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Transit Advocate: Cuomo Must Step Up, Help MTA Financially

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Transit advocate Gene Russianoff showed up at a Metropolitan Transportation Authority meeting Wednesday carrying what appeared to be an oversized MetroCard. But instead, it read "Cuomo Card."

If the MTA is going to get the money it needs to improve the system, Gov. Andrew Cuomo must stand up for riders, Russianoff said.

"We're calling him out," Russianoff, of the Straphangers Campaign, told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell.

Transit Advocate: Cuomo Must Step Up, Help MTA Financially

Cuomo has called the cash-strapped agency's $32 billion capital plan bloated.

"One day he's in the hip boots taking pictures, and the next day he's attacking their budget," Russianoff said. "And I don't think he can have it both ways."

"We think that what the riders of the subways and buses need is a champion to stand up for their interests," he added.

Without the money, MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast says the agency needs to better manage overcrowding.

When riders fight to get into crowded cars, trains stay in the station longer, creating delays.

"How can we actually assist people to get on and off the train faster, get doors closed, get trains out of the station?" he said at the meeting.

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