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Queens Chronicle

MetroCard vans give another option

Assemblywoman hosted event for people to refill cards on last Friday

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Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2018 10:30 am

Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Howard Beach) hosted MTA MetroCard vans at the Lindenwood and Wavecrest shopping centers last Friday afternoon.

“This is the only place they can refill otherwise they have to go to the station, which is inconvenient because they either have to take a cab or get a ride from someone to help fill up their card,” Pheffer Amato said.

Most of the people who showed up were seniors, though some other residents stopped by to add money to their standard MetroCards. In addition to buying and refilling the cards, the seniors were also able to pose for photos for their senior cards.

“It’s great for older people. I think they’re doing the right thing for seniors for a change,” said a laughing Joe Calderaro. “Everybody forgets us but we’re still here. We just walk a little slower, that’s about it.”

The one drawback was that the line moved very slowly as some seniors took a long time.

“We’ve been here one hour and he handles maybe four people,” said a resident who would only refer to himself as Mike M. “That’s horrendous. It’s terrible.”

For nearly half an hour, only one window was open for customers. Then a second window opened, which moved the line faster.

“This is a joke and they’re bragging about it,” said Mike M.

The van did make it possible for residents to buy MetroCards whereas they would usually be stuck if they needed to take a bus but didn’t have enough on the MetroCard for a fare. Transit options are limited in South Queens. Of the bus lines in the area, some only come around once every 30 or 60 minutes.

There is a Select Bus Service stop in front of Pheffer Amato’s Far Rockaway office and people will occasionally ask if they can fill their MetroCards at the stop. They are told they need to go to the nearest train station.

SBS has a fare kiosk at each stop along the route. The machines look similar to ones in train stations where riders can refill their cards. But it’s still not possible to add money to a card at a bus station.

“Which makes no sense,” Pheffer Amato said. “It’s not really supporting the community. We’ll give you the buses but we’re not going to give you the ability to use it conveniently.”

Pheffer Amato said she’s attempting to figure out how to have the MetroCard van on the street more often or even install a kiosk for customers.

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • pvrjr posted at 4:00 pm on Fri, Sep 7, 2018.

    pvrjr Posts: 315

    Every transit desert neighborhood should have these Metrocard Vans on standby every single day. [smile]