Urges Return of Uptown and Downtown Express Bus Service
Brooklyn- State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), who is suing the Metropolitan Transit Authority based on the effects the summer service cuts are having on the seniors and the disabled, today spoke during the public session of the Transit Committee Meeting held at Metropolitan Transit Authority Headquarters in Manhattan.
Senator Golden provided testimony against the institution of express bus Bypass Service, via West Street, which is being proposed by the MTA due to ridership imbalances that have been experienced since the cuts went into effect. Since the end of 2001, downtown and uptown express bus service operated, however the recent cuts combined these two routes, and now, only the X 27 and X 28 serve the entirety of the routes.
Senator Golden’s office has received numerous complaints from residents regarding the new service and the increased travel time they are facing getting to and from work. Senator Golden today again called on the New York City Transit Authority to restore service so to provide the X27 and X37 (uptown only) and the X28 and X 38 (uptown only) during rush hour.
Senator Golden’s statement follows. Photos are attached as well including Senator Golden presenting his remarks at the Transit Committee meeting.
I am State Senator Marty Golden of Brooklyn representing the 22nd Senate District, a district largely impacted by the service cuts that went into effect on June 27, 2010.
So much so that I had no other choice but to file a lawsuit against the MTA, in partnership with the disabled residents of my community, who have been shut out of Manhattan, and parts of Brooklyn, because the train, now their only option, is just not feasible for those in wheelchairs and for those facing other disabilities who can not use the stairs.
Of the bus routes included in my lawsuit, I highlight the X37 and the X38, which prior to the service reductions in June, provided uptown express bus service. Since these cuts have gone into effect, the commute of many, young and old, seniors and the disabled, has been increased by more than 40 minutes, and for some, one hour, with overcrowded and standing room only conditions.
Do you consider a commute of an hour and 45 minutes express? I don’t, and neither does the countless commuters who have stopped me on the street, who have called my office, who have emailed me, and so on.
And that is why I stand before you this morning. To comment on the proposal I received that seeks to implement X27/X28 Bypass Service via West Street in Manhattan.
I must say one thing first. This proposal is progress. And I am happy to see that the New York City Transit Authority acknowledges that the current plan, that made it so that the only bus routes are the X27 and the X28, is not working. There are, as your letter states, “significant ridership imbalances with crowded midtown trips often followed by down trips with empty seats”.
To address this problem, you are proposing the bypass service to be implemented during the morning and evening rush hour. This is a good step towards putting the travel time of the commuter first as you plan routes and schedules.
But we need to go further. While this plan will reduce travel time somewhat, the buses will still be traveling local, so the commute for those uptown will still not be as convenient as was the case when the X37 and X38 were operating.
I again urge the Metropolitan Transit Authority to consider restoring the route to the status it was before June 27th. That would be the best solution to the ridership imbalances.
Let’s put the X37 and the X38 on the FDR, exiting at the 23rd Street exit. That is the best way to transport people quickly and efficiently from my district to Uptown Manhattan.
I ask for this on the behalf of the many commuters who depend on this service to get to work.
am still not understanding of the fact of why the X37 and X38 were eliminated when data showed they were transporting more than 2,600 people per day.
I will leave you with some comments from emails I received, and hope that the message from your commuters, the men and women who ride your buses everyday, will have an impact on your decision regarding the future of express bus service in my district.
If you restore the service to the way it was, then maybe people won’t describe their commute, as one did in an e-mail, as “harrowing” or “atrocious”.
Then maybe people won’t sell their apartments and their homes in my district because the “express bus no longer provides express service.”
And then maybe people “won’t be furious with the system”.
Long lines, increased travel time, a lesser quality of life and commute, is that how the MTA “is going your way.”
And finally, I ask again for the X37 and X38 to be restored by using the words one woman wrote me, “Please help reinstate X38 express bus service during the morning and evening rush hour commute. It would be so helpful to midtown commuters”.
Thank you for your attention.