The governor's office announced Friday that riders of the R train in Brooklyn and the A train from Howard Beach to the Rockaways will ride for free Tuesday as a thank you for their patience after Hurricane Sandy. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.
Riders in the Rockaways didn't see A trains for seven months after Hurricane Sandy.
Commuting on the R hasn't been much fun, either, with that line's East River link closed until next October for storm-related repairs. Brooklyn riders now transfer to other lines to travel into Manhattan.
"They have put up with a lot of inconvenience," said state Director of Operations Howard Glazer. "They've been good-natured, good-hearted New Yorkers all through the process, and they deserve our thanks, and they deserve more than our thanks."
So on Tuesday, which marks a year since Hurricane Sandy hammered the two subway lines, commuters on the R in Brooklyn will ride for free. So will those who use the A from the Rockaways to Howard Beach.
"Yeah, I'll definitely take it," said one rider. If it's for free, it's for me."
"It's a nice gesture, especially after the whole situation with the hurricane and all the inconvenience that was caused by it," said another.
Not everybody is sold on the Sandy giveaway, though.
"They're giving us one day. We suffered seven months. Why should we have to suffer?" said one rider. "They should give us a week or two."
Federal and state officials made the announcement Friday at an update about construction on the Montague Tube, which was knocked out of commission after being flooded with 27 million gallons of salt water.
"We're not just going to rebuild it as it was. We're going to try to make it as flood-proof as possible," said Senator Charles Schumer.
Among the improvements include raising the signals in the tube to keep them out of harm's way.
"So if there's some level of flooding, the signals will be above that floodwater," Schumer said.
Officials also announced that the federal government will reimburse the Metropolitan Transportation Authority 90 percent, and possibly more, of the $260 million needed to rebuild the Montague Tube.
"We are delighted to be part of building New York back and getting us back in the action," said Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.
Schumer said that the rest of the tube's repair bill could be covered through federal block grants, but that it's up to the mayor and governor.