Transit Equity for New York City starts in The Bronx

“The heart of the problem is that the Bronxites can move north and south and directly to Manhattan, but they can not move across The Bronx and through the outer neighborhoods with ease.”

Masked passengers sat on an MTA bus heading east on Fordham Road in the Bronx last fall. (Adi Talwar)

In New York City, transportation policy is painfully clear. The outer city districts are not prioritized for efficient and accessible transportation options, while Manhattan has several train lines that can take you almost anywhere you go. New York City’s Manhattan – centered transit system is centuries old, and for the sake of the majority of our population and our local economies, we can not continue to build transit systems this way.

This year, two new transit lines have been proposed to connect and create more access between the outer suburbs, Penn Access and Interborough Express. The governor’s leadership in prioritizing the modernization of our transit system is revolutionary. The historical initiative of both projects marks a new beginning for transversal transport. Penn Access creates a new opportunity for nearly 250,000 residents to halve their commute, and the Interborough Express will be able to service more than 900,000 riders between Brooklyn and Queens.

These new lines were conceived to provide transit options to the outer neighborhoods, but The Bronx is excluded from The Interborough Express. While both lines create brand new trains that all neighborhoods will benefit greatly from, I would point out that both of these projects (Interborough Express and Penn Access) have not actually answered the main problem the Bronxites have – which commute east to west effectively.

Getting more transit access is not the only problem we need to solve. The neighborhoods in my borough and throughout the borough need quick fixes on decades of non-existent transit infrastructure in the Bronx. While both initiatives bring public transportation to areas that have long been understaffed, I need to emphasize the true needs of our society. As someone who was born and raised in my own district, I feel these struggles on my own.

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