City Council Member Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) may hit all the right notes when it comes to progressive politics, but it was his upcoming primary opponent, Delvis Valdes, yesterday that took the progressive slogan, ‘Get on the bus’ literally.
That after Valdes shelled out a few hundred dollars from his own pocket to rent a yellow school bus to shuttle Sunset Park residents stuck in the rain from the 53rd Street and 4th Avenue R train subway stop to the next nearest subway stops at 45th Street and Fourth Avenue.
The 53rd Street stop is being closed for six months starting yesterday for a major makeover in a move the MTA announced several months ago. Last week, Menchaca in a much publicized press conference complained the MTA failed to notify residents of the closure and didn’t include notices in Spanish and Chinese – the two predominate languages in the neighborhood.
But Valdes says one of the reasons he is Running for City Council is because Menchaca is a day late and a dollar short in helping get the word out to residents, let alone negotiating with the MTA to have a shuttle bus for the riders to take them to an open station.
“In January Bay Ridge Councilman [Vincent] Gentile sent a letter and a petition to the MTA demanding a shuttle bus and more bus service in his district to make up for the Bay Ridge Avenue subway closing. Our Councilman whined on TV a couple of days ago that he did not know about the subway closing,” said Valdes.
Valdes said it took him about an hour to find a yellow bus service that would transport weary straphangers – including seniors, families with young kids and students to the next subway stop over during yesterday’s morning rush hour.
Several hundred residents utilized the service and thanked Valdes, promising to vote for him.
“I did not know my subway stop would be closed today, I am senior and it is hard for me to walk, I am very happy that Delvis Valdes set up a shuttle bus to take me to an open station,” said Nilda Rodriguez.
“After riding this Shuttle bus this morning, I am supporting Delvis Valdes for City Council because we need a man of action, not just us a man who gives speeches,” said Cynthia Felix.