State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C – Mt. Hope), is urging the MTA to hold a hearing in Orange County to receive input on proposed service changes. The MTA is currently planning on holding nine hearings in their service area, including hearings in the Bronx, White Plains, and Rockland County to let riders discuss service reductions. However, no hearing is currently planned in Orange County.
“Last year, the MTA and Democrats taxed Orange County small businesses, non-profits, and local governments through their MTA payroll tax. This year they want to cut our service. Neither should be done, but doing both in back to back years is particularly offensive. It demonstrates that those in charge of State government do not care about anyone who lives outside of New York City,” Bonacic said.
Senator Bonacic has previously introduced and passed legislation in the Senate to mandate more MTA hearings in Orange County. The State Assembly has refused to pass the legislation.
The MTA is proposing to reduce service to Orange County along the Port Jervis line, making it harder for commuters to travel to and from New York City. “Nobody uses a service they believe is ultimately going out of business. The MTA will not increase its ridership in our area until it demonstrates a long term commitment to the people of the Hudson Valley,” Senator Bonacic said.
Orange County has a substantial disparity in the amount of money it contributes to the MTA versus the services county residents receive. Orange County officials have estimated that Orange County residents and businesses provide over $100 million in financial contributions to the MTA, but under these new service cuts, will only receive slightly more than half that amount back in overall service.
“New York City is wealthier than we are so why are they making us their cash cow? Our Senate District provides New York City’s water – their very life blood, New York City tried to have us supply their power through NYRI, and now we are supplying them revenue for their subways, all at the same time City based Legislators are allowing these service cuts. We need to restore balance to State government. Each region, not just New York City, deserves to be treated fairly,” concluded Senator Bonacic.