36 THE QUEENS COURIER • JUNE 22, 2017 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
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JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS
KATRINA MEDOFF, ANTHONY GIUDICE, ANGELA MATUA
CLIFF KASDEN, SAMANTHA SOHMER, ELIZABETH ALONI
JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS
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SUNRISE IN ASTORIA // PHOTO VIA INSTAGRAM @amyandbyron
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No more excuses — fi x this mess!
If you’re one of the thousands of Queens residents who rely on public
transit to get around every day, your commute is about to become truly
Summer began on June 21, but in a couple of weeks, we will experience
what’s being called the “summer of hell.” Th at term refers to the impending
Penn Station trackwork that will reduce Long Island Rail Road service
systemwide. Th e Port Washington branch alone, the sole rail link between
Manhattan and northeast Queens, will lose at least four trains a day.
However, the summer of hell isn’t just limited to the Long Island Rail Road.
In July, the M train between Middle Village and Bushwick, Brooklyn, will be
closed for two straight months — that’s right, two months — as the MTA
embarks on a major bridge reconstruction project in Middle Village. When
M line service is restored in September, it will operate as a mere shuttle train
between Metropolitan Avenue and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues. Th e rest of the
line in Bushwick will be closed another 10 months to rebuild a track viaduct.
Th en there’s the N train in Astoria and Long Island City, which will be
closed for many weekends in August for — you guessed it — track improvements.
Local businesses are scrambling to fi nd ways to make up for the
expected loss of visitors from across the other side of the East River.
More New Yorkers than ever rely upon it to get around, but the system
itself is being held together by outdated infrastructure and obsolete technology.
Year aft er year of the MTA, the city and state kicking the infrastructure
improvement can down the road is fi nally catching up to the system. It’s
breaking down before our very eyes, and it’s hazardous to our socioeconomic
Th e city, state and the MTA need to declare an emergency and immediately
begin raising capital toward fi xing our train and bus lines. One Queens
lawmaker, state Senator Michael Gianaris, has proposed a temporary tax
increase on wealthy New Yorkers toward infrastructure repairs. It’s a good
start, provided that the increase is indeed temporary — and that the money
is used toward its intended purpose.
Additional funds could potentially come through a small, temporary fee for
ridesharing customers. Considering the tremendous growth in ridesharing in
recent years, customers ought to pay just a little more to ensure we properly
fi x our public transit system.
Our transit system is broken and in need of a major overhaul. We’re out of
excuses; the bill has come due. Now we have to fi nd a way to pay for it, lest
our economy and our city come to a standstill.
STORY: Mets draft Bayside High School baseball star who’s also the
son of an Amazin’ legend
SUMMARY: Daniel Alfonzo, a Bayside high school student and son of
former Met Edgardo “Fonzie” Alfonzo, has been drafted by the New
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