April 08, 2021

Pool Report from MTA’s Rolling News Conference from In-Service Subway and LIRR Trains

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) held a first-of-its-kind “rolling” news conference today aboard a 7 subway train and a Port Washington LIRR train, both moving in passenger service from Manhattan to Citi Field, in an effort to encourage the public to take public transportation to baseball games such as today’s Mets home opener.  David Colon of Streetsblog served as a pool reporter on the 7 train, where MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye made remarks and took questions via Zoom, and at Citi Field where Chairman Foye met up with LIRR President Phil Eng, who made remarks and took questions from the LIRR train.

The following report was filed by pooler Colon and may be excerpted or copied by any news organization. Although it is being distributed to the MTA’s media list, it was wholly created by Colon and was not subject to edits by the MTA. 

The MTA held what it claimed was the nation's first press conference to occur on two different moving trains on Thursday, April 8th, a livestreamed Q and A with Chairman and CEO Pat Foye aboard the 7 train as it chugged over to Opening Day at Citi Field. Let's go Mets baby.

Foye was riding to promote using public transit to get to games, in a race with Long Island Rail Road President Phil Eng, who called in from an LIRR train to the Citi Field out of Penn Station. Possibly because the 7 was running local, Eng’s train got to Citi Field before Foye’s.

Your pool reporter wore a Mets cap, his jean jacket with Mets pins on it, and green Killer Croc Converse hi-tops.

The train ride itself was without incident, a sunny jaunt on the local from Queensboro Plaza to Mets-Willets Point, during which Foye took questions over Zoom and a few baffled onlookers stepped in to the back half of the car that was open to riders.

Among the gawkers were Collette and Jason, on their way to Citi Field from Bushwick. Both Mets fans said they did not expect to step on a train hosting an active press conference. Jason was heading to his 25th Opening Day game, and was meeting his father there, a man who was attending his 40th Opening Day contest. Now that is commitment.

Jason said he thought the Mets would win 90 games this year, Collette was a bit more pessimistic and pegged the Amazins for around 70 wins.

After getting to Citi Field, Foye greeted Mets fans, including celebrity fan trio Cowbell Man, Pin Man and Sign Man, and handed out New York Tough masks that the Mets donated to the MTA during an earlier phase of the coronavirus pandemic.

In regards to the upcoming congestion pricing fight over exemptions and the occasional holler that the program should be delayed, Foye was adamant that the traffic toll had to move froward.

"We're carrying 90 percent of the cars and trucks that we carried pre-pandemic, so the need for congestion pricing, and the urgency, is clear," said Foye. "It's 30 percent of our capital plan, that's an astounding number. There should be a robust discussion on exemptions, but we have to move forward with congestion pricing. The fact that the Biden administration, after two years of inactivity, has given us this opportunity means we can't bypass it"

The MTA Chairman said that this year's edition of the Metropolitans wouldn't make the World Series, but thought the team no more than two or three years away from bringing a parade back to the Canyon of Heroes.

That's it from your pool reporter, and remember: Although the 7 train is the best way to get to Citi Field, there's still a need for safe bike routes to get two-wheeled fans to the game.

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