Press Release - DRAFT
For Immediate Release
Contact: Judy Close
Queens, NY, December 22, 2009 – In response to the MTA board’s mid-December vote approving a budget that calls for massive cuts to mass transit riders, students and disabled users of Access-a-Ride, NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., today wished to reassure his constituents. “Nothing is going to happen right away; the legislature is continuing to work on MTA budget issues and when the legislative session resumes in January, we will work diligently to minimize the pain of such proposed MTA service cuts.” The Senator stated that the MTA will hold public hearings on their budget proposals and there are other procedural steps to be taken before such cuts in service would become a reality. Constituents have been telling Addabbo that they are especially afraid to lose free MetroCards for student-commuters, the Q56 bus service along Jamaica Avenue, the Z train running between Jamaica and downtown Manhattan, as well as the convenience of pickups and drop-offs that Access-a-Ride provides the disabled and seniors in the district. “I intend to address all of these issues with the MTA,” Addabbo responded.
The MTA board has proposed the following service cuts to alleviate their budget shortfall: eliminating the Z and W trains (Q extended to Astoria, J makes local stops); cutting the G off at Court Square station at all times instead of 71st Avenue/Forest Hills; cutting the M off at Broad Street station at all times; increasing wait times on “letter” subways on weekends to 10 minutes; increasing wait times on overnight trains to 30 minutes; cramming about 18 more passengers into every subway car; charging half price for currently free student MetroCards in 2010 and full price in 2011; eliminating a toll rebate for Rockaway residents who use the Cross Bay Bridge; ending door-to-door Access-A-Ride service for disabled and elderly riders, bringing them to the nearest accessible stop instead; service reductions on Metro-North Railroad and LIRR (Babylon, Port Washington and West Hempstead branches); cramming more passengers on Metro-North trains; cutting managers’ pay by 10 percent; cutting service on several Long Island, Staten Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Bronx buses in addition to X25, X27, X28 and X32 express buses. In Queens, the MTA proposes eliminating the Q26, Q56, Q74, Q75, Q84 buses; eliminating weekend service on the Q14, Q31, Q76, Q79 buses, and shortening hours on the Q30, Q42, Q48, and Q79 bus routes.
“I will coordinate with other elected officials throughout the district over the coming months to gather information for our constituents that comes out of the public hearings. I believe that before the MTA fixes its budget problems by cutting services and hurting our people, they should do the internal administrative cuts within the MTA to become more efficient and minimize the pain for its ridership,” Addabbo concluded.
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