Subway Lateness Costs Working Parents $17 a Day: Survey

What to Know

  • A community survey finds that chronic subway lateness is costing working parents an average of $17 a day
  • Some preschools charge parents $30 when they run late to pick up their kids because they have to pay teachers overtime
  • The MTA says it's focused on serving riders and turning around the transit crisis

The subway often runs so late that parents have to pay out of pocket when they're picking up or dropping off their children at preschool, according to a survey. 

Preschool administrator Gregory Coles, for example, says he has no choice but to assess a $30 late fee if moms and dads are more than five minutes late picking up their kids. 

"I have to have teachers here that stay later," he said. "I have to pay them overtime because they're staying with the kids." 

State senate candidate Jessica Ramos, who raised the issue at a news conference Thursday, calculated that late-arriving parents pay an average of $17 per day. 

"A few minutes might feel like nothing in Albany, but to working parents every single second matters," she said. 

Ramos' opponent, senator Jose Peralta, said in a statement "no one is more committed to this issue" than him. 

City comptroller Scott Stringer frequently audits MTA and city finances, pointed out this was a community audit, not an official city one, but said it sounds credible. 

Critics want the MTA to reimburse for every dollar of late fees. But an MTA spokesman responded, "We are not interested in political stunts. Our sole focus is on serving riders." 

The MTA added that the NYC Transit Authority's subway action plan is turning around the transit crisis. Still, for many riders, progress has been as slow as a stuck train, costing parents  time and money. 

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