August 9, 2022
Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJFYH3t0FlI
Mayor Eric Adams: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. As the HairClub for Men states, you know I'm a client.
Mayor Adams: I've made it clear – the importance of our transit system. As many of you know, I started my career as a transit police officer. And I'm on the system all the time throughout the night. Sometimes we view our transportation system as just 9:00 to 5:00, but it's not. Clearly, people use the transportation system on the weekends, they use the system during the evening. When I'm out visiting a hospital or visiting an hourly employee, and I meet them on the subway system – 1:00, 2:00 AM in the morning.
Mayor Adams: This is one of the only cities with a 24 hour, 7 day a week system, and it's going to take a combined effort of moving our system forward. Not only the men and women who are employed in the system, but also our elected officials that we have here today who understand how important it is in our transportation desert. But one of the most crucial, important of components, the Rider's Alliance. We need to hear from everyday New Yorkers. That's what this ride was about.
Crowd: That's right.
Mayor Adams: Hearing from everyday New Yorkers, getting their feedback and their input. Each passenger tells a separate story. The Ms. Johnson that I met today on the bus when we got on, she was on her way to the food pantry. Every day, three days a week, she goes to the food pantry and feeds those who are in need. Roughly 300 to 400 people visit that pantry. If she was not able to get on that bus to go to her church food pantry to feed those who are in need, we don't realize how all of us are interconnected in dealing with the issues around adequate transportation. That's why we're committed.
Mayor Adams: I knew when we appointed Commissioner Rodriguez he was the right person for the job. He advocated for transportation throughout his time as a City Council person, and his vision of 150 lanes, of new lanes, are important, and we are looking to move that forward. Also part of our 1,000 intersection redesign, I think we have 500 already. We are clearly on pace to where we want to go.
Mayor Adams: Buses are the transportation backbone of our city. They reach every corner of our city, every borough, and then a lifeline for so many New Yorkers on how we utilize our service. When I'm on the bus, I have an opportunity to relax, to read, to interact. It's also a way for us to cross-pollinate with the diversity of this amazing city. It doesn't matter how young or old you are or how much you earn, it's the great equalizer. We're all in it together when we put that MetroCard in. It shows that we are one New York.
Mayor Adams: If you're a student, if you're a senior, if you are a business person, if you're a person going local, you focus on your bus and you want it to be on time, and you want a level of consistency in this operation. In fact, all of our buses, even for those who are living with a disability, they are 100% accessible. That's an amazing feat for our city and for how we show that all New Yorkers should utilize their buses.
Mayor Adams: Buses serve a lower income community. That's the largest population that uses it. We rolled today because we wanted to interact and hear from people firsthand, and we're going to continue to do so. We're going to continue not to publicize our riding, but we are going to, from time to time, just get on a bus and see are we delivering the qualitative product that we are looking for and how we can make the journey better, improving bus service, making it faster, more efficient, and more convenient. Those are all the goals that we are moving for.
Mayor Adams: Lastly, it's a matter of equity. We can have excellent bus services in one part of the city, and in others we don't have it. We know, historically, the subway system was built to get people into Manhattan, but now people are working differently. You're seeing communities are starting to work locally and commuting within their boroughs, and we want to make sure that we can allow people to get around the manner in which work now has reformed or how it has evolved to.
Mayor Adams: I'm happy to be here. The commitment to advancing 150 bus lanes in four years, in Flatbush, is an opportunity for transformational change. We have some real victories under our belts thus far – the southern section of the University Avenue bus lane, and we are finalizing the Avenue A and D lanes, bus lanes on 21st Street and Pelham Bay Park Station area are under construction, and we are prioritizing many of these areas to get it done. I cannot agree with you more, Betsy. The best way to get stuff done is to get our buses moving. Thank you very much.