SENATOR GOLDEN STATEMENT TO MTA AT BROOKLYN BOROUGH HEARING ON PLANNED SERVICE REDUCTIONS
Brooklyn- State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C, Brooklyn) was among those testifying at the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s public hearing held in Brooklyn tonight against the service reductions which would significantly impact his district.
The complete text of Senator Golden’s testimony is below.
Good evening. I am State Senator Marty Golden representing the 22nd Senate District in Southwest Brooklyn.
On behalf of the thousands of people in my district who have stopped me on the street, called me, and who signed a petition opposing the proposed service cuts, I stand here to let you know that if approved, the service reductions planned for bus routes in my district will without a doubt create travel hardships, effect the local business economy, and negatively impact our quality of life.
The MTA will leave many people waiting at bus stops for buses that will never show up.
At the same time, the MTA’s plan will lengthen the commute of those who depend on weekday express bus service.
And the MTA will keep people in their homes due to the planned route changes and the discontinuation of weekend service.
3rd Avenue, a busy shopping district, stands to lose the B37, operating from Bay Ridge through downtown Brooklyn. And to solve this problem, the MTA has proposed rerouting the B70 to run along a small portion of the 3rd Avenue bus route.
As far as I am concerned, this does not make the elimination of the B 37 acceptable.
1The MTA is sending a message to senior citizens and the disabled, and to the community at large, that they no longer consider their travel needs in their planning. The MTA knows that, for the most part, senior citizens and disabled individuals can not take the train. And to the merchants, eliminating the B 37 presents only an additional hardship in these trying economic times.
We need the B37 bus service to continue.
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. The complete discontinuation of this service closes many opportunities.
We also need to maintain separate uptown and downtown express bus service. The X37 and X38, which is a 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.
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, such as those who work late shifts and those who don’t have cars, as there are no trains in Gerritsen Beach, and so again, you trap people. How can you have an entire community with no overnight public transportation? You can’t and you shouldn’t.
These cuts, and others, such as the complete elimination of the B 23 in Borough Park, and weekend and general service schedule cuts, to the B4, the B16, and the B64, will damage the quality of life of Brooklynites, making simple aspects of life much less convenient such as getting to and from work, shopping, and more.
I urge the MTA Board to come to my district and have a public hearing there. Many of those that will be impacted by those cuts can not make it here tonight.
Even getting to school will be more of a challenge if this plan is approved. The elimination of student Metro Cards stands to challenge the recent progress made in our schools. 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.
I strongly oppose the M.T.A.’s approval of this budget and I urge your reconsideration.