    Read in Daily News:

    Brooklyn: Sens. Marty Golden and Velmanette Montgomery and Assemblywomen Joan Millman and Annette Robinson.

    Stay tuned for the rest of the hypocrites.

    Read more:

    As promised, here are the names of state lawmakers who spoke out last week, personally or through representatives, against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s pending service cuts. These are from Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.

    This is not an honor roll. It’s a shaming. Because their crowd-pleasing attacks on the MTA concealed salient facts.

    For example, that they voted to wipe out funding for free student MetroCards; voted to fatten pensions for transit workers, forcing the MTA to divert millions from running trains and buses; killed congestion pricing, and drained money from a payroll tax designed to fund the MTA.

  • Doug Biviano for Assembly

    The great train robbery: These pols slashed transit funds then blamed the MTA

    Read more:

    Assembly: … Joan Millman …

  • Doug Biviano

    After 13 years on the job, maybe JOAN MILLMAN should stop calling the broken system she helped create a “Sham” and — for just once — BE ACCOUNTABLE.

  • Doug Biviano

    I have a Plan to Restore Full MTA Service Cuts without fare or tax hikes:

    My plan is the only long term solution to get the MTA back on track to being the greatest mass transit system in the world — a system that moves seven million workers and citizens every day (2 billion riders annually).

    My plan attacks the core structural problem with the MTA, the $2 Billion per year and growing DEBT SERVICE.

    My plan calls for leadership and decisive action on every level of government.

    My plan takes the blame game away from the hypocrite lawmakers in Albany who blame everyone else but themselves.

    Help me make my plan OUR PLAN.

    I need your support to get to Albany so I can try to make a difference. Please spread the word and contribute.

  • Obama?

    How/why can the MTA get away with doing virtually whatever it wants to? It acts more like a corrupt private corporation than a means of public transportation! What’s really going on here?

  • Judge

    Having that 400lb man shaped like Humpty Dumpty standing around at the Adams St exit didn’t make me feel any safer.