Senator Golden Speaks at MTA Board Meeting

Martin J. Golden

March 24, 2010

Senator Golden spoke this morning at the MTA Board Meeting urging them to reject the service reductions as proposed. His remarks are below.

I am State Senator Marty Golden representing the 22nd Senate District in Southwest Brooklyn.

On behalf of the thousands of people of my district, I stand before you to let you know that if approved, the reductions planned for bus routes in my district will create travel hardships, effect the local business economy, and negatively impact the quality of life of so many.

The MTA will leave many people waiting at bus stops for buses that will never show up.

The MTA will lengthen the commute of those who depend on weekday express bus service.

The MTA service reductions will trap people in their homes.

The proposed elimination of the B37, the 3rd Avenue, a busy shopping district at the heart of Bay Ridge, is ridiculous.

And the plan to reroute the B70 to run along a small portion of this route is unwelcomed and will be ineffective.

This move does not take into account the fact that this eliminates our local connection to Lutheran Medical Center, the Augustana Lutheran Home, to our court houses and to downtown Brooklyn.

The MTA is saying to the senior citizens and the disabled that they no longer consider their travel needs.

And to the merchants, these cuts will only create an additional hardship in these trying economic times. You are ruining peoples lives. You are ruining businesses.

Additionally, the MTA plans to hit Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst where it hurts by completely eliminating weekend express bus service on the X 27 and X 28.

We also need to maintain separate uptown and downtown express bus service. The X37 and X38, the rush hour extension of the X 27 and X 28, has improved the travel time of many commuters of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst, and combining these routes would be a big mistake.

These reductions will force our tax base out of New York City.People live where they live because they have access to good jobs, good schools, live in a safe environment, and have extraordinary transportation services which make their lives livable.

These cuts will make traveling to work, and traveling for many other reasons, much more difficult, frustrating and for some, impossible.Further, my community can not accept the complete elimination of evening service on the only bus into and out of Gerritsen Beach, the B 31. You will strand people.

There are no trains in Gerritsen Beach.How can you have an entire community with no overnight public transportation?

And the complete elimination of the B 23 in Borough Park, and weekend and general service schedule cuts to the B16 and the B64, will damage the quality of life of Brooklynites.

Even getting to school will be more of a challenge if this plan is approved. We can give students choices for school, and we can build new schools, but if students can’t afford to get there, they will not go. Like the rest of the plan, this will impact New York families.

The MTA should be coming up with alternatives - possibly reducing schedules, instead of eliminating complete bus routes. Or maybe go after thousands of farebeaters on buses so that commuters are not riding for free and the MTA loses the many fares each day.I strongly oppose the M.T.A.’s approval of this budget and I urge your reconsideration.