New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos
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Ben Kallos is no longer a candidate for Manhattan Borough President or any other office.

Transit Riders and Workers: "Bring Back our Booths!"





Date:                     June 5, 2013

Contact:               Bronx/Manhattan: Ray at

Brooklyn: Cheska at

Queens: Michele at



Transit Forward Coalition to Hold Citywide Day of Action on

Thursday, June 6th, to Bring Attention to Subway Safety


Bring Back Our Booths! Day of Action Details


Bronx Location

149-3rd Ave (2/5) from 4-6PM

Confirmed: NYC Comptroller John Liu


Manhattan Locations

168th St Station (A/C): 7-9AM

Confirmed: Assemblymember Gabriela Rosa; Councilmember Robert Jackson


135th St Station (2/3): 4-6PM

Confirmed: Julie Menin, Candidate for Manhattan Borough President; Mark Levine, City Council Candidate, 7th District


86th St Station (4/5/6): 7-9AM

Confirmed: Ben Kallos, City Council Candidate, 5th District


Brooklyn Locations

Clinton-Washington Aves (C): 7-9AM & 4-6PM

Confirmed: Hon. Bill Thompson; NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Senator Eric Adams; Councilmember Tish James; District Leader Renee Collymore (57th District); District Leader Rob Cornegy (56th District); Laurie Cumbo, City Council Candidate, 35th District


Brighton Beach (B/Q): 4-6PM

Confirmed: Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny; District Leader Ari Kagan (45th District)


Queens Locations

Jamaica Center (E/J/Z): 7-9AM

Confirmed: Congressman Gregory Meeks; NYC Comptroller John Liu; Councilman Donovan Richards; Councilman Ruben Wills; ATU Local 1056 President Daneek Miller; William Bell, Founder, Sean Bell Community Center; Austin Shafran, City Council Candidate 19th District; Community Leader Jacques Leandre


Steinway (M/R): 4-6PM

Confirmed: Senator Jose Peralta; Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer; Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.; Costa Costantinides, City Council Candidate, 22nd District




New York, NY—On Thursday, June 6th, dozens of transit riders and workers will hold a citywide Day of Action to highlight the need for the restoration of Station Booths and Station Agents in the NYC subway system. In 2010, about one hundred booths were eliminated across the transit system, reducing riders’ safety, security, and ability to access the subway system. Each day, over five million riders depend on the subway as a primary source of transportation, necessary in carrying out their daily activities, including traveling to work and school. Seniors, people with disabilities, students, and families traveling with children are disproportionately impacted by the loss of Station Agents, who assist with reduced-fare Metrocards and access through the security gates.


John Samuelsen, President of the Transport Workers Union Local 100 said, “Station Agents are the eyes and ears of the subway system. They are the people riders depend on for up-to-date information, tourists for travel information, and help when machines are broken. We need our Station Agents because they are central to our quality of life in our communities.”


"Millions of New Yorkers depend on station booths and agents every day--whether it's to help a disabled or elderly rider through a security gate, as a deterrent against crime, or just to update them with the latest transit information,” said Senator Eric Adams. “In fact, if those booths aren't staffed, some people simply can't or won't use that station. New Yorkers won't have a fully functioning subway system until every station is properly staffed. Transit riders pay more and more for their MetroCards every year--they deserve the safest, best subway system in return."


"In this day of ever-increasing ridership and terror alerts, we need a human presence -- including Station Agents -- more than ever before in our mass transit system,” said John Liu, City Comptroller and former Chair of the City Council Transportation Committee.


"Fares keep going up, while service keeps going down, and that doesn't make any sense," said Ben Kallos, City Council Candidate for the Upper East Side. "We've collected over a thousand signatures on the Upper East Side as part of the Bring Back Our Booths campaign that we launched earlier this year when riders grew concerned about inaccessibility and safety after agents and booths were removed from subway stations at 77th and 86th Streets.  We’re thrilled to work with Transit Forward and TWU Local 100 to take this campaign for a better commute Citywide."


"When something goes wrong, straphangers don't want to hear a computer,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “They want a human being telling them in real time what's happened and giving them instructions. And yet every year has brought us fewer and fewer personnel on our trains and in our stations--despite the ongoing threats we face. That's not just a burden on riders, it's leaving us under-prepared when emergencies strike. We need to preserve a human presence in our transit system, and station agents are a big part of that."


“We are calling on the MTA to bring back our station agents to make our community safer,” Laurie Cumbo, 35th City Council District Candidate said. “Many stations in our community have no agents, leaving our neighbors alone and less safe on our often desolate subway platforms. Deserted stations leave riders without the ability to enter the subway when there are broken Metrocard machines, and all too often leave riders stranded at the station because they are unaware of service changes and have no agent to talk to. I stand with transit riders and workers today to bring back the vibrancy of our subways and increase jobs and safety in our community. Bringing back the station agents will do just that.” 


Austin Shafran, Candidate for City Council, 19th District said, “If mass transit is the life blood of our city’s economy, then transit workers are the heart and soul that make it work for working families. Like a lot of people from Queens, I have family and friends who take the subway every day to get to work, and the best way to guarantee their safe and reliable passage is to bring back our booths and immediately re-employ station agents. Adding station agents is a matter of public safety that can no longer be ignored. I applaud Transit Forward for raising this critical issue and am proud to stand with them in calling on the MTA to bring back our booths.”


“When the MTA makes the decision to close station booths or lay off station agents, they’re literally cutting the lifeline that connects straphangers to the subway system.  As New Yorkers, we cannot afford to overly rely on technology that has proven to be inconsistent and costly.  Everyday station agents offer transit riders direct access to safety, information and the sense of comfort that comes with knowing that they’re not stranded in one of the largest transit systems in the world without immediate assistance,” said Council Member Robert Jackson, Co-Chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus.  “As the MTA continues to increase fares, we increasingly deserve a transit system that will provide us with the services we demand and need.  Bring back our booths and workers!”


“The people of south Brooklyn, many of whom commute over an hour to get to work in Manhattan, deserve better from the MTA,” said District Leader (45th District) and City Council Candidate (47th District) Ari Kagan. “What are seniors, who have already climbed stairs to get into the station, supposed to do when they find out the machines are broken? Go back down, cross the street and climb another set of stairs? What about the safety of people who commute home late at night from work? This is an outrage, and I’m thankful for TWU’s leadership on this issue. City Hall and the MTA, for years now, have made it regular practice to penalize those families who live and commit to the areas they can afford to live in. New York City is more than Manhattan and trendy Brooklyn neighborhoods close to Manhattan. TWU recognizes that our families deserve better.”


Transit Forward ( is the only grassroots coalition organized by transit riders and workers in New York.