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Convenience is 'most loved' aspect of MTA, followed by 'nothing': Survey

Where is the love?

About 38% of respondents in an Internet poll by the Straphangers Campaign asking riders to choose what they loved most about subways and buses picked "convenience" -- but another 31% said "I don't use the word 'love' in the same sentence with 'MTA.' "

Surprisingly, only 5% of the 249 respondents selected "fare discounts."

This was disheartening to Gene Russianoff, spokesman for the Straphangers Campaign, a riders' advocacy group. The discounts "certainly head my list," Russianoff said.

And what does the Straphangers' spokesman make of this blow to one of his group's top causes. "I'm still hurting," he said.

Russianoff insisted the poll was intended with love ("we were in a Valentine's Day mood") and that the MTA actually fared well.

"When you add up 'convenience,' (38%), 'my boss can't reach me' (4%) and 'my fellow riders' (5%), people loved them more than they hated them," Russianoff said.

But rider Kevin Walden, 52, of Kips Bay, complained that offering the option NOT to use the word 'love' in conjunction with the MTA was loading the question. He praised subways and buses as "convenient."

In response to the poll, the MTA said it "aim(s) to give our customers reasons to love us -- and even if they don't, we'll keep trying."(with Anna Sanders)

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