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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sen. Jeff Klein on Proposed MTA Cuts

This week, the MTA is hosting a series of public hearings on possible service cuts and fare changes to the city's subway and bus lines. In an effort to dent it's nearly $400 million budget shortfall, the agency has proposed cutting student metrocards and making the following changes to Bronx bus lines:

Discontinue Bx14, Bx18, Bx25, X32, BxM4A, BxM7B and the Barretto Park Pool bus service. Discontinue Bx20, Bx33, Bx34, and Bx55 on weekends. Discontinue Bx34 overnight. Reduce operating hours on Bx17, Bx20, Bx32, Bx33 and Bx55. Reroute or discontinue portion of Bx5, Bx8, Bx26, Bx28, Bx30 and Bx41. Extend portion of Bx39.

The Bronx hearing will be held tomorrow night, Wednesday March 3, at the Paradise Theatre at 2043 Grand Concourse at 187th Street at 6 p.m. We'll be covering the meeting, so be sure to check back here for updates.

This morning, State Sen. Jeffrey Klein sent along this letter expressing his concern over the MTA's proposed changes and urging residents to attend tomorrow's meeting:

Dear Editor,

This week, community leaders and residents will attend a very important hearing regarding an ill-advised proposal by the MTA to eliminate the BX14 and BXM7B daily bus services, the BX34 weekend bus service and vital MTA Student Metrocards. I know how vital these services are to thousands of Bronx residents and will do everything I can to prevent these cuts from happening.

I've met with MTA Chairman Jay Walder personally to convey my concern and outline the devastating impact these cuts would have on our communities. Since January, my office has collected nearly a thousand petitions from residents demanding that the MTA find alternative solutions before cutting vital services of residents who have limited public transportation access. These petitions will be hand-delivered to each of the panel members at the hearing, along with my testimony which will be read by a member of my staff, as I will be in Albany on the hearing date.

My goal is to make clear that the proposed rerouting of the BX8 service is no substitute for the BX14 service, which provides a direct route to the Pelham Bay station, serving the Spencer Estates, Country Club and Pelham Bay communities. The BX8 does not provide a direct route to Pelham Bay station. Forcing New Yorkers of all ages to walk long distances, in scorching summer heat or freezing winter temperatures, to the Pelham Bay station is simply unacceptable. In addition, the cuts would have a devastating effect on the already struggling businesses along the BX14 route, further impacting the economic vitality of that community.

The possible elimination of the BXM7B service and BX34 weekend and overnight routes would put a heavy burden on the residents of the Woodlawn and City Island communities. While the BX34 weekday service would be spared, many of my constituents work weekend and overnight shifts, including union workers who make up a large part of the Woodlawn community. The BX34 also provides a direct route to Montefiore Medical Center which is relied upon for vital medical services. For City Island residents, the BXM7B is the only direct service that can get them to and from Manhattan for work. It also provides a vital economic service by carrying Manhattan residents, who bring in much needed revenue to area restaurants and shops, on a weekend trip to beautiful City Island. These cuts would not only impact transportation, the ability for residents to keep their jobs and receive vital healthcare, but will directly impact the economic vitality and potential for future job creation in these communities.

Finally, the hearing will also address the elimination of the MTA’s Student Metrocards which our children depend on daily to get them to and from school. This puts even more pressure on families who are already struggling to make ends meet.

I urge the MTA to see clearly the impact that these cuts will have on individual New Yorkers - these are real people with real families, facing real struggles. The result of these cuts would cripple communities, leaving students, working people and senior citizens stranded. On behalf of the residents of the 34th Senate District, I call on the MTA to re-evaluate this poorly thought out plan and devise one that fulfills the goal of providing transportation service that New Yorkers can rely upon. I urge all residents to attend the hearing on Wednesday, March 3rd at 6PM and add your voice to this call.

Jeff Klein
New York State Senate Deputy Majority Leader


  1. Senator, how about if you and your esteemed colleagues in Albany stop underfunding the MTA and filling budget holes with stop gap measures that just make things worse.

  2. Sen. Klein sure can gather signatures, but how about money? Until he stops bloviating and tries to fund the MTA, why would the agency agree to something it simply cannot afford?


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