December 23, 2003
Mark E. Mannix
Director –Governmental & Community Relations
347 Madison Avenue, 12th Floor
New York, New York 10017
Dear Mr. Mannix:
A serious problem affecting many people in my community has been brought to my attention, and I would like you to address it. Yesterday was the first day of winter – the shortest day of the year. The sun goes down shortly after 4:00 p.m. this time of the year.
The Sabbath, which begins at sundown on Fridays, starts earlier in the winter than during the rest of the year. As a result, those who are Sabbath-observant return from work earlier on Fridays than the rest of the week. Many Sabbath observers take the Metro-North Railroad and the Rail Link service to return home. Since they need to return home earlier on Fridays, a large number take the 2:20 p.m. and 3:20 p.m. trains from Grand Central Station on Fridays. Despite the fact that a much larger than usual number of passengers take the earlier trains on Fridays, there appears to be no corresponding increase in Rail Link Service.
Rail Link is a valuable and popular service in Riverdale. I am requesting that you accommodate the needs of your customers. That means that on Fridays, particularly this time of the year, you must provide additional buses in the afternoon. I’m told that the buses are beyond packed because the demand is greater than the capacity. Not only is this uncomfortable, but could also be dangerous. In addition, some people could be left out because of the lack of capacity. Additional buses are the answer. None of my constituents should be made to suffer simply because they need to return home early on Friday to observe the Sabbath.
I urge you to make an immediate change in your schedule on Fridays to accommodate the needs of many of your customers from the Riverdale community. I look forward to your response and your action. Thank you.
Member of Assembly