With the anniversary of Sandy looming on the horizon, Governor Andrew Cuomo has turned to the MTA for help with two commemorative projects. First up is a new tourism campaign called “Come See the Comeback” that uses a fully-wrapped Shuttle train and special edition Metrocards to promote areas that were ravaged by the storm. The Metrocards feature the iconic “I Love NY” logo and tidbits about various destinations, including the Rockaways, Staten Island, Coney Island, Long Beach and Howard Beach, that have reopened after Sandy.
“Nearly one year after Superstorm Sandy, our ‘Come See the Comeback’ campaign captures the spirit of New Yorkers who in the face of any challenge will work together to come back better than before,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We want New Yorkers and visitors to come see the progress that these communities have made and breathe new life into the local tourism industry.”
For Metrocard hounds, the neatest part of this promotion will be the new cards. There will be 300,000 of these cards for sale in Metrocard Vending Machines beginning on Tuesday, and it’ll be worth the $1 surcharge to find one. I’d imagine eBay will have quite a few come mid-November as well.
Meanwhile, the Governor has announced that R train riders in Brooklyn and A train riders in the Rockaways will ride for free on Tuesday. For those entering stations on the A line between Howard Beach and the Rockaway Peninsula and stations on the R line between Bay Ridge-95th Street and Court Street on the one-year anniversary of the storm, all fares will be waived.
“On the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy we want to thank New Yorkers who made it through the storm with both resilience and good spirits,” Governor Cuomo said. “Superstorm Sandy was particularly difficult for New York City and Long Island, but the patience, the kindness, and good nature of New Yorkers helped our state in the immediate aftermath and over the past year as we have been rebuilding our communities. These free rides are a thank you to the MTA riders in the Rockaways in Queens and those who use the R train in Brooklyn for taking the hardships of the storm in stride and for their understanding in the months since.”
The governor’s press release noted that a combined 95,000 riders per day use these two lines along the free segments, but there’s no indication whether riders at, say, Court St., Atlantic Ave.-Barclays Center or 4th Ave.-9th Sts. will be charged. These transfer points see significantly more riders heading to other lines than to the R train, and the free rides could expand drastically. The MTA referred my inquiries on this point to the governor’s office.
Anyway, despite these logistical challenges, it’s a nice gesture for a day. I’ll have more on the MTA’s ongoing efforts to repair and protect the transit system on Sunday night.